The right ingredients for a strong film

Mystery food ingredient for a strong film

It is relatively easy to make a competent film nowadays.The editing process is more accessible on a computer and the film itself can be seen in all manner of ways, the internet being the latest big arena for this.

The word arena is deliberately used here, because a big issue for film-makers and clients is that the viewers should keep paying attention to a film once they have started watching it. Good story telling should hold the attention of the person receiving the story, but this means joining the dots of languages and ideas so that those that experience it, absorb it as part of their own relation to the world.

The point of a story is to move information from mind to mind and indeed, to build a sort of collective mind at the time of watching a film or engaging in a story. There is an analogy here between the way the body needs a balanced food intake and the mind needing to process different types of information to develop and stay healthy. Stories contain such stuff.   The right quantity, quality and rhythm of story elements are essential. Too much of one element will overload someone’s mind like too much of one type of food will to the body e.g. overly loud music in a film will distract from the message whereas no music may cause the story to drag.

A film story itself can be thought of as being made of these different elements:

  • Aim- the overall goal of the film making
  • Purpose – the specific task addressed in the film
  • Idea – the one thing you wish to transfer successfully into the mind of the viewer
  • Architecture – the building blocks and construction of the film elements
  • Information – content specific items to address
  • Rhythm – the overall flow in time of story elements

So, to be able to connect the “idea” with the minds of the audience of a film, the film-maker has to have a great understanding of how these elements will be brought to bear for the specific film in question. This also means that the client commissioner is an essential part of the process to frame these elements: the aim, purpose, needed information & big idea. The film-maker will deal with developing the architecture and then making the film.

I will feature in another blog an example of how I worked with a client to gain this understanding and then went on to construct the architecture for a successful film making project.


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