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									Investigative Drama

  Dramatic
Commentary
       Created by L Purvis
          Dramatic Commentary
• As part of your Investigative Drama unit you must
  complete a Dramatic Commentary for the scene you
  have scripted and directed.

• Some pupils may have scripted and directed more than
  one scene and if this is the case you have to choose a
  scene to base your Dramatic Commentary on.

• However, if your scene is less than two full pages in
  length, you may have to also complete a commentary
  for another scene you have directed.
                        Created by L Purvis
           Dramatic Commentary
•A Dramatic Commentary is basically your directorial notes for
an extract or in this unit your scene(s).

•It will involve you completing directorial notes for your actors
on voice and movement and will also include the blocking for
your scene(s).

•The commentary will also require you to justify your
direction, giving reasons behind your notes to your actors.

•Finally, the commentary will also require you to identify and
justify the technical effects you will use in your scene(s).

                           Created by L Purvis
        Dramatic Commentary
• To help you to write your commentary
  accurately you are given three columns which
  are headed:

• "Moves and Interpretative Notes for Actors"
• "Justification"
• "Technical Effects"


                    Created by L Purvis
                Dramatic Commentary
The allocation of marks for each column are as follows:

•   Moves etc. - 7 marks
•   Justification - 7 marks
•   Technical Effects - 2 marks

•   You must also draw a ground plan of the set relating to your scene(s). This should
    contain the following information:

•   A plan view of the set.
•   An indication of exits and entrances for the actors.
•   The starting positions of the actors at the commencement of the extract.
•   The position of the audience in relation to the stage or acting area.
•   A suitable key relating to the above.

•   The total for the Ground Plan is 4 marks.
•   The Commentary will be marked out of 20, pass mark being 10 marks.


                                     Created by L Purvis
   Dramatic Commentary

 The following slides will
provide you with help and
examples to enable you to
complete the commentary
       successfully.
          Created by L Purvis
                     Dramatic Commentary
•Firstly you will have to number your script at the points where you want to
highlight a direction (see the example on the next slide).

• If you number your script firstly and then begin your directorial notes, you
won’t have to rub things out if you don’t have enough points. You need
approximately 20-25 directorial points.

•When you have numbered your script with your directorial points you are
ready to begin explaining your direction in the commentary columns.

•Your ‘Moves and interpretative notes’ should be numbered to match the
script and should then correspond to your justification for the move (in the
justification column).

•Take a new column for each page, it will help you to follow your directorial
notes and make it easier to read.



                                  Created by L Purvis
(A)(B)(1) Ella: I need to see the fairy godmother, it’s an emergency.

(2) PA: Do you have an appointment, because the fairy godmother works on a strict
appointment only basis now?

Ella: No, no please. I must see her.

PA: Well I’m afraid she’s on holiday, sorry about that, I could give you 2pm next Tuesday?(3)

Ella: But the ball is tomorrow… (4)

PA: Well I couldn’t just let her go like that. (5) Ok come on in, now sit down, take a deep
breath and tell me what has happened.

Ella: (6) My name is Ella but my evil step mother and two ugly step sisters call me Cinder –
Ella because my clothes are always covered in cinders from the fire. They are so mean to me
(7) I have to cook, clean, iron and sew for them and that’s just the start of my daily chores
and they just sit around all day and have fun poking fun at me. But to make matters even
worse I now have to make them dresses to wear to the Royal Ball, the ball that I am not
allowed to go to. (8) (C)


                                           Created by L Purvis
                  Beginning your commentary
             ‘Moves and interpretative notes column’
• As you answer you need to write in detail, think exactly what you would get
the actors to do.

• You must use voice, movement and blocking terminology.

• Your first direction should always be the opening positions of the
characters.

• Your first justification should set the scene and establish the mood and
situation.

• Make sure that your last moves note is at the very end of the extract, to
show you have finished.

