July 5, 2019

What Is Motif in Film and How Do You Use Them to Tell Better Stories?

The motif in a film is the next level that gets everyone talking. But how can you utilize it in your writing and directing?

We’ve covered the ideas of the theme in writing, but I wanted to talk about something that commonly gets confused with the theme; the idea of a motif in film. Motif covers all genres. It’s that little something special that adds to the depth and meaning in your film. It’s the thing that film scholars will talk about for ages.

And it can set your work apart from the crowd.

Today we’re going to go over motif in film history, look at a few examples of motifs and leitmotifs, and talk about some spectacular films.

Let’s begin with a question…

What is a motif in film?

Motif in film definition

The motif refers to the recurring thematic elements in a film. These elements must be repeated in a significant way or a way that conveys a purposeful pattern.

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Source: NoFilmSchool