Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Explosions vs. Emotions
A lot of my gripe with Hollywood is that there are way more explosions than there are emotions up on the screen. I can only wonder how many times that sentence, or one similar to that has been written in a blog.
I can tell you from personal experience it is because it's way easier for the writer. Knocking out explosions scripts spew out about as fast as you can type. Knocking out emotion scripts is gut-wrenchingly difficult. I am working on a script right now, a twist on the classic story of Faust, about a guy who sells his soul to the devil to further his career. My story could very easily include a lot of explosions and CGI. It might even be fodder for a summer blockbuster. A summer blockbuster that would leave you cold. You would not leave the theater having learned anything about yourself or the human condition, nor would you care if the main character won or lost whatever his goal was.
Although it is tempting to make your audiences hearts flutter while the main character defuses a bomb, it is far more gratifying for the writer and the audience, if you make their hearts flutter over some emotional obstacle the main character has to overcome. The hard part is opening up my soul and filling a hundred pages with my joys and sorrows. The real ones, the emotions we never admit to anyone, sometimes not even ourselves.
So, a few years from now when you are in the theater laughing and crying over the roller coaster ride that will become that year's best movie, and will garner me a multimillion dollar, multi-picture deal, and make my name a household word, remember this blog, and the angst that spilled out of Jim Troesh's blather.
Live long and help me prosper,