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Structure by Freytag

 Model of classic drama: Suspense between the beginning and the end.
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There is tension, suspense, between the beginning and the end of a film, as well as the beginning and the end of a scene. The viewer's interest is aroused throughout the film when there are even more moments of excitement in the film. The central theme has often additional supporting tensions.

If the central tension is about "who murdered X in the men's room?" one of the additional tensions could be "did the small, quiet boy actually see the murderer?". In a way, the main suspense carries the additional tension. The additional tensions might even precede the main suspense or the revelation of the actual theme in the viewer's consciousness. Each scene of a film needs its own moment of excitement. Hitchcock used suspense cleverly in his film scenes. See e.g. "North by Northwest".

Suspense can be divided into smaller units. There is also suspense in dialogues, supporting the tension of the entire scene.

In a film there is fundamentally tension between the beginning and the end of each picture. According to Jan Kucera each picture in a film answers a number of questions arisen from the previous pictures, and presents, correspondingly, a number of new questions. Just before the entire picture is seen, before answers to all of the questions are given, one should cut into the next picture.

Kucera sees only two exceptions to this rule. The first picture of a film answers no questions, it only presents them and, correspondingly, the last picture no longer presents questions, it only answers them.

Cf. start-up sequence and fade out in Olsson's model.

The questions arisen from documentary films and video programs can be different from those of fictive stories, but there is a common factor is all films: attempting to get and hold the attention of the viewer. A good program is absorbing and takes you along. Structure, form, is a means to create it.


Alfred Hitchcock: North by Northwest (1959). [us.imdb.com/Title?0053125]


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