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A scene from The Restless

 LEVOTTOMAT (The Restless)
 © Solar Films inc.

  « Video | Image example

From the viewpoints of scriptwriting, directing and producing, a scene is a unit of film narration, as are shot, take and sequence. A scene is an active entity happening in one setting, dealing with one event of the script, and having a beginning, middle and the end. Cf. Act.

In a fiction film division into scenes is based on productional grounds. According to Aleksi Bardy a scene changes when there is a jump in time or when the location changes. Yet there can be small jumps in time within the scene. Practically, a scene is a continuous part of a film, with:

  • the same location, same setting
  • the same actors
  • the same time of day (lighting)
  • the same continuity in the situation

Thus a scene changes into another, when

  • the location changes
  • the setting changes
  • the time of day changes (lighting changes)
  • the continuity changes

For the documentary film and the experimental film "scene" is a more wavering concept, and there are various opinions as to its exact contents. A scene is, however, always a part of a larger sequence, i. e. a sequence consists of several scenes that fit together functionally. A scene can also mean a series of shots or even an individual position of a camera. Thus a scene is a series of shots (or a single shot).

The accompanying example of a scene is from the film 'Levottomat' ('The Restless' by Louhimies, Bardy). The beginning and the end of the scene are faded out. Compare the filmed scene into the corresponding scene on the screenplay, and think over the possible reasons for any deviations.

See also the scenes 12--15 from the screenplay of "The Tough Ones" ("Häjyt"), constituting a continuous sequence.


Aleksi Bardy: The Restless. Script in finnish.

Observe how "Escort" [www.cinergia.com/saat.htm] by Joona Tena has been divided into scenes.


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