dramatic convention outline

  1. Title your document [Dramatic Convention] in [Name of Video], eg., Mirror Shots in Bernice Bobs Her Hair, or Background Music in Barn Burning or Dawson Casting in Everyday Use. NOTE: The title of a film is italicized.
  1. Next, note the story on which the film was based, what type of fiction it is, and who wrote it, eg. Based on “Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” a short story by F. Scot Fitzgerald or Based on Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, a novella by Stephen King. NOTE: The title of a short story goes in quotation marks, but if you’re using the film version of a novel or novella, the title goes in italics.
  2. List the year the film was made, who wrote the screenplay, who directed it, and what company produced it. Here is where IMDB.com comes in very handy. Eg. 1980, Teleplay by Horton Foote, Directed by Peter Werner. Produced by Learning in Focus. If you cannot find the production company on imdb.com, notice what credit is given first on your film.
  3. List the main actors (as few as one, as many as four) and the roles they play: Starring Tommy Lee Jones as Ab Snopes and Shawn Whittington as his son Sarty.
  4. Finally (and this is the main part), list the occurrences of your dramatic convention. You can do this in three different ways.
  • If you are analyzing a dramatic convention that is present throughout the film (such as “black and white film”) or occurs more than a dozen times (such as “subtitles”), give time-stamps of the 4 to 8 moments when it seems most important / powerful / telling (eg., 4:17 – they discuss the red dress).
  • If you are analyzing a dramatic convention that only occurs once in the film (such as “dolly zoom”), then give the time-stamp for that single occurrence, plus time-stamps for the 4 to 8 most important moments in the plot of the film (eg., 12:07 – Aretha collapses).
  • If you are analyzing a dramatic convention that occurs at least three times but fewer than a dozen (eg. Flower shots), then list all of its occurrences (eg., 20:49 – flowers in the parlor).
    this is the sheet you need to fill out the dramatic convention is “the tell tale heart” and then
    ready to write a paragraph about occurrences of your dramatic convention in your chosen film. Again, this will be a primary source paragraph, so you do not need to bring any research other than common knowledge about your film (date, director) and your list of instances of your dramatic convention in the film (#5)
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