Making Movies That Don’t Stink – Hook ‘em In
All at once, your senses come alive. Your ears ache from the unmistakeable rumble of an automobile engine. Your nostrils fill with the unmistakeable scent of gasoline. Your eyes haven’t had time to adjust to the daylight, but you recognize that a black Cadillac is bearing down on your position.
Your head is ringing like a fire bell, and you’ve just woken up on the freeway. How? Why?
The mystery will wait to be answered. Now, you need to survive.
Was that a good way to begin a story?
(let’s just say it’s good.)
Now, read the following:
I went out friday night with my friends. They gave me a glass filled with what I thought was iced tea. We talked, and we told some jokes. Then I started to feel a little strange. I think things got a little crazy, and you’re not going to believe what happened next…
Uhh. That last one stunk?
Exactly. The first story beginning hooked you in because you found yourself in the middle of action right away.
(I like action. People like action. You like action. If you don’t like action, then pretend you like action.)
- So the action amps the reader up, and provides a reason to keep reading. How did this guy end up on the freeway? What’s he going to do next?
The second story beginning stunk because you’re told, right off the bat most of the details.
- The reader can easily fill in the details on their own, and they have no reason to continue.
When you’re making your own movie, don’t make it stinky.
Drop your viewers into some action right away.
Also remember that movies are a visual medium. The more action you can show, the more compelling your movie will be.
(Hey that’s a song by Rush- Show Me, Don’t Tell Me… and my nerd factor just ratcheted up another notch.)
If you can hook your audience into your story right off the bat, then that does NOT STINK at all.
Class dismissed. (Go make an awesome home movie.)