h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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Many films have predictable endings and plots but are
nonetheless enjoyable for that. Sometimes it's impossible
to finish watching a DVD, because of scratches, dirt or the
fact that you did something dodgy to acquire the data, or
just because you run out of time.
In the nineteenth century,
Georges Polti wrote a book
called the Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations, outlining what he
saw as the thirty-six possible plots. It wasn't quite that
simple, since clearly the likes of protagonists and settings
need to be outlined too. However, there is frequently a
Hero, Passion, an Error and so forth.
My proposition is therefore as follows: each DVD should
include multiple copies of a six-bit unsigned number for
the dramatic situation along with appropriate pointers to
the Hero (e.g. a sprite representing Tom Cruise or Meg
Ryan), a large still digital image of the setting ("Los
Angeles, November 2019" or "Middle Earth") and so on. If
the DVD fails in some way or the user presses the
appropriate button on the remote, the video is abandoned
and a crude animation with captions, appropriate music
and so on is played summing up the rest of the plot
according to the dramatic situation specified.
If you're really short of time, it just generates a comic
strip and blue tooths it to your mobile and you can just
look at it as you dash out of the door.
Differing voices on the "number" of fundamental plots.
[zen_tom, Nov 04 2010]
||How about just a little leaflet with the plot and dénouement described briefly, tucked into the DVD case?
||The first page could describe the premise a little better than the outside of the box does, the second page give the time of all explosions and sex scenes, the next page describe the plot resolution, and the last page a critical analysis of the symbology of the film.
||(My spell-checker doesn't recognize the word "symbology" or know to spell "dénouement" with the "é". I am either a film nerd or just messed up.)
||Taking the links into consideration, the number is in dispute but i think it may be a matter of detail.
||// Why not just watch half a film at a time ? //
||Because the other half may not be available.
||[Bigsleep], that diagram makes me think of Dead Poets' Society.