The first thing you need to realize when you begin is that the audience is fickle, the smash last week or last month could easily be this week’s dud.
Today we live in an instant gratification society and at most, you have three maybe five minutes to grab and keep their attention, how do you do that you might be asking, well this is how Bill Wilder a very famous writer and director explained it.
For those of you who don’t know who Billy Wilder was, he was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films.
The Golden Rules:
- The audience is fickle. Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go.
- Develop a clean line of action for your leading character. Know where you’re going.
- The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.
- If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.
- A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.
- In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.
- The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.
- The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then—that’s it. Don’t hang around.