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Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Fallacies of The Young!

1. Plots are old-fashioned. A story with a plot is contrived, artifical and boring.

2. When you start writing a script, just begin at the beginning without trying to plan how it will end. Planning isn’t necessary. It’s much better to be spontaneous. Improvise as you go along.

3. The most boring thing of all is to be obvious. It’s much more interesting to be ambiguous. Leave it to the audience to work out what you mean. Why does everything have to be explained?

4. Ideas and issues are what interest me. That’s where I like to start: from an idea. I don’t really care much about the characters so much.

5. I think the most interesting theme nowadays is alienation. That’s what true to life because everybody is alienated nowadays. A character that wants to do things, or who has something he wants to achieve is somehow phoney, or corny.

6. I like symbolism. I don’t see the point of characters that are realistic. It’s much more interesting when they’re abstract.

7. I like to play with scenes of fantasy rather than reality. I like dream sequences and flashbacks. It’s more interesting when you play around with time.

Remarks like this are very common from students, though they are often expressed in very much more complicated language. Let me say that all these comments make sense to me. I really do understand and respect the points of view being expressed here... But they are not compatible with the subject I teach here... The truth is I cannot help you explore what is often called Modernism. The craft of storytelling is rather un-Modernist.
-- Alexander Mackendrick on Film-Making

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