12 Good Examples Of Movies That Use Flashbacks
In screenwriting, at some point you will hear that using flashbacks is considered “bad” or is a sign of an “amateur”. In the screenplays where the writer has completely abused the flashback technique — I agree. However, when used creatively, flashbacks can be a very powerful technique. Just make sure that your use of flashbacks pays off dramatically. Below are twelve good movies where flashbacks are used throughout the story and gets it right.
Tips On How To Write Flashbacks
There isn’t a right or wrong way to write flashbacks, but depending on how you want the flashback to be shown visually you may want to write it a certain way. For instance, you could insert the word “FLASHBACK” in the same line as your location if you want the flashback to appear like a montage.
FLASHBACK – GRAVEYARD
Sam raises from an unmarked grave and gasps.
A ZOMBIE chokes him from behind.
Sam fights him off — but five more zombies tackle him as he tries to run.
BACK TO PRESENT DAY
Another way to write a flashback is by just inserting it into the location and write the scene as you would normally do. For example:
FLASHBACK – INT. HOTEL SUITE – NIGHT
However you decide to write your flashbacks, just make sure it does not interrupt the flow of your story. Often times writers can get so caught up into adding so many flashbacks that it becomes hard to follow the basic plot.
Learn to Write Stronger Story Concepts, Themes & Loglines
There’s a saying that “Concept is King”. I tend to agree with this. Think about it. The concept of your story is the overall idea at its most basic core. It’s what makes us want to read your book, screenplay or see your movie after millions of dollars has been spent on developing it. You‘ve probably read a book or screenplay that was well written with lots of clever wordplay, but when’s the last time you have heard anyone excited about a mediocre concept? For me, concept is king, but execution is just as important. After all, what good is a cool idea if the author can’t tell the story in the best way it could possibly be told? Imagine if the movie “Karate Kid” was just a movie about a boy learning karate and receiving a black belt at the end to make his single mother proud. What if “The Godfather” was just about an old mob boss who ran his organization with an iron fist then just died at the end of the movie. How would that be any different from the thousands of mob flicks we’ve never even heard of with forgettable plots? These are concepts you most likely would forget an hour after watching them on the big screen.Learn More
How to Name Your Fictional Characters (Plus More Than 2,500 Names & Meanings To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing)
You know what’s just as bad as hitting a brick wall with the plot of your screenplay or novel? Hitting that same brick wall even harder when it comes time to give your protagonist or any other character that perfect name. Having the right name for your characters not only helps them to become memorable, but can help sell the story as well. Sebastian Dangerfield (“The Ginger Man”), Tony Starks (“Iron Man”), Atticus Finch (“To Kill A Mockingbird”), Luke Skywalker (“Star Wars”), James Bond (“Casino Royale”)…the list goes on. Imagine pitching your screenplay or novel with any of these character names.Learn More