Monday, July 13, 2009

Quick tips #1 - First impressions

Realizing that my blog posts have been falling behind lately, I've decided to catch up with a series of "Quick tips" - advice so self-explanatory that it needs little elaboration.

Today's tip - "first impressions."

Give significant thought to how you introduce your protagonist (or any other important character). The first moment we see him could define him in our minds for the rest of the script.

A great example from a recent film: the adult James Kirk in Star Trek, first shown in a bar. His first act onscreen - he flirts with Uhura. Second act - mouthing off cockily to Starfleet cadets, egging them into a fight despite being outmatched.

(And if you count the younger James' first scene, we see him at the age of ten stealing a car and driving it into a deep quarry, just barely jumping out in time.)

You tell me - what do these scenes tell us about Kirk? How does this action set the stage for his arc in the script? Most of all - if you had only that scene to go on, how would you describe Kirk to someone?

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