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Open Source Cinema | Social | Serializing Cinema

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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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