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Open Source Cinema | Social | Serializing Cinema

March 25, 2018

Homework links:




Finding Regularities in the Format and in the Consumption -> Universality


What came into my mind immediately when tasked to serialize cinema is to dissect the visual within a frame into foreground & background. Then, I thought of the classical three-act structure of a story: setup, conflict, and resolution.


Why do we (or at least, I) prefer a narrative (feature-length films) to be structured into three or five acts? I assume it's because it's just how my brain is wired to process it – maybe, my cognition and emotional journey are best facilitated in this format.


Like how letters are codes for not only a physical phenomenon (sounds) but also a meaningful action (words, forming sentences), cinema is also a code for us to consume narrative and stories. And in that sense, when finding the regularities in physical phenomena within cinema, I should also keep in mind the bigger, meaningful action.


Traditional Cinema Components

  • Content

    • Foreground

      • Character

        • Outfit

        • Expression

        • Action

        • Dialogue

      • Object

        • Appearance

        • Action

      • Pixel values

    • Background

      • Physical objects

      • Space

      • Pixel values

    • Relationship between the character and the background

    • Sound

      • Character dialogue

      • Environment sound


  • Sequence

    • Frame number

    • Scene number


  • Narrative Elements

    • Character

      • Type: Protagonist / Antagonist / Deuteragonist

      • Profile

        • Character motivation

        • Character background

        • Physical profile

          • Age

          • Gender, etc.

    • Story Arc: Setup / Confrontation / Resolution

    • Setting

      • Time/Era

      • Location

    • Character’s action (description of what happens in the story)

Social "Cinema"


I also thought of another way I consume narratives: binge-browsing. Different from staring at a screen for a prolonged period of time, binge-browsing is faster, non-linear, greatly varied in terms of content, and haphazard.


Yet I consume more content and narrative by binge-browsing and not by watching conventional cinema pieces. So what can cinema learn from content whirlpool that is social platforms? Perhaps, similar to how a story is divided into three acts to accommodate my cognition and emotional journey, the act of consuming should be divided into several parts as well.

  1. Intention: What do I need to know? What do I want to know?

  2. Attention: What else is interesting for me to look at?

  3. Larger experience: How does this piece of content relate to the larger identity and experience that I've built over the years? Does it reassert my values and beliefs?


Maybe this is far-fetched, and has no practical implications at all in serializing cinema. But I would like to think that there is value in investigating what compels people to consume a narrative. Finding the regularities in these compel-factor might not yield in modular elements a producer can use to make a story, but it would empower the producer to break out of technicalities and facilitate narrative-consumption in an almost feral way.


Social "Cinema" Components

  • Meta data

    • Time

    • Platform

    • Importance:

      • Number of impressions

      • Number of shares

  • Content

    • Text string

    • Visual content

    • Audio content

    • Thesis

    • Quality: objective(declarative), subjective(opinion)

  • Authorship

    • Author Identity

    • Intent: to promote, to seed chaos

    • Political Affinity


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Hafiyyandi | Creative Technologist

New York, New York | hafiyyandi@gmail.com