scene (fiction)
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A scene is a dramatic part of a story, at a specific time and place, between specific characters. The term is used in both filmmaking and theatre, with some distinctions between the two.


Theatre

In
drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on Radio drama, radio or television.Elam (1980, 98). Considered as a g ...

drama
, a scene is a unit of action, often a subdivision of an act.


French scene

A "French scene" is a scene in which the beginning and end are marked by a change in the presence of characters onstage, rather than by the lights going up or down or the set being changed.George, Kathleen (1994) ''Playwriting: The First Workshop'', Focal Press, , p. 154


Obligatory scene

From the French ''scène à faire'', an obligatory scene is a scene (usually highly charged with emotion) which is anticipated by the audience and provided by an obliging playwright. An example is ''
Hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (baptism, bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and acto ...

Hamlet
'' 3.4, when Hamlet confronts his mother.


Film

In
filmmaking Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a is . Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages, starting with an initial story, idea, or commission. It then continues through , , pre-production, shooting, sound recordi ...
and
video production Video production is the process of producing video content for TV, home video or the internet. It is the equivalent of filmmaking, but with video recorded either as analog signals on videotape, digitally in video tape or as computer files stored on ...
, a scene is generally thought of as a section of a motion picture in a single
location In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wor ...
and continuous time made up of a series of
shot Shot may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media *Shot (album), ''Shot'' (album), by The Jesus Lizard *''Shot, Illusion, New God'', an EP by Gruntruck *''Shot Rev 2.0'', a video album by The Sisters of Mercy *Shot (song), "Shot" (song), by The Ra ...
s, which are each a set of contiguous frames from individual cameras from varying angles. A scene is a part of a film, as well as an act, a
sequence In , a sequence is an enumerated collection of in which repetitions are allowed and matters. Like a , it contains (also called ''elements'', or ''terms''). The number of elements (possibly infinite) is called the ''length'' of the sequence. Unl ...
(longer or shorter than a scene), and a setting (usually shorter than a scene). While the terms refer to a set sequence and continuity of observation, resulting from the handling of the camera or by the editor, the term "scene" refers to the continuity of the observed action: an association of time, place, or characters. The term may refer to the division of the film from the screenplay, from the finished film, or it may only occur in the mind of the spectator who is trying to close on a logic of action. For example, parts of an action film at the same location, that play at different times can also consist of several scenes. Likewise, there can be parallel action scenes at different locations usually in separate scenes, except that they would be connected by media such as telephone, video, etc. Due to the ability to
edit Edit may refer to: Concepts * an action that is part of an editing process (including of images, video, and film) * a particular version that is the result of editing, especially of film (for example, fan edit), or music (for example, rad ...
recorded visual works, a movie scene is much shorter than a
stage play A play is a work of drama, usually consisting mostly of dialogue between Character (arts), characters and intended for theatre, theatrical performance rather than just Reading (process), reading. The writer of a play is a playwright. Plays are p ...
scene Scene (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as ...
. Because of their frequent appearance in films, some types of scenes have acquired names, such as love scene,
sex scene Sex in film is the presentation of aspects of human sexuality in film. The presence in films of any form of sexuality has been controversial since the development of the medium. Some films containing such sexuality have been criticized by religi ...
,
nude scene Nudity in film is the presentation in a film of at least one person who is fully nude, showing one or more bare, groin, breast, or buttocks Nudity, nude. Since the development of the medium, inclusion in films of any form of sexuality has been co ...
, dream scene, action scene, car chase scene, crash scene, emotional scene,
fight scene Stage combat, fight craft or fight choreography is a specialised technique in theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real ...
, tragedy scene, or post-credits scene. There is usually an opening scene and a closing scene. In contrast, the traditional movie script is divided into acts, but those categories are less frequently used in the digital technology. The scene is important for the unity of the action of the film, while a stage drama is typically divided into acts. The division of a movie into scenes is usually done in the script. Some action scenes need to be planned very carefully.


See also

* Fiction * Long take * Plot (narrative) * Scene and sequel * Theatrical scenery


References

Film scenes, {{film-term-stub Plot (narrative) Narratology