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5 Best Kept Secrets to Film Success! Written by: Jordan Rasmussen Where Story is King. www.FilmPostCollective.com

Don't make a film without knowing these filmmaking tips. 1. The use of an establishing shot There are some important facts for your audience to know. Where are they? What are they doing there? An establishing shot sets up the audience and the character for what is happening so far. Maybe you have heard work inside to out or outside to in. Start with a close up shot and work your way to wider shots. This brings curiosity to an audience and is quite confusing. Use this correctly and your audience is pinned to their chairs. Outside to in means you start with a wide establishing shot and move to inside or closer shots which establishes place and time. 2. Establish the rules of your world Sci-Fi movies, a horror film, a fantasy or a romantic comedy all have certain style and rules to those worlds. Some worlds have magical powers or are a glimpse of the future where time travel is possible. By establishing the rules of your world/film the audience will agree to them. They will accept that in "Harry Potter" magic is normal, that a train station is a portal to a magic school that no "muggle" ever knows about. "Harry Potters" world is a place where unicorns, secret books, clues, and enormous spiders are common. If all the sudden "Terminator" appears half way through the film you will lose your audience and you will lose their suspension of disbelief. They no longer trust you or the characters or the world they were once familiar with. It is essential for the audience to understand what is possible in the world you have created as the director, writer, editor, filmmaker etc. Do not cheat your audience. Lay down the rules in the first act and stay true to them. 3. Introduce the main character gradually In nearly every great film the main character is introduced gradually. They usually come from behind the shadows or we see their backsides first... I don't have all the answers on this one. But, if you look closely and pay attention you will see this over and over again in just about every single film. If anything this surely creates curiosity and curiosity killed the cat you know! It drives us to want to learn more and once we see that characters face for the first time, we have been hooked. 4. Parallel Action/Cross-Cutting When two pieces of action are presented simultaneously. How is this helpful? This can create tension. It is a great way to build hope or fear for your audience. It will help the audience gain


certain insights, perspective, suspense, parallels, relations, and more. This is a filmmakers must have in every film. 5. Setups and Payoffs A setup and payoff is essential a setup and payoff. A seemingly irrelevant detail that is later brought to life with more meaning and importance to a character or story. Pay attention to the details. "Back to the Future" has setup after setup after payoff after payoff. How about the very beginning of the first film when the entire family is in the house eating breakfast. Possibly the biggest setup and payoff is that stupid "Save the clock tower" flyer Marty is given. That is how Marty gets back to the present time later in the film by using the exact date and time to direct the bolt of lighting to the Delorean. Here is another one. Setup; Marty's entire family are losers and don't seem to be very successful and put together. Biff is in charge and bossing George McFly around. Payoff; The end of the film Marty's family is successful and put together. Biff is now waxing the car and George is in charge. He makes Biff do a third coat of wax. This is what brings great joy to watching movies and you and your audience has had those "aha moments." They are beautiful and so satisfying. (Read more about "Back to the Future") Knowing these rules means you can break them. But, these rules have been proven and are found in nearly every single successful film that has ever been made. Can you break them? Yes. As a young filmmaker should you break them? Probably not. Using them will enhance, clarify, strengthen, and fulfill your audience’s needs and expectations. This is what they are for and they work. By knowing these rules you will be able to use them to your advantage and know when you should break them. For example when you want to disorient your audience you break the 180 degree rule and cross the line. Knowing and living by these rules will help you recognize them in other films when they are there and when they are missing. Is the director using them to enhance the story and the cinematic experience for the audience? Or is the director an amateur? It is a fine balance and need to be taken seriously and cautiously. A confused audience is an unsatisfied audience and they are unforgiving. Read More at: www.FilmPostCollective.com  


5 Best Kept Secrets to Film Success