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The Logic of Screen Narratives

A moving image text can be described as a multi-layered, audio-visual narrative that is developed through a process of question and answer. The resultant film stimulates the viewer's curiosity and imagination, and draws them through the narrative.

Screen narratives use a number of techniques to draw us in, including:

  • the use of credits, titles and inter-titles to frame the narrative
  • movement and dialogue (sometimes expressing conflict or tension) that unfolds within a scene
  • the logical succession of joined (or edited) shots that builds on our desire to find connections between clips
  • the sounds that accompany those clips (either singly or over a sequence)
  • the sound effects and music that bridge scenes and sequences and help shape our emotional response to the film
  • the use of narration to frame stories and connect images, scenes, sounds and music.

Continue reading to find out how these techniques developed into a language which we can decode and analyse.