The traditional three-act film structure typically follows one protagonist through an action line (main-plot) and a relationship line (sub-plot). Flashback narative, tandem narrative and sequential narrative all fit a number of different stories (often with the same theme but different protagonists) into one film. However, there are certain kinds of films, particularly what are often known as ensemble films, which do not fit either the traditional three-act structure or any of the parallel story structures. Although they deal with one sequence of events and are set prodiminantly in one time frame, they do not have single protagonist on a single journey. They tell the story of a group, each member of which has much the same importance, and is followed through their own journey as the group itself makes a journey. Films like this are actually using a different form of parallel storytelling. This form employs a number of protagonists of more or less equal importance who are all versions of the same character type. These films fall into a structural category that can be thought of as multiple protagonist/antagonist structure. In films like these, multiple protagonists or antagonists take in turns to fulfil the structural tasks carried out in the normal three-act structure by one character alone.
*ensemble film - The Big Chill, Tea With Mussolini, The Magnificent Seven, Saving Private Ryan, American Beauty,
* sequential narrative film - shows separate but interconnected stories one after the other, linking them at the end; each story is usually introduced with a subtitle then told uninterrupted up to a dramatic high point, when the next will start. close to the end of the film each story is rivisited and concluded in a final section that explains the link between all the stories. examples: Pulp Fiction, Go.
Films employing multiple protagonists or charismatic antagonists have two aims:
1. they explore versions of the same social role which display different aproaches, concerns, and solutions
2. they study the dynamics and story of the group itself
ref: Screenwriting Updated: New (and Conventional) Ways of Writing for the Screen by Linda Aronson (pg.185, 221, 222)
ajami kata: saya bukanlah seorg filmmaker/screenwriting guru.. tetapi saya ingin 'membantah' teori huraian oleh buku Aronson di atas krn dia telah memecah-belahkan takrifan 'ensemble film' dr kajian/tulisan bukunya itu! dan inilah takrifan 'ensemble film' dr pemahaman saya sendiri! *aku 'berani-mati' nak lawan teori structure Aronson nih!!! sebelum tu, sila klik & baca takrifan 'ensemble film' berikut:
Aronson terlalu merumitkan takrifan what is 'ensemble film' .. pd pndpt saya, ensemble film ialah:
"filem yg mempunyai lebih dari 1 cerita sbg MAIN-PLOT, lebih dari 1 protagonist/antagonist yg SAMA PENTING, dimana gabungan kesemuanya akan menghasilkan sebuah cerita yg lengkap"
ensemble film TIADA pengkhususan spt yg Aronson nyatakan dlm bukunya! ianya bergantung kpd kreativiti penulis skrip yg menggarap ceritanya! jadi, kesemua filem di bawah ini ialah 'ensemble films':
'cinta' pd pndpt saya ialah sebuah filem yg sgt teliti/kemas/brilliant dr segi penulisan lakonlayar-nya & mudah difahami (dan ditangisi) oleh penonton *w/pon diaorg TAK BACA blog bicaraskrip nih! InsyaAllah saya akan cuba mengupas 'bagaimana' structure lakonlayar oleh Mira Mustaffa & Abdul Rahman Ahmad (Ara) *berdasarkan tontonan org awam yg membeli tiket dgn duit sendiri!
"tingkap dah buka.. pintu dah buka.. kalau awak menjerit semua orang boleh dengar.. kecuali, bila keretapi lalu" ~ Taufiq to Arianna (set-up)
dlm babak kemudiannya, semasa keretapi sedang lalu dgn bunyi yg bingit.
"saya cintakan awak" ~ Taufiq to Arianna (pay-off)
The Screenwriting Juggling Act: Multiple Storyline Scripts
Author:Karen A. LefkowitzMay 13, 2006
Linear narrative getting you down? Tired of living with just one protagonist? Plot-A and subplot-B boring you? The solution to your creative slump may lie in an alternative writing method: parallel storytelling.
Also known as the multiple protagonist/antagonist or multiple storyline structure, parallel storytelling is essentially the story of a group. Various members of this group go through a sequence of events where a common problem reveals itself through a journey, and a central theme emerges out of the relationships that form between the various plots. Some movies that feature parallel storytelling are: Nashville, Do The Right Thing, Pulp Fiction, Magnolia, Traffic, Love Actually, The Hours, and the 2005 trio of Sin City, Syriana, and, of course, Crash—the surprise winner at this year’s Academy Awards®, taking Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.
There are even some fairly linear films that operate as multiple storyline pictures. American Beauty is a great example. This tale of suburban boredom features various plots, each with its own three-act structure. Every plot focuses on one particular individual and how they feel suffocated by their current existence and set out to change things. The film begins with Lester’s journey, but also follows the distinct yet intersecting storylines of his wife Carolyn, daughter Jane, her friend Angela, and the neighborhood father and son Frank and Ricky. If you elect to go with a parallel storyline script, here are some helpful tips:
• Before even beginning the writing process, answer the questions: Why go with a multiple storyline structure? What is the purpose of telling the story in this way? Is there a common thread between intersecting story ideas? If you have concrete answers, proceed. If not, go back to the drawing board, laptop or notebook and re-evaluate the tale you are trying to tell.
• Once you’ve committed to parallel storytelling and are ready to begin, purchase a corkboard and use paper, push pins, highlighters and different-colored pens to create a visual guidepost to keep all the stories on track. Create separate sheets for each plot and give each a title, or at least a short summation. Include on the sheet the protagonist and his problem, (add minor characters if possible) and if you have one prepared, a beat or step sheet. Use colored push pins, highlighters or markers to show the connecting thread throughout each storyline. The point is to show the relationship that connects each storyline to the greater theme—the central idea of the film.