 SEE AN EXAMPLE OF A COMPLETED MOVES COLUMN ON THE NEXT SLIDE



                                  Created by L Purvis
 Moves and interpretative           Justification         Technical effects
    notes for actors
1) The scene is set in an office.
There is a table and chair U.S.R
and three chairs to represent a
couch U.S.L. Ella enters from
U.S.L. She has and upset facial
expression and tone of voice.
The P.A crosses from U.S.R to
U.S.L to answer the door. He
has a matter of fact tone and
impatient expression.
2) The P.A speaks in abrupt tone
and crosses to the table U.S.R.
He begins to check the diary on
the table. Ella follows him, her
body language is closed and she
has a pleading expression.

3) The P.A scrolls in an
exaggerated fashion through the
diary. He looks up with a
nervous smile. Ella stands with a
hopeful expression.
                                    Created by L Purvis
          Beginning your commentary:
            Justifying your direction
•In your justification, try to think along the lines of ‘what is this showing?’
State how your directorial moves highlight the themes of the play, the
characters relationships and the situation they find themselves in.

•What do your directorial moves tell us about the characters thoughts,
feelings and attitudes?

•Mention if your direction is used to highlight humour in the play.

• Do not just repeat your directorial move, try to show a bigger picture in
terms of the message of the play, plot and characters.

           SEE AN EXAMPLE OF JUSTIFICATION ON THE NEXT SLIDE




                                   Created by L Purvis
 Moves and interpretative                           Justification                 Technical effects
    notes for actors
1) The scene is set in an office.        1) This is to convey the setting of
There is a table and chair U.S.R and     the scene as an office. It also shows
three chairs to represent a couch        the impatient personalities of both
U.S.L. Ella enters from U.S.L. She has   characters. The P.A is trying to
and upset facial expression and tone     convey a higher status here.
of voice. The P.A crosses U.S.R to
U.S.L to answer the door. He has a
matter of fact tone and impatient
expression.
2) The P.A speaks in abrupt tone and     2) This establishes that the P.A is in
crosses to the table U.S.R. He begins    charge and is not that useful as he
to check the diary on the table. Ella    makes no attempt to help Ella.
follows him, her body language is        Conveying the theme of ‘control’.
closed and she has a pleading            Comedy is highlighted here in Ella’s
expression.                              disbelief at not getting an
                                         appointment. We see for the first
                                         time Ella’s child like personality.


3) The P.A scrolls in an exaggerated     3)This creates a tense atmosphere
fashion through the diary. He looks      to show the desperation of Ella to
up with a nervous smile. Ella stands     get an appointment. The P.A is
with a hopeful expression.               becoming uncomfortable with her
                                         presence.

                                                 Created by L Purvis
          Beginning your commentary:
                Technical effects
• Your technical effects should be given letters. These should also be marked
clearly on the script and should correspond to your justification (in the
justification column).

•The technical effects will detail the lighting and sound that you will use in
your scene(s).

•You should mark these on the script EXACTLY where they start and FINISH.

• In terms of lighting you should try to detail the lantern or type of light you
will use, the intensity of light, the colour of gel(s) and the area of stage that
will be lit.

•Any change in light must be highlighted. Its best not to over complicate your
lights in the commentary as it can take away from the two more detailed
columns.

                                   Created by L Purvis
      Beginning your commentary:
            Technical effects
•An example of your first technical effect may
be:

A) Lights up, Fresnel Lantern, amber gels, 75%
intensity, C.S.

A) Justification: It is the beginning of the play.
It is also set indoors. The mood is relaxed and
calm.

                     Created by L Purvis
      Beginning your commentary:
            Technical effects
• Your final technical effect has to also be
marked on the script and again it could
be:

B) Lights fade to blackout.

B) Justification: It is the end of the play.
                    Created by L Purvis
        Beginning your commentary:
              Technical effects
• The other technical effect element that you have to consider
would be if you are using any SFX or Music.
•This would just be added as another letter in your technical
effects column:

B) SFX of an ambulance siren.

B) Justification: This is to create realism and inform the
audience of the accident. It will also be used to create tension.

