Friday, January 17, 2014


The minimum necessary information the audience needs to understand in order to participate in the story. The amount of this information varies from movie to movie. Usually high-concept movies need to explain the rules (Groundhog Day), science-fiction movies need to explain the foreign concepts (Blade Runner) and heist/caper films tend to spend a lot of time explaining how the thieves are going to break into their intended target. (Ocean’s Eleven).

And, then, of course there are movies that are all three of these things (Inception). Good luck with that. (Seriously though, this is why almost half of Inception is straight-out exposition.)

Good writers bury Exposition into Funny Situations or Heated Arguments. As long as you entertain your audience, a little bit of information dump is not going to hurt anyone. Another way to do it is make sure it’s Visually Exciting (Morpheus showing Neo what Matrix is, Cobb talking about the rules of the dream-world as Paris folds onto itself in Inception).

Note: You can always skip exposition and have the audience play catch-up. This is a risky technique best suited for independent movies (Primer, Mulholland Drive) but it has resulted in some pretty unique stories. Although, note that almost every single movie in this category is made by a writer/director.

I write this blog in order to connect with intelligent, ambitious, and creative people. If you leave a comment, you will inspire me to write more. If you liked the article, please share it.

No comments:

Post a Comment