Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Updates to the workshop links and a little on the Kuleshov effect (for prologues)

It looks like the server for AWW has crashed. I sent a message to the admins, so hopefully it'll be back up soon if you're checking out the workshops (or just me in general, lol. I'm not egotistic enough to think just because you've swung by you're going to madly rush out and take my workshops). So anyway--let's talk about the Kuleshov Effect!!

The Kuleshov Effect is a film editing method developed by a Russian filmmaker (named Kuleshov :)) back in the earlier part of the last century. It takes advantage of a mental phenomenon where viewers derive more meaning from seeing a series of pictures rather just one by itself. In writing this is the old E.M. Forster chestnut, "The king died. The queen died." Or how changing a few words takes events from "events", to a story, then a plot.

The king died. The queen died (being two events that may or may not be related).
The king died, then the queen died (being a story).
The king died, then the queen died of grief (being a plot, or how the story is shown).

In other words, you don't know what happened to the king or queen if you just show them individually. They're just a bodies in a box. However, if you use a shot of the king laying in state during the prologue, then come back to show the queen's funeral as chapter one opens, you've created cause and effect, or a relationship of some sort where people might not know how (since we haven't got to the plot yet) but what we do know is that it's related in some way and important to the story. Which is why chapter one needs to work with the prologue, because the reader is going to be extrapolating like mad, wondering and making connections, even if those connections aren't there.

Let's take a quick look at the Kuleshov Effect itself. Click on the link in the word for a wikipedia explanation and check out the youtube videos.The first video is Kuleshov's original work, and might not work well to show the phenomenon, since you're not just coming on it out of the blue, but watching it to understand how it works. Then watch the Hitchcock video about montage for forty seconds (he explains the concept behind the Kuleshov Effect well). Then jump to the 5.40 mark so you can listen to him talk about how it works while you watch "his" version of Lev Kuleshov's video.

The Kuleshov Effect is the reason prologues work, and how they can be used to "spin" a story, or influence it in one direction or the other (which sets up for post 3 on prologues, as we talk about how to do that).

Remember I have comment moderation on. I tend to get to them quickly, but I might not see it come in, so I appreciate your patience. Thanks for dropping by!

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