As I am a glutton for punishment, and as I am focusing on continuing my education and mastery of all things film, I have recently signed up and started an online course. The course is run through FutureLearn, and they have a series of free online courses across a range of topics. I have signed up to two courses –
Digital Storytelling, by the University of Birmingham, is run in association with Creative Skillset and the BBC Academy. It started on 28 September, and runs for four weeks.
Digital Marketing, by the University of Southhampton, starts on October 19.
I’m hoping that what I learn in these two courses will help me with my Masters focus, with my freelance producing work, and my work with Action On The Side. I’m looking at online education and pedagogy as part of my upcoming vlogs on filmmaking.
As part of the Digital Storytelling course, one section is on answering the audience’s questions. This comes from a video by Peter Ash, a consultant with the BBC. He says there are four questions the audience asks that you need to know.
Scriptwriters, this is your exercise.
What is the story?
Its type or genre; issue; content. Can you focus your story into one sentence? This is the Topline (in film terms, this is the one sentence logline).
Whose story is it?
Who is the protagonist? If it is unclear whose story we’re seeing, rewrite.
The audience relates to the protagonist, so this builds anticipation and suspense, as the audience asks ‘how will it all turn out?’.
What is the big story question?
This relates to the universal themes of the story. What is it actually about?
How will this story relate to me and my life?
The audience needs to be able to relate and connect to the story. They will put themselves in the situation, imagine themselves in the world, responding to the same issues. This will build a stronger connection to the story.
With these four points in mind, I’d like to invite the people who attend our Scriptwriters On The Side sessions to consider these four questions in particular with their scripts. I know it’s something I’m going to be working on.