In a Director's Context....Define Story in one sentence. I dare you.....we all might learn a thing or two worth knowing...and using.
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Story is an event........twisted....
The actor and the story It is not the actor's job to rewrite the story!
The actor needs to look at the total situation and portray what the writer intended!
Surprising that this hasn't attracted more contributions. STORY is the heart beat of any production.
Eric, thanks for pointing this out. Steven Speilberg recognizes that the screenwriter is just as important as the director, if not more so. Maybe this is why the quality of stories which are on today's plate, could deliver a little more meaning to audiences than they are delivering.
I just watched "The Hours" last night on Netflicks. Four intertwined stories all reflecting on the final day of Virginia Wolfe's life, from period to contemporary . A cast to die for, including the best performance of Ed Harris' career. Great example of a great story empowering great filmaking in every discipline.
A story is a reflection of human experience.
The definition of story is the same for the writer and the director: "The protagonist's journey to reach his/her goal." It is not the same as plot.
A (1) character(s) has a (2) problem (or: goal) and (3) must make a sacrifice to (4) solve the problem (achieve the goal, or: not). (See: http://storyality.wordpress.com/ for more... its for Directors & Writers)
If the writer hasn't given it to you in the script, find a universal truth in the story that will resonate with the viewer and make it relevant to everyone who sees the film.
In a Director's Context....Story could be described as the juxtaposition of images/scenes in a sequence which plays upon the emotional responses of the viewer, creating and releasing in them tensions in increasing proportions until they arrive at a sense of climax and abatement.
Stephen, if the writer hasn't given it to you in the script, then I would have passed on the script or worked it out with him before taking it on to direct.
In a perfect world, I would agree with you, Jim. However, sometimes one takes a project because of a bankable leading man, or other similarly motivating factors, which can sometimes mean one has to fix what wasn't done properly in the first instance. Then, there are films like Bullitt, for example, where the pages are being written as you go and the director had better form a view of the theme that will withstand all that the script has to offer...
Stephen, touche. Well made point. I left out those possibilities in my assumption of it being a 'completed' script.
A good assumption given the context of the thread ;)
A character going through one of the many identifiable decisions many of us make in life, in one relative way or another....that grabs our attention.
Story is the means by which the creator expresses his or her ideological worldview :-)
With his/her intent/slant being the driver
To realize we are not as big as we think we are.
A character goes through events and chooses actions to end up in a place where they have learnt something about themselves and the human condition.
Somebody has a problem which might or might not involve other people, it changes his or her life, things get complicated, but in the end, he or she learns and grows from the experience and, hopefully, live happily ever after.
Oh how funny: I didn't even realise, Sonia Bible, I'm sorry, I inadvertently stole your story sentence!
Story is the audience's emotional engagement with what's happening. It is not plot. Plot provokes story.
A film story is a sequence of events told through or in the context of a character's experience, engaging the emotion and interest of the audience through presentation, performance, and sometimes popcorn.
Honesty in performance that reflects the emotional core of the story.
In the context of a director, I'd say a story is an excuse to fool a viewer to listen to a disguised, or sometimes even intentionally hidden, statement about society, morals or a deeper general truth; so that the viewer changes his mind on a topic or that he believes he has reached a new understanding of a matter on his own, without realizing he has been cleverly manipulated into creating the thoughts he believes are his own, by a carefully crafted composition. Now watch Inception again with that in mind and figure out what Nolan is trying to tell you... Sci-fi tends to be much deeper than people think.
Will direct movies for food......with that being said, a story is about turning on the audience and making them hungry for the delivery in a multitude of twists and turns in a character's reach for his goals.