How to use Notes On A Scene

Notes On A Scene can be used to do 2 main kind of analysis: “intra” topics, and “across” topics.

“intra topics” analysis

You can focus a Notes On A Scene page “intra” topics. This is, to go deep down into scriptwriting, for instance, focused only on that profession and only on a technique. This would allow to teach that specific technique and reveal its secrets to students, who could master it very quickly, by seeing its secrets exposed in front of them. Like in a classroom, when a professor points at a picture and says: “Look here! Do you see this? This is what we’ve been talking about. This is how it’s done. Now, look at this other picture. See? This is what you need to avoid”. By seeing it, students can learn the theory in “action”. We follow the “Show, don’t tell” principle here. This is showing, pointing to the scene and commenting: “See? Here this is how you do it”.

“across topics” analysis

You can also focus a Notes On A Scene page “across” topics, if you want to see how different perspectives are combined together. How do you show that the director, in one scene, used masterfully the music to convey an effect opposite to the dialog between the characters? And how he used lighting too, to send a contrasting feeling, foreshadowing a feeling of “don’t trust what the characters are saying to one another, they are lying”. You need to see how each profession did its job, expose it clearly in comments in “its box”, and then compare. One box’s comments will deny another box’s comments, and there you have it: the feeling the audience gets. Sometimes, a good director does this purposefully, and it’s very instructive for students to learn how he did it. Some other times, the director may have failed to be aware of contradicting “messages”, effects from one profession work colliding with another profession work:
  • dialog was perfect,
  • lighting was beautiful,
  • but costumes were terrible (an actor was wearing a wrist watch in Rome gladiators era? Please!),
  • sound effects were too loud at times,
  • special effects were brilliant … just too many.
Youtube could answer the question: “Was this movie good?” with “yes”, “no”, “some aspects of it”. This would state feelings, nothing to learn from. Notes On A Scene can help in teaching and learning, by going deep in some aspect and accross perspectives/variables.
How to use Notes On A Scene

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