Category: General Research


Important Terms

Pleonastic- Sound which is heightened to create fear, tension, excitement etc

Ambient- Background sounds which are present in the scene e.g. animals, people, weather etc

Selective- Sound which is used to place emphasis on certain things in a scene

Sound Bridge – At the beginning of a new scene the sound is carried over from the end of the old scene

Sound Effects – Sounds which are used to make a psychological impact or place emphasis on certain things in a scene

Score – Music which is played during a scene which can create a certain mood, link two scenes or help add to the plot

Silence – Used to create suspense or get some sort of reaction from the audience

Theme music – Music which is played throughout the movie and is used to develop the narrative and match the theme of the movie

Voice over – The voice of a character which is used to guide or inform the audience but can also mislead them

Synchronous – When a sound matches an action or event on screen and can be used to emphasize it

Asynchronous – When a sound or music does not come from the diegetic reality of the movie

Contrapuntal – Sound which does not match with what is happening on screen and is used to create a different meaning

Diegetic – Sound which is the source is currently coming from someone or something on screen e.g. Characters speaking

Non-Diegetic – Sound which the source does not come from something that is happening on screen e.g. Naration



Tzvetan Todorov’s Theory of Narrative Structure

Traditionally, narrative structures followed a formula which was identified by the theorist Tzvetan Todorov in 1969.

Todorov studied classic fairy tales and stories.

He discovered that narratives moved forward in a chronological order with one action following after another. In other words, they have a clear beginning, middle and end.

Todorov also suggested that the characters in the narrative would be changed in some way through the course of the story and that this would be evident by the resolution.

This traditional story arc format is known as a linear narrative:

Steps What happens
1 The narrative starts with an equilibrium
2 An action or character disrupts the equilibrium
3 A quest to restore the equilibrium begins
4 The narrative continues to a climax
5 Resolution occurs and equilibrium is restored

Most episodes of Sherlock follow this traditional narrative structure.

Sherlock and Watson are relaxing at the start of the episode, then an action or character will do something that creates a case for them to solve.

They begin their quest to find a solution and apprehend the villain.

The narrative continues until they confront the villain at the climax.

Once the disruption is resolved and the equilibrium is restored, Sherlock and Watson can relax again.

That is until another case comes to their attention in the next episode.

Photograph of Sherlock Holmes

Behind the scenes photograph of Sherlock and Watson solving a case.

Unconventional narratives

Non-linear narratives and circular narratives have a structure that is not so straightforward.

A non-linear narrative can move backwards and forwards in time usually using a flashback technique. This is used in the film 500 days (of Summer) which follows a relationship but we see flashforwardsand flashbacks as the story progresses.

A circular narrative may begin at the end of the story and work its way back to the origins of the narrative. Circular narratives are often only understood clearly by the audience at the end of a film.

The film Slumdog Millionaire has a circular narrative which starts with the main character, Jamal, starring on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Over the course of the movie the narrative takes the viewer back to Jamal’s childhood and explains how he came to appear on the show and how he knows the correct answers.


I used this theory of narrative structure by Tzvetan Todorov as the basis of my short film and tried to achieve these stages of equilibrium and disequilibrium to create enigma and maintain audience engagement.

Blog Design

As I progressed with my advanced portfolio tasks, I redesigned my blog to arrange my posts in an order so that they become easier to find. It helped me organize my posts and added clarity to my work. The picture below contains various categories that I will be adding to my blog along with brief details about the appropriate content.