Meaningful cinematic organization of screenplays’ opening scenes after FADE IN is the best way to attract, keep, entertain and add value to any film audience’s perception of reality.
In fact, any audience’s enjoyment of movies as presented by the cinematographer’s camera shots, prompted by the director is a translation of any screenwriter’s skillfully written opening scenes. The cinematographer interprets director’s directives to add meaning to the screenwriter’s pursuit of meaningful showing of conflict among movie characters. How then should the screenwriter impact deepest meaning to add value to audience entertainment?
How should the audience perceive protagonist’s goal or pursuit in cinematic terms? Unlike pure storybook narration, the screenwriter shows rather than tell his or her story. The screenwriter gives the audience a completely fine-tuned opportunity to see it all in pictures. In fact, no matter how unreliable movie visuals might be, the audience does not entirely dispute what feeds its naked eyes.
To that extent the screenwriter vis-à-vis the cinematographer and director can afford to present sequences of scenic images put together to tell the story. Indeed, some fantasy world can be embellished and communicated by the screenwriter and perceived as reality by the audience. This results in deeper meaning, which serves to help the physical list of material expressions. This becomes make-believe world, using objects, attitude, habit and actions; so that a romantic comedy or horror movie identifies and defines the protagonist and antagonist among other characters.
A combination of certain best images, narrative contexts and genre conventions drives meaning for the audience. These presents and sets up the protagonist journey to unfold the conflict in screenplays’ opening scenes. Indeed, a meaningful subconscious visual invitation via protagonist or lead character’s outward appearance and behavior grips audience’s emotions. That is why captivated movies audiences become part of the protagonist’s story at the beginning of any movie. Even audiences also get involve in some Moral Premise Statement (MPS).
This presents the protagonist’s choice of goodness against the antagonist’s evil; a motivation to pursue a certain goal. At the core of every successful movie story therefore is borne some conflict of values, generally understood by the audience to accept or reject. This again comes from some set of active experiences or backstory, usually called social or cultural mentality; a guide to how to perceive and react to values.
Generally, such value, Moral Premise Statement (MPS) awareness can be situated accordingly in the following generic form:
i. [an emotional corruption] leads to [physical damage]
ii. [an emotional morality] leads to [physical progress].
- Forfeit of right leads to oppression; but being willing to die for liberty leads to freedom. —BRAVEHEART (F, 1995, Mel Gibson).
-Fighting danger alone leads to weakness and defeat; but Fighting danger as a family leads to strength and victory. —THE INCREDIBLES (F, 2004, Brad Bird).
These are expressed audiences’ liberation from empathized Moral Premise Statement, MPS by the screenwriter, spoken through related, defining and graphic scenic visuals of the protagonist’s motivation, purpose and oncoming conflict.
However, the following rules act as guide to the hero or protagonist journey:
i. The values must be polar opposites.
ii. Every main character must be challenged by the same MPS in the various aspects of their lives.
iii. The MPS must be absolutely true in the everyday experience of the audience you're trying to reach.
Indeed, any movie has a chance to succeed, if the opening scene among others and character present the subconscious truth of the MPS. It means the screenwriter vis-à-vis the director and cinematographer have evoked emotions visually and morally to the true emotional experiences of the audience. The screenwriter’s skill at graphic visualization definitive of story context and protagonist’s appeal trait should provoke and connect audience’s emotion and moral feel.