The Classical Hollywood Style

The Classical Hollywood Style

Assignment 1
(Study Guide Units 1)
Describe the classical Hollywood style, its central format, and narrative.

The Classical Narrative Style is the overall dominant style in cinema. It follows a set of parameters on how films should be put together. These rules are unspoken; they are just basic common sense to the film creators and are what the viewer expects to see.

As far as the realism and formalism stand point, the Classical Hollywood Narrative Style is a mix of both. It is fictional, but it resembles the world we know. The style usually draws the line where things become unbelievable.

The Classical Hollywood Narrative Style usually consists of many basic building blocks or elements. These elements will usually include the introduction of the problem early in the movie. Then as the movie progresses and the characters well established it will logically work through the problem, creating a story. By the end of the movie the problem is usually solved.

Editing is another element crucial to this form. This is especially true in continuity editing, editing all edits take place for a reason. Continuity editing is the predominant style of film editing practiced by most Hollywood editors. The goal of continuity editing is to make the work of the editor as invisible as possible. The viewer should not notice the cuts, and shots should flow together naturally. Hence, the sequence of shots should appear to be continuous.

Mise-en-scène is what we see in a film; editing is what we do not. These are simplified definitions, but they emphasize two essential things: the basic building blocks of a film—the shot and the cut—and the complexities of each that allow a film to achieve its texture and resonance. Mise-en-scène concerns the shot, though we need to keep in the back of our minds that editing—putting two shots together—affects not only how a film's narrative is structured but how the shots are subsequently understood by viewers.

The term "mise-en-scène"...

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