Monday, June 17, 2013

TODAY'S NUGGET: Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) - Allowing the Reader to Add 2 + 2

[Quick Summary: A marked hitman reunites with his first love at their high school reunion.]

I love it when scripts allow the reader put 2 + 2 together.

(Pssssssssstttttt! It's also called "show not tell.")

Here's a great example in the introduction of Martin, the protagonist:

[The italics are my reactions to the script as I read it.]

- Camera focuses on a golf ball. [We're on a golf course.]
- We see yellow trousers. [This is a man.]
- He chips the ball into a hole. [He can play golf.]
- Hands clean the iron's face. [He's knows about golf.]
- "Both hands are gloved, instead of one, and the gloves are black." [WHOA. Wait a minute. Why are his gloves black and not white? Hitmen wear black gloves. Ah ha! He's a hitman.]

Note how the writers led me through the logical process.
1) They laid out the clues
2) The clues were bite sized, so that the reader could jump to the desired conclusion
3) They let me connect the dots

I loved that they trusted the reader to make those leaps.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: It's tough to fashion the right sized clue.

If it's too esoteric, the reader won't make the connection.

If it's too patently apparent, the reader feels insulted.

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
by D.V. deVincentis, S.K. Boatman, & John Cusak

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