Monday, August 3, 2015

TODAY'S NUGGET: Mission Impossible 2 (2000) - How Do We Know These Guys are Friends?

[Quick Summary: Superspy Ethan Hunt must track down the antidote to a disease that may infect millions.]

Let's say you're writing the second installment in a successful franchise.

How do you introduce the characters so that:

- We know these are friends of long standing, AND
- New viewers know how these characters are related, AND
- Seasoned viewers aren't bored?

A couple ways are to show:

- They share a similar sensibility (humor, sports teams, hobbies, etc.).
- They communicate in a common shorthand.

ex. "EXT. COPTER (DAY)

Billy and Luther emerge, Luther with computer looking acutely uncomfortable in a wrinkled suit.

ETHAN'S VOICE: Welcome to Australia, mate.

They look up to a smiling Ethan who points to the ground beneath Luther's feet. Luther looks down to see that he is standing in a pile of sheep-shit.

LUTHER: Thanks - mate.

Both men laugh and all three move to..."

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: We know characters are friends because we can see their ease with each another.

Mission Impossible 2 (2000)
by Robert Towne
Story by Ronald D. Moore & Brannon Braga

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