Scene (film)

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A scene (in the German film production often referred to as image called) is part of a film , as well as act , sequence and setting .

While the terms setting and sequence refer to a continuity of observation resulting from the handling of the camera or the assembly , the term scene refers to the continuity of the observed action - to a connection between time, place and figures that sometimes it is more apparent from the script than from the finished film or only emerges in the mind of the viewer who is trying to deduce a logic of action.

For example, parts of a film plot in the same location that take place at different times are also different scenes. Likewise, actions taking place in parallel at different locations are separate scenes, even if they are e.g. B. are interconnected by telephone calls. In this case, the scenes must also be marked accordingly once in the script using scene headings. The second scene heading is given the addition "INTERCUT". This makes it clear that there is often a cut back and forth between these two scenes without starting a new scene each time.

A scene consists of at least one camera shot. The higher-level unit is the sequence. This consists of at least one scene and links this or several scenes to a logical unit of action, such as B. the sequence of a chase. The assembly sequence is a special case: here, several scenes, each of which often only consist of a single camera shot, are cut in quick succession. In special cases such as the dream sequences , a conventional scene classification cannot always be applied conclusively. The unity of the scene, which is usually required in the theater, can appear unnecessarily complicated due to the montage in the film, but still makes sense from a production perspective.

In contrast to the theater, the division of a film into acts has more of a technical meaning than a content-related meaning and is only historical in the age of digitization. This makes the scene the most important unit of action in the film, whereas in the stage drama this is the act .

The division of a film into scenes is made at the stage of treating a script. The subdivision of a scene into shots occurs in the course of the scenic resolution and is recorded by a floor plan, a shot list and, especially in the case of trick or action scenes, by a storyboard .

Types of scenes

The specialist literature distinguishes between two types of scenes: the action-centered scenes and the person-centered scenes.

Action-centered scenes focus on answering the question "How do the people shown act?" In person-centered scenes, the viewer's attention is drawn to the characters, their thoughts, motivations and emotions and less to the actual plot of the story ( see also: Antextbild ).

There is the idea among dramaturges to distinguish the theme-centered scene as a further type of scene. The importance of such scenes for the overall work lies more on the presentation of the topic than on the advancement of the plot or the development of the characters. However, this idea has not been sufficiently explored.


  • James Monaco: Understanding Film , Rowohlt, Reinbek b. Hamburg 1990, pp. 202-211, 409. ISBN 3-499-16271-7
  • Heiko Raschke: Scenic resolution , UVK, Konstanz 2013, p. 21 & p. 122ff, ISBN 978-3-86764-356-6
  • Martin Schabenbeck: The screenplay in Hollywood format , mediabook Verlag Reil, Heidelberg 2008, ISBN 978-3-89864-530-0

See also