Monday, February 17, 2014

2014 OSCARS: American Hustle (2013) - For A Natural Jump in Space/Time

[Quick Summary: Two cons take down the mayor of NJ, and the feds.]

Once upon a time, I used too many sluglines, and for the wrong reasons.

You see...I didn't trust my readers.

Did they catch that we were moving from room to room?

Did they get we jumped ahead four hours?

I've found the best cure is to see how other writers do it.

Here's a good example of a space and time jump:

ex. "Irving sits holding court with some friends by the pool when he turns and sees Sydney for the first time. [Where are they in relation to each other?]

PUSH IN ON: Irving. He looks up, they lock eyes across the party.  [Ah ha! "Across the party" = across the room.]

SYD REACHES FOR A SLICE OF FRUIT ON HIGH SET PLATE WHEN IRVING'S HAND GRABS HER ARM -- she turns, taken aback -  [Irving must have moved if he's close enough to touch.]"

This flow really works:
- First, they spot each other.
- We then see their locations are across the room.
- So the next time they are together, it makes sense that space/time has passed.

Also, I liked how the audience gets to put 2 + 2 together for themselves.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: For a space/time jump to feel natural, it has to be set up properly with a logical progression (see each other --> opposite side of room --> see them together).

American Hustle (2013)
by Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell

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