Sunday, April 3, 2016
A Few Scenes Should've Hit the Cutting Room Floor
A good friend of mine and I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice recently, and he summed it up succinctly with these words: "I'm ambivalent."
Now, why am I writing about a movie in my writing blog? Because movie-making, like writing, requires editing, and that's what kept B v S from being a great, or even a good, movie. Oh, it was entertaining, and I was involved with the characters, but it had its faults.
First, transitions. When we're writing, we need to make sure that when we leave one scene and head to the next, it's a logical flow. In B v S we'd slip into a strange scene, which, of course, it's a comic book movie, but we should be able to tell when we're hitting a dream sequence. Couldn't always tell with this movie. Some scenes seemed to have been inserted randomly at times.
Pacing. Yes, it's an exciting movie, but there was little white space. The punctuation was off. All stories have a rhythm, and with B v S the rhythm was off.
Mood and tone. To make sure we understood, they deemed it necessary to bombard us with music that ranged from bombastic to pathos. It was like a wall of sound through the entire movie. Think of that as too many exclamation points or too many adverbs or adjectives. If you've set your scene up well and you have interesting characters, you don't need to pound into us the fact that godlike beings are warring.
Motivation. Loved Ben Affleck's turn as the Batman, and he had this whole "all-powerful-alien-who-could-destroy-us" attitude about Superman, so I get that he wanted to stop the Big Blue Boy Scout, but Clark (Superman) fell in with everyone else in thinking that Batman was a menace. He's an investigative reporter, so let him investigate and see what the Bat's really up to. And, really, Lex cons Supes into taking out the Bat just by holding his mom hostage? Really? Seen that old set-up before. Supes should've, too.
Also, watch your length when writing. Weighing in at two-and-a-half hours, B v S felt heavy, bloated. Could've benefited from some trimming.
These are just a few things to keep in mind with your writing. Think about it especially if you see your book as a movie.
Check out a couple of my other posts on editing:
Keep writing, friends.