Add entertainment to your writing by considering
Movies often begin with the camera focused on an individual. Do you remember "Forrest Gump"? The movie begins with the image of Forrest sitting on a bench with his box of chocolates talking to the persons next to him. As the camera pans around we learn more about the town in which Forrest has grown up.
The director uses the focused camera view to move from the smaller to the larger picture. This method of organization causes the audience to take a viewpoint and slowly expand it until the larger situation is revealed. Little by little audience comes to understand the complexity of the whole situation or story.
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Place your cursor in the center of the picture
focus (n.) — small area of interest
pan left (v.) — move camera slowly, horizontally to the left
pan right (v.) — move camera slowly, horizontally to the right
reveal (v.) — slowly uncover; show to all, announce, unveil
spatial (adj.) — existing or occurring in space
zoom (v.) — move the focus in closely on the subject
1. What is your first impression of the girl's situation in the picture?
2. What additional information can you guess about her situation?
Note that details are slowly being added revealing more of the character's situation.
3. As you look around the room, what details are revealed?
(Your movement to the left adds more information, another character, and more information.)
4. How does your impression of the girl's situation change?
5. Reverse spatial movement. (Pan left or right, and then zoom in on the girl's face and her expression.)
How different would the story be if the writer began with the larger scene and then zoomed in on the main character's face?
1. Viewers' first impressions:
2. Viewers' impressions of the situation as we look to the left of the picture where the untidy or messy state of the room is revealed: the viewer wonders what connection the girl has to the mess.
3. Viewers' impressions of the woman standing in the doorway: responses vary according to age and choice of perspective (whose shoes you want to stand in).
4. Viewer's final impressions of the girl:
5. Viewers thoughts about the sequence of focus:
Tell an anecdote, an entertaining story, about a situation that happened to you while you were growing up.
Use spatial organization to reveal the details of the situation beginning with the focus on your viewpoint and then expanding to include the larger context of the situation.
When I was eighteen, finding a few moments to do what I wanted was difficult. With homework, college entrance exams and essays hanging over my head, I rarely had a chance to just sit and reflect or read a magazine. My room was my place -- my books, clothes, bed and all my stuff -- my place to relax.
In my room, I knew where everything was. My clothes had a logical cycle: on the floor, on me, in the washer, in the dryer, and back to my floor. How else could I see what I wanted to put on unless I could clearly see it laid out on the floor? With so little time and so much to do my organization worked for me.
The "shadow" was my mother who would suddenly appear at my doorway. It seemed that whenever I would sit down and relax for a moment, there she was! She never directly said, "Clean up your room." She would say other things like, "I'm surprised you can even find a place to sit in this room!", or "Is this your idea of order?", or "What if your friends drop by and see this?" These were questions to which I never responded. They were meant to motivate me to clean up my room, but they had no effect. This was, simply, not an issue on which we could agree. Little did she know that most of my friends' rooms looked about and same.
Later that fall, I went off to college, my roommate was very nice. We got along on almost everything, except one thing. She was a terrible slob! -- That's right, she was even messier than I was. She dropped her stuff on her side, on my side -- everywhere. It was embarrassing when friends from other dorms came to visit me. I had to shove her stuff, books, bras, hair brush and other personal items, back onto her side. One day, I came in and found her sitting on my bed reading a book and I asked her why she wasn't sitting on her own bed. She said, "There's no room on it." I frowned, and yes, I realized I had become "the shadow".
Nothing I said could convince her to be less messy and stop invading my side of the room, which was very small like most dorm rooms. As a result, I often went home on the weekends just to have a little 'personal space'. I enjoyed being back in my room -- back in my space.
One Sunday evening as I was packing to return to school I was very surprised to hear my mom say, "There's nothing quite as sad as a clean, empty room."