Analysis of Film Theme

  • Did it succeed in showing the theme?
  • Did it have good dialogue? Were there good examples of dialogue?
  • Was there inner logic and was it sustainable?
  • Or did it have holes in it?


Different Scenes

1)      Someone meeting someone else

2)      Fight Scene

3)      People getting out of cars

4)      People getting drunk

5)      Shooting/Drugs

  • Films must be emotionally engaged with the audience.
  • Find death scenes that are memorable. Practice ingenious scenes that are unforgettable.
  • Best writing is in an opening scene.
  • Clearest writing is in closing scene.
  • People must remember opening and closing scenes.
  • Only stress an idea or point three times in a film- then change the idea or point or dramatic moment or else your film will become boring.


Plot in Films

  • Major action or relationship structure.
  • Text and subtext in Films; Emotions of characters and getting this into dialogue.
  • Subtext gives emotional connection.
  • Symmetry: One character is the leader and macho man but a secondary character can match him in intelligence and wit.


Functional Character

One sided man who is one dimensional, and, who does not change during the story but sometimes they can change to make the story exciting.

Usually a good person in the script or story line.

eg: Jimmy Olsen in Superman.

  • Physical Need which drives the scene
  • Actions, movements and different ways of performing.
  • Emotional needs of actors.
  • What makes actors to behave the way they do in each scene.
  • You could have a film with an artist- who fights with his wife; and, absolutely loves and adores his wife but cannot stop fighting with her.
  • Why? Because artist can only think of creative ways of painting on canvas if he is nervous, angry and furious.
  • This gives the artist ability, drive and enthusiasm to be able to paint absolute masterpieces.



  • Pig called Napoleon in George Orwell’s Animal Farm represented a Metaphor; personifying Joseph Stalin as President of the USSR under Communism.



  • In Orwell’s Animal Farm the Pig; called Napoleon represented Joseph Stalin in the USSR as betraying his own friends in government.


Film Craft

  • When you are looking at three stories- isolate them; and, make a beginning, middle and end.
  • Make the main characters accessible to the audience. It must make sense.
  • Do you have a character with craft, and, integrate the characters or stories, ideas, scenes and plots
  • Show how you give an insight and meaning or explanation to the story; with craft. How do you make a strategy, which will allow the story to make sense?
  • Reduce the story down to the basics-as it stands in isolation.
  • Show three different stories and explain them.
  • Break the story down into a main scene and show dramatic scenes; and, a completed moment in the main story.


What is the key?

Three Engines that make the story or theme to work, and be exciting.

1)      Does the story have emotional cues?

2)      Story must have conflicting objectives and different views.

3)      There must be differences in the story’s setup. e.g. Dramatic-doctor/artist/dentist who loses use of his hands and conflicting objectives.


Genuine Cause and Effect

  • Husband and wife – she wants to leave but he wants her-emotional cue.
  • She is sleeping with his brother-set up the momentum
  • Audience wants to know what will happen, next.
  • Emotional cue- morality, betrayal
  • Drives the scenario, momentum is here. It will direct the story with conflicting objectives.
  • Wants- character feels it within them.
  • Needs- character wants to live in a world where no one discriminates against them.
  • Character wants to have something to offer.


  • Characters are potentially brilliant in this sense. One must develop characters and emotionally respond to them.
  • Antagonists- opposite to protagonists.
  • They make the story to work, as they are a one dimensional character
  • eg: Jimmy Olsen in Superman.
  • He is a single motive driven, single function character.
  • Well fleshed out characters with different emotions, feelings, complexities, attitudes; and, showing simple, bad and easy things.
  • Must make your characters different and varied.
  • Emotional characters: we can relate to them when we bring them to life; and, therefore, they work for us.



  • Create a character that has for the audience: a feeling of understanding and empathy. We always empathize with someone we feel sorry for- the way we set up victims- we understand why they are the way they are.
  • We feel sorry for them; and, we put ourselves in their position.
  • We empathise with someone who has humanistic qualities.
  • These are the traits that we admire.



  • Concept of contrast. We love to see three conflicting engines.
  • Characters- inner personality and external situation and relationships or irony.

e.g.: Mrs Doubtfire-Robin Williams

  • Emotionally we understand and get involved with the personality of the character in our film.
  • We look at all the parts in isolation and how they are integrated with an emotional connection.
  • A Fish out of water- contrasting situation where you take a person out of a natural environment
  • eg: a boy from a loving family sent to a boarding school. Then you have complete chaos.
  • Audience makes a value judgment and emotionally feels something.
  • Everyone has a bias and different views or feelings; and will emotionally respond in a way that is governed by their emotional culture.



  • Every character has a mystery. Audience asks “where did the character come from?”
  • Show the past, present and future.
  • Past will determine what the character will do in the present.
  • Something happened in someone’s past.
  • A mystery- gives the audience access to the characters’ past.
  • Who are these people?
  • What is it about this person that the audience needs to know about?
  • Audience is emotionally connected to the character.
  • Where and what type of person are they today, tomorrow and in the future.



  • Definition: to repeat a phrase or word at the beginning of a sentence or phrase or clause.
  • eg: In the dialogue for the Film Casablanca with Humphrey Boggart
  • The opening line is …"In all the joints, in all the towns, in the entire world, she walks into mine”…
  • Martin Luther King …"I have a Dream”…
  • Winston Churchill “We shall never surrender”


Anaphora is used in conjunction with Amplification and Climax:

Amplification means: to repeat an important word over and over again

Climax means: to go from lesser to the stronger order of words in the order of their strength and importance. You repeat words and order them in a climatic way of saying them.

Evan has reviewed a number of plays, including the ones listed below.


The Staffroom

The Bacchae

Oestrogen on Trial