Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it – Proverb 22:6
Syd Field has been quiet masculine in telling others that a series of scenes is connected by one single idea: a wedding, a funeral; a chase, a race; an election; a reunion; an arrival or departure; a coronation; a bank holdup. The sequence is a specific idea which can be expressed in a few words or less. The specific idea, like a “race” – the Indianapolis 500, for example – is a unit, or block, of dramatic action contained within the idea [math]; it is the context, the space that holds the content, like an empty coffee cup. Once we establish the context of the sequence, we build it with content, or the specific details needed to create the sequence.
The sequence is the skeleton of the screenplay because it holds everything in place; you can literally “string,” or “hang,” a series of scenes together to create chunks of dramatic action.
Think about it!
Suppose you want to open your film with a WEDDING sequence. Let’s utilize the concept of context and content. The context is wedding. Let’s create content.
We started with the idea [math] of wedding, that’s the context, then created the content, and we’ll end up with five to eight pages of screenplay.
All you need to know is the idea behind the sequence, the context; and in order to create a series of scenes, the content. Once the context is determined – like a Church with it’s the purposes, place, and time – then the content follows. The content of the scene now becomes part of the context.
Context, remember, holds the content in place, all the scenes, dialogue, description, shots, and special effects that make up a screenplay. Everything in this unit of action sets up everything to follow.
Context holds the content in place”. Here’s the plates’ showing Gregoriana Universita’s ‘Archives’. The paintings are there for us to interpret.