The heart of a truly great film is its story. Everything that goes into making a film, from costume choices to special effects, is there to reinforce the story being told. Join us to take a look at what makes for great storytelling for film, including structure, characterization, film language, understanding your audience and more!
What Makes Great Storytelling For Film?
One of the most important elements of great storytelling for film is how the story is told. Making choices about the timing of events can heighten their impact and leave your audience reeling. Great movies should throw curveballs that you don’t see coming, and have a structure that isn’t too confusing to follow.
The standard structure for any kind of storytelling is to introduce your characters, setting and genre at the start. Any problems should be encountered afer this, somewhere in the middle of the story. The end involves the issues being resolved (or not, in some cases).
If you’ve got a brilliant story, think about what would happen if you began your film with the ending, and worked backwards. Try experimenting with the timing of events, and how the sequence can impact the audience’s perception of the characters or events.
Use Of Film Language
In the same way that humans communicate through actions, gestures and spoken word, there is a specific language used in film. This includes shot types, what is in the frame, dialogue, actor’s expressions, directorial choices, camera movements and lighting, sound and editing choices.
The best movies have something different about them, whether it’s fresh, original dialogue or interesting shots. Take the movie Requiem For A Dream, for example. What’s so memorable about this movie is the fast, hip-hop montage style shots that speed up over time to mirror the character’s struggles with addiction. Throw in the split screen shots, flashbacks and intense close-ups that really heighten the movie’s gritty edge.
Experimenting with film language can take your film to the next level. If you want to convey the feelings of a character, why not try something different? An example could be using little to no dialogue in a scene to allow the audience to formulate their own ideas about the subtext instead. Try some experimental or interesting film shots and see how they push the narrative along and create memorable moments of interest for the viewer.
Grabbing The Audience’s Attention Quickly
In the modern world, everything moves quickly. Your story may be awesome but if it takes too long to get into, you might lose your audience before you’ve got going. Capturing audience’s attention fast has never been more important, and with so much competition out there, you need to act fast.
Pay particular attention to the first 10 pages of your script, setting a good pace and showcasing original characters. Remember that when reading the script, you should want to read on and be gripped. Ask somebody to read your script and ask them if they want to continue on after 10 pages. If so, that feeling will translate tenfold in your film.
Knowing Your Characters
Your characters are the vehicle that will carry your story, and drive home the events to the viewer. If you think of your favorite movies, you will remember the quirky or interesting characters in it. That’s why characterization and casting your characters is so important.
To do this:
- Avoid stereotypes, and try to come up with characters that are original
- Give your characters interesting backstories and traits
- Create your characters in a way that actors will be compelled to investigate them further, and want to play them
- Focus on character development
- Make your characters relatable (whether they are a hero or villain figure)
Understanding Your Audience
As with any content you create, understanding your audience is an extremely important step. Who will want to watch this movie? What age are they, what do they like doing and what interests them? Doing market research will help you fine-tune your film’s screenplay to make it irresistible to your target audience.
See if you can gather some stats from any films that are in any way similar to yours (or even the same genre). From this, you can deduce who usually enjoys the genre, and who you can tailor your screenplay to. Also, check out our guide to content creation and how to appeal to your audience.
A Memorable Ending
Some films are memorable because they don’t have a great ending. That’s fine if you don’t want your viewers to come back to the film again, but if you truly want to delve into great storytelling for film, your ending is important. This is the final, lasting impression you will give your viewers, and there should be a sense of resolution. Even if the film doesn’t end ‘happily’, that doesn’t mean there can’t be some sense of completion or resolution.
Think about how movies in your chosen genre usually end. See if you can tweak this to make it more interesting whilst still providing some closure for your audience (without being too predictable).
How Audiosocket Can Help Filmmakers
Audiosocket always want to help filmmakers in any way we can, such as with finding music for your films!
If you are looking for authentic, top-quality music for your films, why not check out Audiosocket? Your content deserves the best, so sign up today and access tens of thousands of songs to bring your vision to life! You can access Audiosocket’s music catalog for just $15 a month as a Personal creator. Not only that, but this allows you to license an unlimited number of tracks at no additional cost. Talk about win-win!