Monday, August 25, 2014

TODAY'S NUGGET: Following (1998) - Well-Rounded Characters in a Small Budgeted Film

[Quick Summary: A man follows thief and is drawn to criminal life, with unexpected consequences.]

I liked hearing what Christopher Nolan learned from his first film.

(What DO you do when your lead actor decides to shave his head?)
(What does a $6000 budget allow/not allow?)
(What's the US film festival circuit like?)

I was surprised at how this doesn't read like a small budgeted script.

One reason is that the well rounded character interactions kept me "wanting to know more".

(Well-rounded = Characters are three dimensional, with clear agendas, goals, traits, conflicts.)

I could not predict where they would go.

ex. "THE BLONDE glances out of the corner of her eye towards BALDY. BALDY is watching them.

THE BLONDE (looking back to Young Man): Say something to me.

YOUNG MAN: Such as?

THE BLONDE slaps the YOUNG MAN hard across the face. He looks shocked.

THE BLONDE (turning to her drink): I'll be outside in ten minutes."

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: These well-rounded characters are driven and create such conflict that I hardly missed the lack of special effects, guns, or car crashes.

(In fact, too many stories are driven by the latter, and not the former.)

Following (1998)
by Christopher Nolan

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