The Classic Hollywood Narrative Style


  1. A style determines how the film is organized with the elements of story, sets, scenes, shots, sound.
  2. A plot is the sequence of actions in chronological order.
  3. A story is the narrative, or cause-and-effect chain of events, sometimes unseen and able to change time and space.
  4. A character has certain traits and reacts to certain situations as an agent of action and decision.
  5. A protagonist is the central character, active, goal-oriented, positive motivations. The antagonist is in conflict with the central character's effort to solve a problem.
  6. A story must have resolution, an ending, closure for characters and situations.
  7. Editing is the physical rearrangement of frames of film and the adding of effects such as sound
  8. Continuity is the arrangement of shots to tell a consistent story.
  9. Genre is a standard formula for a particular kind of story.
  10. Auteur is the filmmaker.
  11. Mis-en-scene is the arrangement of space, to "place on stage" the characters, props, lighting.
  12. Chiaroscuro is the range of lighting from dark to bright.
  13. Montage is the arrangement of images for effect.
  14. Metaphor is a symbolic construction





Alternatives to the Classic Style

revised 9/25/05 by Schoenherr | Birth of the Movies | Filmnotes