“Liar! Liar! Liar!”

Some movie producers, writers or creative executives rely on grannies’ village folktales, while others transform media news stories for their next movie story! But they there are other sources of stories to explore and interest any film audience. However, wherever and whenever that creative spark happens, the story should have a clearly defined genre and interpret message focus (theme or controlling idea).


Example:

Genre: Drama

Theme(s):

- Community

-Civics

-Mutuality


Genres are categories, classifications, similar, familiar film groupings. They are also patterns, styles, templates, archetypes or artistic practices. Crime, horror, sci-fi, war or westerns could be based on stock characters. These are usually popular and frequently identified movie characters.


Filming techniques and formats also result in certain genres. Therefore lighting, camera angles, shooting and editing styles also classify movies; more so story-lines, themes and plots. The use of music and sound to enhance or emphasize moods identify genres too.


The guiding idea or theme, the heartbeat or value, more or less the DNA or seed, which holds the story together is dependent on the writer, producer or filmmaker’s statement. In fact to think the writer or producer should not make a statement or have opinion is good reason, why some movies miss informing and educating audiences apart from entertainment. Therefore any filmmaker without an opinion or clear statement of purpose to influence his or her audience deserves to be called-out, ‘Liar! Liar! Liar!’


The writer and producer should indeed have a social obligation while telling any story. That obligation determines who or what the story is all about. And this is where we clearly know our protagonist vis-à-vis antagonist, who drive stories’ conflicts. Really, we the audience get entertained, informed and educated in shared experience from these two opposing characters;’ trying to resolve their misunderstanding and struggle till ending. At the end of the day, we hate, love or live the filmmaker’s opinion, statement or impersonate movie characters.


The protagonist vis-à-vis antagonist therefore engage in a grand debate to explain theme as basis or genesis of any given story. It is then possible to link an average story theme to pertinent events, issues, personalities or places. That way every screenplay is worth its audience, if it reflects target audiences’ experiences; possibly exaggerate such to heighten entertainment. Consequently while entertainment is the filmmaker’s most desired goal, it is very important to add value to inform and educate targeted audiences. A better understanding of the theme and the protagonist’s goal via the writer, producer, creative executive or filmmaker’s vision or mission will add that value. So what should be the average creative or filmmaker’s goal?


More often than not our personal experiences jump-start the inspirations mentioned earlier. It could make sense to have a bullet-points outline of story objectives.


Example:


Objectives:-

Act 1

- Define high school environment as a community with its unique morals.


Act 2

- Demonstrate what the school as a community should impress on outsiders.

- Impress integrity as an essential to belong in the school community.

- Demonstrate how integrity develops a living code and beneficial lifestyle in a high school community; being one another's keeper.

- Feature an outstanding school kid, who embodies service and the saving of decent lifestyle against education corruption.


Act 3

- Build model individual character as principle for any school community.


These summarize the story’s beginning, middle and end or climax. Aligning such objectives with Aristotle’s Three Act Structure or applicable plot structure consequently becomes useful. But not without writing the best logline to summarize the story idea, interest the producer or executive producer, who provides the funding. Accordingly there is great reward for the storyteller, who writes a fund-able story logline with obvious stakes, risks or benefits to the protagonist. https://www.filmlab.ng/post/sales-tools-story-visualization-with-logline-synopsis-and-tagline. The more risks the protagonist experiences and overcomes the more the conflict grows; more so the entertainment value for the movie audience. And we must not miss the fact that such conflicts should reflect the filmmaker’s story motif, theme or message.


As we launch our stories, loglines, synopses and treatments, will state, summarize and outline layered conflicts among and between movie story characters. Our characters’ experiences so outlined, enrich and build the screenplay.


Examples:

Logline:

A young thief, seeking revenge for the death of his brother, is trained by the once great, but aged Zorro, who also pursues vengeance of his own.

1. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120746/plotsummary?ref_=tt_stry_pl(1998)

2. https://thescriptlab.com/script-library/the-mask-of-zorro-1994-treatment-pdf/









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