The new audiovisual media
Understanding new audiovisual media 7
The development of computers and digital recording systems, editing and reproduction, has brought important changes in the audiovisual field by making accessible things there were until now very expensive or almost impossible to direct. In films such as Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, almost 70% of images were treated digitally. The digital revolution has not only brought changes in technique, but also in narration and, consequently, it changed dramatically the work of scriptwriters.
A noticeable evolution concerns the development of non-linear narrations, which are stories that unfold continuously from the beginning to the end, but that offer many possibilities to the viewer: several evolutions can be chosen, or several outcomes are made possible.
When Julio Cortazar wrote Hopscotch, he tried to do something similar: the reader must not read the book from the first chapter until the last one, but can start wherever he/she wants, and skip chapters just as he/she wishes. In the same way, in an audiovisual narration made for an IT support (but also for television or a mobile phone) the scriptwriter can provide the viewer with several possibilities, creating thus personalised plots.
If interactivity with the viewer is something that can always be resorted to in theatre, it is not the case with cinema. Modern artistic performances, happenings and other contemporary art performances also try to create such interactivity. Audiovisual media, including cinema, used to remain outside this evolution, but things have changed very quickly.
To be continued…
Photomontage: Daniel Tubau
Understanding New Audiovisual Media
1) Why the Seventh Art?
(2) Audiovisual extensions
(3) Cinema and other media
(4) Cinema and comic
(5) Cinema and literature
(6) Cinema and television
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This article is a selection of passages taken from my book, The scriptwriter’s paradoxes: rules and exceptions in the practise of a scenario (Las paradojas del guionista, Alba Editorial, 2007) aimed at people interested in scriptwriting, and narration in general. The book explores the different theories and manuals existing on the subject, while listing forty paradoxes with which a scriptwriter might be faced.
Web page: Las paradojas del guionista
The scriptwriter’s paradoxes
The 38 paradoxes
Reglas y excepciones (Las paradojas del guionista)
Entendiendo los nuevos medios audiovisuales