TAOP: Assignment 5: Planning and Research ? Part 4: Thoughts on ‘anchoring’ the narrative

My previous post has gotten me thinking more about ensuring there is a clear narrative to the images – an anchor, if you’ll pardon the pun, or rope to keep them tied to the main narrative thread.  I don’t think that means including a common element in every image, but if there isn’t something in the image the relationship to images around it needs to be emphasised in some other way.  That might be – for example – through how the images are arranged in the context of others, or through related imagery.

I’ve been looking at what other students have produced for this assignment.

Nick Anderson’s assignment on the construction of a cricket bat is a good example.  The majority of the shots clearly include the cricket bat being constructed; the exceptions being the bat in use by a batsman and the tree apparently being selected as the material for the bat.  Both are very strongly, very obviously, related to the “construction of a cricket bat” narrative.  The avoidance of ambiguity in Nick’s assignment is – in my opinion – what makes it a strong exercise in narrative.

The assignment “Tales with Valeria“, from Catherine, has a closer resemblance to my interpretation of the brief – as she’s opted to shoot a series of images for the narrative of a fairytale book.  The main character, the doll Valeria, features in the majority of shots.  WHere she doesn’t appear either the text is used to anchor the image to the overall narrative – as is the case with the woodland path, or the images is arranged in proximity to another – as with the wolf image opposite a close-up of Valeria.

Finally, switching media to something analogous  to what I aim to achieve, this music video for Soundgarden’s “Burden in my hand” uses the dessert backdrop throughout, as well as periodically showing the trek across the sand (through the band, trails in sand and dessert creatures).  Where the dessert doesn’t appear lighting and other effects – e.g. light distorted by heat vapour – are used to maintain the context of the narrative.

As I continue my planning I need to keep this sense of anchoring in mind; to ensure while planning shots I don’t lose sight of the narrative for the sake of creating an image I like the idea of.

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