• Watch character development. This is especially important with an ensemble cast. All the characters must be three-dimensional, have a purpose/goal, and have an identifiable arc. Character profiles are extremely helpful when dealing with a large number of protagonists and antagonists who all deserve the writer’s attention.
• Each plot, no matter how much page space it takes, still requires all the elements necessary in a linear narrative. Each plot must have a beginning, middle and end; a protagonist with a problem; and some sort of change or resolution that occurs by the end—each story must play out to fruition. In Crash, one storyline follows two carjackers, Anthony and Peter (Ludacris and Larenz Tate), who have very little morals and want to continue with their criminal lifestyle. By the end of the film, things have changed. Instead of selling a stolen van containing illegal immigrants, Anthony lets the frightened people go, leaves the vehicle where he originally found it, and takes a bus home—something he said he’d never do.
• Make sure that all of your scene transitions are very carefully worked out. In parallel storytelling, it is of the utmost importance to pay close attention to the transitions from one storyline to the next. The more plots you have, the more complicated it gets to keep things from becoming confusing and leaving the audience with a jerky feeling. The story must never appear choppy, which is one of the most common mistakes in parallel storytelling. Be painstaking in crafting smooth transitions or the entire structure will collapse.
• The theme of your film should be a guiding force in each storyline. If it isn’t, you need to go over why you’ve chosen the parallel structure. One of the purposes of a multiple storyline script is to really showcase the central idea of the film from different perspectives. This aids in strengthening what is at the heart of the story and will become most apparent by the end of the picture. In Love Actually, which features at least eight intersecting storylines, the message of the film is that no matter where you look, love is always around. The theme of the film truly comes alive in the great ending scene featuring all of the characters at Heathrow Airport with their various loved ones.
• Keep an eye on the clock, or in this case, page numbers. When dealing with multiple plots, it is easy to get caught up in the many scenes and moments of your story. Watching length is critical. If that average 100-page script becomes overly-lengthy and cumbersome, conscious decision-makers (readers/agents/managers) are going to abandon the script. Pay close attention to how much time is devoted to each storyline. It is best to allocate equal weight (or as close to) for each story. This is why it is advantageous to organize a beat/step sheet so the exact number of scenes for each story are already outlined. If a problem arises, alterations can be made at the beginning, thus cutting down on time-consuming rewriting.
Writers should always be reading, so take a little break from your intersecting stories to stop by one in the chain of Samuel French bookstores which have shelves of material on the screenwriting process. Two books that devote chapters to this alternative narrative method are Advanced Screenwriting by Linda Seger and Screenwriting Updated by Linda Aronson. This unique approach to storytelling can lend itself to some tremendously engaging entertainment. Keep the above tips in mind and study other films with this structure to see what works and what doesn’t.
ABOUT THIS AUTHOR
Karen Ann Lefkowitz received her master's degree in communication management from the University of Southern California in May of 2004. She currently works at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television. As a freelance writer, she has written art and entertainment pieces for print and online publications. *nasib baik nama author article ni NOT 'linda' gak! kalau idak, harus ajami tukau nama: linda hashim! wakakakaka!
saya sebenarnya tersgtttlah obsesi pd filem 'cinta' krn setelah sekian lama saya 'berhenti' menonton filem2 melayu di pawagam & hanya menunggu tayangan ulangan di tv atau semasa kerja2 meng'house-master'kan tape utk tayangan ASTRO-BOXOFFICE-MOVIES atau ASTRO-RIA shj sudah memadai bagi saya utk 'berhibur kosong' dgn 1001 tema yg disogokkan *haaa! ekau mengaku pon! cuma saya pernah terkilan krn tidak sempat menonton filem 'sepet' & 'gubra' di pawagam krn kesibukan kerja. tetapi dah rezeki saya utk mendapat special screening 'mukhsin' dr sang pengarahnya sendiri & hadiah percuma 'rabun' (vcd).. thanks to my own 'blog bicaraskrip' yg tak seberapa ini krn secara tidak sengaja, beliau sudi bersahabat dgn saya atas dasar passion kami yg sama mengenai storytelling. beliau dgn filem2nya, saya dgn scriptwriting. *erk! adakah ekau 'hipokrit'? nak tulis skrip tapi tak pergi tengok filem tulisan skrip org lain kat pawagam? yaa adoo?? ok, back to 'cinta'.. dek krn obsesi saya itu, maka saya akan hasilkan beberapa parts posting saya khusus untuknya.. *ekau gilo ko apo nak rebiu byk2 kali???
tagline: "10 bintang.. 5 kisah cinta.. 1 cerita.."
apakah maksud "5 kisah cinta"
"5 kisah cinta" ini sebenarnya terbahagi kpd 2 kumpulan besar (nisbah 3:2) berdasarkan perkaitan rapat dr segi 'perhubungan' atau 'lokasi' iaitu:
*kumpulan #1 'perhubungan' kerja/persahabatan:
*kumpulan #2 'lokasi' restoren/kerja:
bagaimanapon, kedua-dua kump besar ini kadangkala akan 'bertembung secara tidak sengaja' antara keduanya atau di antara sesama 'kump kecil' masing2 atau dgn 'kump besar' *konpius??? kelima-lima cerita (main-plot bertemakan cinta) itu bergerak ke depan dgn protagonist/antagonist/sub-plot masing2 secara berasingan menggunakan asas cerita 3-act structure.
oklah cukup setakat ini krn 'panggilan' kerja penyiaran 15TH ASIAN GAMES DOHA bermula semalam di saluran ASTRO: ch 83, 84, 85 & 86 ! akhirkata, majulah sukan utk negara!! *promote! jgn tak promote!