Course Title: Structural Analysis of Film Narrative

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Structural Analysis of Film Narrative

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Dr Tony Paice

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9838

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: building 9, level 3, room 43

Course Coordinator Availability: Monday to Thursday

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

It is expected that commencing students will have a first degree and will have existing experrtise in their intended artistic discipline.

Course Description

Students will  be expected to gain an understanding and appreciation of the role that narrative structure and dramatic form, the development of character, mood and atmosphere and cinematic technique can play in the development of a dramatic script.

Deconstructionist techniques will be employed to examine narratives and narrational techniques and at the same time, uncover some of the influences that have played a part in the shaping of Ausralian dramatic films.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will investigate the role that narrative, storytelling, dramatic form, cinematic form, character development and overall mood and atmosphere can offer.

It will encourage the student to engage with the creative process that generates a tangible creative artifact; to understand social and cultural context; enhance communication attributes that are essential in industry and associated practice. It will encourage critical reflection in a dynamic and innovative manner; it will create understanding of the nexus between theory and practice and will direct the student in experimentation, analysis, synthesis and observation within the chosen discipline.

It will encourage socially aware and responsible judgements around practice; national and international perspectives, cultural differences and adaptive behaviour; it will help the student refine a pesonal aesthetic and be aware of technical conventions in film and television production; and an understanding of the dynamics of the movement of ideas from conception to realisation.

Specifically, it will include in-depth analysis of alternative structures, the techniques that are employed to supplement this and underrstanding of the sub-text or ’deep’ structure.

Upon successful completion of this course students should be able to:
Review and analyse a range of dramatic film structures.
Understand and evaluate ethical issues.
Synthesise research tasks into a written analysis.
Develop high level presentation skills for group discussions.

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

Describe the narrative structure of a variety of types of film.
Describe the narrational techniques of cinematic style that help shape the story.
Demonstrate an understanding of the cinematic techniques of camera, sound (dialogue, ambient, music). lighting, and editing.
Understand the different approaches employed in the different genres of film.
Demonstrate the ability to be able to ’read’ various visual and auditory devices that films utilise and develop analytical and interpretive skills in understanding film form and style.

Overview of Learning Activities

There will be a variety of teaching methods employed:

Film screenings
Tutorial discussion
Individual consultation
Guest speakers

Overview of Learning Resources

Film screenings - entire films and editied segments

Film texts

Film scripts

Overview of Assessment

You must complete all assignments to pass the course. All work must be submitted by the deisgnated due date.

Tutorial participation: 20%
Individual presentation: 20%
Research essay: 60%