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Walking with a story

April 6, 2011

Pretend for a second that you are watching a movie and watch a scene where a man walks over to a building.

He gets out of a building and briskly walks over to another one. Then what? So? There is no story there, no depth. Is he happy or angry? Maybe he just got word that he got a raise and is walking to work in triumph, maybe he got in a fight with his wife and is walking over to the building where his lover lives… So many questions left unanswered.

A good writer, however, will be able to tell a story in just a few lines of a script. In a few actions from a character, a few words we can know all we need to know about a character’s past, present and future.

Take this scene from the movie Control into consideration:

 

In the minute and 36 seconds of that scene, an entire story just took place. The viewer can understand the character better. You see a young man walking defiantly. His hair is not put back at all, though he is wearing a tie…yet the collar in his coat is up. He takes out a cigarette and walks with a bit of a defiant beat. Then the climax…his back turns to the camera and you see the word HATE imprinted in bright bold letters in the back of his coat. Suddenly, this well dressed man is making a great statement. He then is seen walking into an employment office, where he flicks his cigarette before entering.

So, he doesn’t want to be there, he wants to yell out a statement to the world: full of hate, full of agony, full of fighting. He just doesn’t walk to an office, he carries one’s imagination along with him.

In other words, a viewer who watches this scene will most likely say “yes, I WANT to watch this movie!”

I commend the writers of this film. If they were able to make gold out of a man walking to an employment office, imagine what else they did with the entire film.

(Also to be commend is the direction and acting, not just the writing )

This is also why I want to take writing lessons, so that I can too see the magic behind the scripts. I literally look at my savings account and say “soon my pet, soon we’ll be taking a trip and into a writing class”.

In another note, if you are intrigued by this movie, it is called Control. It’s a film about the life of the late Ian Curtis, singer of a band called Joy Division, one of my favorite bands. The song in the scene is called No Love Lost.


I’m posting a little section of the film and Joy Division.

Anyways, Joy Division is great driving music, too I blast through the streets with them.

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