Use the Tab and Up, Down arrow keys to select menu items.
What is involved in telling a story for the screen? This course is an introduction to key theoretical concepts and practical issues essential to storytelling in the film, game, and interactive media sectors. Topics include concept and story structure (including linear and branching narrative, thematic cohesion, plot and character development, the role of dialogue, and scripting). Practical issues covered include camera movement, framing and angles, lighting, and the use of colour and sound, the role of the audience and the effect of game mechanics in storytelling. A key theme of the course is an introduction to the ethics of storytelling: what stories do we want to tell, who tells them, and how do we ensure stories are told appropriately?
The overarching question for this course is: What is involved in telling a story for the screen? This question is addressed in 3 cross-cutting themes: 1) What are the key structural and practical components of stories on the digital screen? 2) What are key digital screen storytelling processes? And 3) What ethical issues do we need to consider in digital screen storytelling?To address these questions, the following topics are covered in lectures and tutorials, with supporting readings and group discussion: • The historical and cultural importance of storytelling• Introduction to stories and storytelling for the digital screen• What stories? Whose stories? Storytelling and world view• Storytelling and te ao Māori• Storytelling and the Pacific• The components of a story for the digital screen• The beginning: ideas, concepts, themes• Story types (e.g. linear, branching, generative)• Understanding plots• Imagining characters• Creating worlds• Language and dialogue in storytelling• More than words: camera movement, framing, angles, and lighting, & the role of the audience• More than words: light and sound in storytelling• Representing people and places: stereotypes and tropes• Impactful stories: digital screen stories as changemakers
On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:Critique storytelling concept, style and elements in films and games, to an introductory levelAnalyse structure, plot and character development Demonstrate how stories are created by more than words (e.g. with lighting and sound)Discuss the ethics of storytelling, to an introductory levelFollow appropriate conventions to begin to produce a concept or short script for a digital screen production
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Biculturally competent and confident
Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Domestic fee $916.00
International fee $4,488.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see