     SEE AN EXAMPLE OF ADDING LFX AND SFX INTO THE
      TECHNICAL EFFECTS COLUMN ON THE NEXT SLIDE

                           Created by L Purvis
 Moves and interpretative                                  Justification                     Technical effects
    notes for actors
1) The scene is set in an office. There is a   1) This is to convey the setting of the
table and chair U.S.R and three chairs to      scene as an office. It also shows the
represent a couch U.S.L. Ella enters from      impatient personalities of both
U.S.L. She has and upset facial                characters. The P.A is trying to convey a
expression and tone of voice. The P.A is a     higher status here.
matter of fact tone and impatient
expression.
                                               A) This is to show that it is the             A) Lights up at 75% intensity,
                                               start of the scene and is indoors.            amber gels on a Fresnel Lantern
                                                                                             C.S.
                                               B) This is used to start the scene            B) SFX of door bell.
                                               and set the play in location.
2) The P.A speaks in abrupt tone and           2) This establishes that the P.A is in
crosses to the table U.S.R. He begins to       charge and is not that helpful as he
check the diary on the table. Ella follows     makes no attempt to help Ella.
him, her body language is closed and she       Conveying the theme of ‘control’.
has a pleading expression.                     Comedy is highlighted here in Ella’s
                                               disbelief at not getting an appointment.
                                               We see for the first time Ella’s child like
                                               personality.


3) The P.A scrolls in an exaggerated           3)This creates a tense atmosphere to
fashion through the diary. He looks up         show the desperation of Ella to get an
with a nervous smile. Ella stands with a       appointment. The P.A is becoming
hopeful expression.                            uncomfortable with her presence.
                                               C) It is the end of the scene.                C) Lights fade to B/O

                                                           Created by L Purvis
        Dramatic Commentary
• Once you have completed your commentary
  you then have to draw a Ground Plan.
• The next few slides will remind you of the
  requirements for ground plans.
• The one difference from Standard Grade is
  that you must now include the opening
  positions of the characters.
• If they are due to enter during the scene they
  must be marked in the wings.
                     Created by L Purvis
                    Ground Plan
The ground plan must clearly show all of the following:

• logical staging

• a key

• positioning of the audience in relation to the acting area

• entrances and exits

• opening positions of characters for the extract

                           Created by L Purvis
                   Ground Plans
A delineation of the acting area indicates the boundaries of
the acting area. This is the shape to draw to represent this:




                          Created by L Purvis
                  Ground Plans
The position of audience may be indicated simply by the
word ‘audience’ in the appropriate place(s). There is no
need for drawings.




                     Audience

                         Created by L Purvis
              Ground Plans
The entrances/exits can be indicated by a door
symbol where a door flat would actually be
used:

                     OR
by arrows when walls/doors are imaginary or do
not exist:


                    Created by L Purvis
               Ground Plans
The viability of the set:

Sightlines must be considered, the set must
allow actors to move around the acting area,
entrances/exits must be clear and the
audience must be able to see the action and
actors.


                     Created by L Purvis
          Ground Plans

 Indication of scale refers to the
 relative proportions of items on
the set and the amount of acting
  area they occupy. NB. Exact
measurements are not required.


              Created by L Purvis
          Ground Plans
The key


The following slide shows some of
 the main symbols used in ground
plans. Symbols for any other items
 may be designed, and should be
    clearly explained in the key.
              Created by L Purvis
                       Key
         Rostrum                         Bed

         Treads                          Chair

          Door Flat                      Entrance/Exit

~~~~~~~ Tabs/Curtain                           Sofa
        Table


                   Created by L Purvis
        Ground Plan

• On the next slide there is
   an example of a ground
   plan based on the script
  used in this presentation.

           Created by L Purvis
              Ground Plan


                                       X2
         X1




~~~~~~                                ~~~~~~



               Audience


                Created by L Purvis
                        Key


           Treads                         Chair

            Door Flat                     Entrance/Exit

~~~~~~~ Tab line/Curtain                    Table


X1: P.A
X2: Ella
                    Created by L Purvis
          Good Luck!

You must now complete your own
commentary and ground plan and
    hand it into your teacher.




            Created by L Purvis

								
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