Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Conflict and Contrast with Rockwells "Road Block"..

Norman Rockwell was a master story-teller. He's possibly one of the greatest examples of what I've been trying to express when I lecture about your story's all important "Image." (see Constructing a Story for a Short Film, Part 2) Your image needs to express that distinct conflict that will draw your viewer in. It's simply something that makes your image interesting, and worthy of constructing a story around.
In Norman Rockwell's "Road Block", we have a classic Rockwellian storyline. The conflict is clear. The little dog is not moving out of the way of the massive truck. Contrasts are abundant. The most obvious is the large truck and the little dog. Furthermore, the large, bald, rough and gritty truck driver gently attempting to lure the dog away, as the dog looks the other direction. The dog is completely unwilling to budge. The truck itself, with it's colossal height and perfect width to be wedged between tenement buildings, creates an unmistakable flavor of tension. Rockwell expertly placed the audience within the image, represented by all the bystanders, most of them bursting in laughter.  The numerous contrasts of this debacle are very humorous, and we are prompted to laugh along with the bystanders.

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