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Mid shot of a muddy and raggedly dressed man struggling and shouting. Soldiers in red are restraining him

A convict struggles with soldiers on the marshes

Download Extract from Chapter I:

Download storyboard template:

Identity and viewpoint

The novel is narrated by Pip, who is also the principal character. The narrative is therefore in the first person; it is also broadly chronological and linear (that is, it follows a timeline in chronological order). A first person narrative is a common style in a novel; however, this is difficult to adapt directly in a film, so the director must choose how to interpret this on screen.

  • Can you think of any ways that a particular character’s perspective might be conveyed in a film? Consider how sound, camerawork or editing might achieve this effect.

The early parts of the novel are Pip’s recollections of significant events in his childhood, starting with the most important event – the meeting with Magwitch in the churchyard. Once you have seen the film, consider how this scene was shot. Can you remember any ways in which the director managed to encourage sympathy for Pip during this scene?

Creative activity

Now read the corresponding section from the novel, on the right. Choose a short segment from this extract and create a storyboard of eight consecutive shots showing how this moment could be interpreted on screen to encourage an audience to feel close to, and sympathise with Pip. Annotate your storyboard in the appropriate places to explain how the camerawork, sound and editing would help achieve the intended effects.