A Dreamer Walking

Foundations

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on July 28, 2011

Foundations consist of the core values in your films. They represent what you want your movie to be about. The stronger you make the foundations of your story the stronger of a film you will have. I have found my faith to be a help to me in understanding what is important in the stories I am developing. I want each one of my stories to reflect values that are important to my God. However, I am not saying you need to become a Christian to create strong foundations, but you do need to figure out where you stand and what you want to communicate before you embark on creating or telling a story.

David Fincher, who I mostly disagree with when it comes to political and moral issues, is very adamant on figuring out the reason for each word in the script he is about to shoot. He spends several weeks just talking to his screenwriter about what both of them feel are the foundations of the story and how the screenplay reflects those foundations. Because David has put a lot of thought into his movies, films like Se7en, Fight Club, and The Social Network make statements not easily ignored by society. They make you see dark truths about society. He has shown how we as society are inclined to sacrifice friendship for power, meaning for safety, and morality for comfort. It does not matter if I agree with his personal view of the world or not. I am forced to think about the statements his films make because they have conviction behind them.

I believe the foundations of a film should represent things you believe in your heart are true. The filmmaker needs to let these truths lead his or her way. Even though Fincher concentrates on the evils of society his foundations and the points he makes feel real and truthful because they are real and speak the truth to him. It is all about knowing you believe in what your film is saying and being committed to to that belief.

The bottom line is you need to know why you are making the film you are making. As Andrew Stanton (Writer/Director of Finding Nemo and Wall-E) says, you need to know the punchline of the joke in order to know how to set the joke up.  The foundations might not come right away. You can’t know everything you want to say in a film until you begin to make it. However, work from the parts of the film that seem to work the best for you, that stay the same all the way through development. Those parts are usually the parts that represent your films foundations.

I have written papers on the the foundations of each one of my stories I have been developing. Through figuring out what I feel is most important to my stories I began to realize what needs to stay and what needs to go. I think films should be more then just a piece of entertainment. I think they should be something that sticks with the audience far after they leave the movie theater. If you build your stories on strong foundations they will last far longer then any lifetime.

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