9 Elements Of Film In A Storyline.

Elements Of A Film In A Storyline.

The storyline is the root of every film production and it usually begins with an idea which is based on several life events like a true life story, dream, inspiration, etc.

But whatever idea give’s rise to a storyline, there are certain elements that must be incorporated into that idea to help the storyteller or screenwriter come up with an interesting script that will make the movie interesting to watch.

Now the main key to having a great storyline lies in the ability to keep your viewers on the edge of their seats, hence the need for you to adopt the 9 elements of a film in a storyline that I am going to reveal in this article.

So without further ado, let us get started with this article.

The 9 elements of film in a storyline.

The 9 elements of a film in a storyline are:

  1. Theme.
  2. Characters.
  3. Setting.
  4. Chronology.
  5. Goal.
  6. Obstacle
  7. Suspense.
  8. Climax.
  9. Resolution.

1. Theme.

The first element of a film in a storyline is the theme and it entails what the whole story or movie is all about. It is a message that the storyteller is trying to pass across in the entire movie.

For example, here in Nigeria, love is the predominant theme of Nollywood movies as you will often watch Nollywood movies where a rich and influential princess chooses to fall in love with a wretched village hunter simply because he saved her life and cooked some delicious bush meat for her.

However, a movie can have more than one theme, but when you are creating this kind of storyline you must ensure each of the themes resonates with each other and work together to build the story to a very cohesive conclusion, or resolution as we call it in the movie industry.

2. Characters.

Characters are an integral part of any film in the whole wide world, and without them, you will never have any film made.

A movie needs to focus on two central characters which are the protagonist, also known as the hero, and the antagonist, also known as the villain.

From these two central characters, you will then be able to craft other characters about both of them and highlight how all of them work together to interpret the message you are trying to relate in your storyline.

Now when creating your characters there are basic things you need to consider such as:

  1. Occupation: Ensure you give your character an occupation, because everyone in this life has one thing or another they are doing. Your character might be a police officer, palm wine tapper, or even an armed robber. Giving your character an occupation will make your movie seem so close to reality and as such interesting for your audience or viewers.
  2. Character flaw: Every human beings in life have flaws at any particular moment or times in their lives. A very positive person might become hopeless to the point of committing suicide because of one ugly incidence that struck at a point in time he never expected. So to make your movie interesting, make sure you create some flaws for your character, you can make it look like something they do in secret which nobody expected. For example, you can create a story where a reverend father has a secret affair that produced a child with a lady.
  3. Character arc: Another interesting part to consider while creating a character for your story is the character arc, which is the transformation of your character’s behavior or characteristics throughout the movie. That is to say, your character can begin as a sort of a person but somewhere in the movie changes to someone else because of an incident he encountered that opposed his former beliefs. For example, in my story titled Sambata, Sammy begins as a good boy, committing himself to church activities and helping mom in all the chores at home as well as running errands for her everywhere. But when Sammy is forcefully initiated into a secret cult, he becomes the worst menace to society.

You can read the article below and learn how to introduce characters in your film treatment.

How To Introduce Characters In A Film Treatment

3. Setting.

The third element of a film in a storyline is the setting which is the location or place where the story happens.

It could even be an imaginary world like the Hollywood film called Avatar. It could be in a rural or urban area. And some movies even starts and ends in a particular house.

4. Chronology.

In film production, chronology is the time when the movie occurred and it is the third element of a film in a story line.

For example, epic movies focuses on an incidence that happened in the ancient world, that is the time when there was not much civilization.

Here in Africa, you will see Nollywood epic stories which shows you how the African people used to dress as opposed to how we are dressing now.

5. Goal.

The fifth element of a film in a storyline is the goal and this implies that your central character or characters must have something they are pursuing or trying to achieve in the movie.

The goal should be something the characters have a strong desire for and are obsessed with, and the actions they are going to take to achieve this goal are what will drive the story forward until the resolution is achieved.

In the Nollywood predominant love stories, the goal of the princess is always to get her parents to accept her getting married to the hunter and transforming his life at the end.

6. Obstacle.

While your characters have a goal they are trying to achieve, there ought to be something or someone that prevents them from achieving that goal.

In the Nollywood predominant love stories, you will discover that the either the King or Queen and sometimes both will go extra miles to stop their daughter from getting married to the hunter who saved her life.

It is this obstacle that always paves way for the protagonist in every film because he or she will be given the task to obstruct the character from achieving his or her goals.

7. Suspense.

Suspense if the seventh element of a film and it is characterized by things turning out the opposite of what a viewer expected. It is what the storyteller uses to keep the viewers at the edge of their seats.

When creating your story, think about the general assumption or turn out of a particular life’s event and swerve from it to another occurrence.

For example, Nollywood stories usually ends with the Pastor defeating an evil person, but in my movie “the bad landlord” I introduced the scene somewhere and had the evil man defeating the Pastor, and in the follow up scenes we discover that the Pastor was fake as he goes to perform some rituals in the bush and is met and killed by the evil man.

8. Climax.

In film production, the climax is the point where the protagonist gathers much experience and knowledge from what transpired in the movie to discover the next line of action he must take to achieve the goal of the movie.

9 Resolution.

The final element of a film in a storyline is the resolution and it is the point at which all the issues are resolved and the protagonist usually achieve his goals.

Sometimes the movie might choose to end in a strategy where the protagonist loses that which he was fighting for. It is at this point that a storyteller usually conveys the message of the entire film to the viewers.