// you’re reading...


Chums Magazine annual 1934-35 p4

Film writer for Chums magazine, 1934-35 annual, Horace Richards gives an example of a sequence broken up into scenes and for continuity…

Mr Richards wrote: It may read something like this:

Scene 20. Sequence D. Long Shot. Cliff Exterior. Day.

Brown walks towards Green. Stops; holds out hand. Green ignores it.

Brown: “How are you?”

Scene 21. Sequence D. Close up. Exterior. Cliff. Day.

Green produces revolver. Brown recoils.

Green: “Put em up.”

Scence 22. Sequence D. Medium Long Shot. Exterior Cliff. Day.

Brown leaps at Green. Struggle. Green breaks away. Brown leaps again. Kicks revolver out of hand.

Scene 23.  Sequence D. Close-up. Exterior Cliff. Day. Revolver lying on ground.

Brown: “You—“

You see the idea? Each of these scenes has to be taken separately. On the left of the script is the description of the scene with a description of what type of shot is required from the camera. There are long shots, medium long shots, close-ups. Sometimes the camera “pans.” That means that the camera swings slowly round taking in a long expanse of scenery, or slowly switching round from one man to another, then to another and so on.

I have not had the space to describe this highly technical business as thoroughly as I should have liked.  But I think I have shown you something of what goes on behind the scenes before the film begins to be shot.

Next time that you go to the cinema, watch out for the names fo the men who are responsible for the adaptation and the continuity of the film. And give them a silent cheer. They deserve it!