1. blondelion
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    blondelion New Member

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    Puzzle Films

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by blondelion, Mar 17, 2013.

    Hello! I'm writing a screenplay for a work my friend and I will direct next year. The story will involve multiple plot lines and be a combination of found footage/straight film. The story itself is straightforward for the most part, but there is a lot more going on that won't explicitly be stated and the audience will have to figure that out on their own (think Donnie Darko). My question is, how much should actually be revealed, and how much should be left out for the audience to come up with their own conclusion without seeming like a cop out?

    I'm going to constantly add new information that will change the entire perspective of what happened before, but the information I'll leave to the audience is more of the workings of the world, why and how certain things are happening instead of what's happening, if that makes any sense. So I'll give the basic gist, but I definitely want it to be a work that makes the audience think long after it's over. Any tips on that as well? Thanks guys, this is a great forum!
     
  2. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Many great movies have done that successfully like Inception. But there have been others that failed miserably attempting to do just the same, like the Matrix. You have to keep consistent as you go, you can't just spit out new concepts as the movie goes on, or the audience will label you a fraud. I like leaving the theater and still having to think to understand what i watched, but i don't like it when there are 15 different plotlines none of which makes sense bundled in one film.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no forumla, no 'right' or 'wrong' amount of this or that... no one can tell you if you've got enough or too much/too little without reading the completed script...

    doesn't sound like anything i'd bother seeing, or be happy with if i had... movie audiences don't want to be left wondering and scratching their heads when they leave the theater, having no clue what the bloomin' thing was about... and producers won't sink good money into a convoluted 'think piece' script by a new and unknown writer...
     
  4. blondelion
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    blondelion New Member

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    Thank you for your reply, you made me realize how badly I worded my description. What I meant was that the film will offer new details on old events, ie you'll see that a character was present at an important event when you didn't know they were and so forth, changing the perspective on the whole story. Twists basically. The story will be easy to follow, it's just that the reasoning behind certain events will need to be figured out by the audience, they'll know what's going on though. That said, would you mind if I pm you some more details? I have it all pretty much figured out, but I still need to figure out how to link/accomplish a few things.

    Thanks guys for the input! Let me know if you'd like me to review any of your stuff!
     
  5. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Well assuming that all of your subplots tie into your main plot, when you reveal something to the audience, whether it be another subplot or an answer to a question, it should really do 3 things:

    1. evoke an emotion
    2. give the audience a piece of the "bigger" puzzle
    3. put the audience on a new path towards another question, but keep on same path as main plot

    If you're missing 1. then you're audience will feel detatched from the film. If you're missing 2. then the audience will have acquired useless information. If you miss 3. then the audience is left confused and is simply observing instead of thinking, not to mention the movie will most likely not end very well.

    As for leaving out answers, as long as the audience can actually "solve" the grand master puzzle of the main plotline, any other information can be left to be guessed at. To be honest, I haven't thought about this enough to say much more.

    It is true that there is no clear-cut formula when doing this stuff, but there is a basic one that's formed out of an audience's expectations. This is just the result of my experience watching successful/unsuccessful puzzle movies and in no way am I telling this is how to do it. This is just how I would do it.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't do pms, but you can send it as an email attachment, if you want... to:

    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     

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