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Film Directing Fundamentals, 2nd Edition by Nicholas Proferes

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Chapter 3

Organizing Action in a Dramatic Scene

Dramatic Blocks

A dramatic block can be likened to a paragraph in prose: it contains one overriding dramatic idea. Keeping our dramatic ideas separated gives them more force and power, and makes them clearer to the audience. And, as in prose, when we move on to another idea we begin a new paragraph, acknowledging to the reader the progression of thought, or in the case of a dramatic film acknowledging narrative or dramatic change and/or escalation. Acknowledging change gives the audience a sense of forward momentum — of narrative thrust.

Identifying our dramatic blocks will help us to incorporate spatial renderings into our staging; that is, “geographical paragraphs” that will contain a single ...

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