7. TRACK THE AUDIENCE'S MOOD
You have one goal : to connect with your audience. Therefore, you must track what your audience is feeling at all times. One of the biggest problems I face when watching other people’s movies is I’ll say, ‘This part confuses me’, or whatever, and they’ll say, ‘What I’m intending to say is this’, and they’ll go on about their intentions. None of this has anything to do with my experience as an audience member. Think in terms of what audiences think. They go to the theatre, and they either notice that their butts are numb, or they don’t. If you’re doing your job right, they don’t. People think of studio test screenings as terrible, and that’s because a lot of studios are pretty stupid about it. They panic and re-shoot, or they go, ‘Gee, Brazil can’t have an unhappy ending,’ and that’s the horror story. But it can make a lot of sense.
I would add that tracking the audience can be liberating. You don't have to resolve every logic problem. Only the ones the audience cares about.
Also, if you know what the audience is thinking, you can mess with them.
The other nine are chez Danny Stack
, from a treeware article by Catherine Bray.
Hi Alex - just thought you'd like to know that Joss Whedon's Top 10 Writing Tips is an article by Catherine Bray, which first appeared on my blog by kind permission. Anal, I know, but always good to credit the source when we can!
I changed the link to your blog, unless you can give me the link to Catherine Bray.
Thanks, Alex! This is the link I use for Catherine: http://catherinebray.com/
Great insight into how writers believe people can follow what they were thinking instead of what they portrayed. Another useful source in learning how to get audiences to connect with your characters is Screenplay Form and Structure, edited by Alan von Altendorf, which has a 25 page illustrated tutorial on this subject
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