Keep Your Audience In Mind

I asked my class last week, while I was teaching them about motion picture film formats… 65mm, 35mm, 16mm, 8mm… and I thought, “Hey, I’ll teach them about 8mm by discussing the most famous 8mm film of them all! This’ll be swell! I’m such a terrific teacher!”

That’s what I thought… in the tiny pea brain that rolls around in my head…

So I started blathering on at ninety miles an hour about the Zapruder film, and how when it went to the lab in Dallas to be processed, (the most important piece of motion picture film in American history!) they gave it to some intern, and he loaded it wrong and RIPPED THE ORIGINAL…

At this dramatic moment, I looked around and the students were sorta sitting there… blinking… a theater chock-a-block with blank stares… I, with mounting horror, sucked in my breath and willed myself to ask my twenty students, “How many of you know what the Zapruder film is?” Twenty students. Twenty.

Two raised their hands.

I nearly fainted. [BTW, the Zapruder film is of the Kennedy assassination…]

These students, as interns, will be the producer’s first line of defense when you submit a screenplay someplace. These are extremely bright kids… but some things, they don’t get taught. Just because something is common knowledge to you, may not mean they’ve ever, ever heard of it. Keep in mind when you’re writing.

[Sound effect of Akers’ feet going down a long hallway… and you hear muttering.]

PROFESSOR AKERS
(crotchety old man voice)
The Zapruder film? Where have they been…? It must be video games that does it… Oh, what a world, what a world…

[Muttering fades down to nothing… Akers slips and falls on his ass.]

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2 Comments

Filed under Screenwriting, Writing Process

2 responses to “Keep Your Audience In Mind

  1. Wow. That is interesting. And perhaps scary. haha. Reminds me of my cousin’s youngest boy (5 years old). He was at grandma’s house and she has a “old” style rotary phone secured to a wall. He pointed to the phone and asked, “What is that?”

  2. RebekkaBrown

    Very interesting!

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