A well made fight scene can make or break an action scene. Not only are they risky to film (lots of actors have gotten hurt in the process during production) but they are also challenging to pull off technically…meaning, you definitely can’t just point and shoot while the actors “play fight”.
In addition to the obvious (actors need to act like they’re hurt when they’re hit, etc), you’ll need to do things like:
- Make the camera part of the action — giving the camera a little shake when a character hits the ground close up or when another character falls into something will go a long way in post.
- Cut frames out when someone is hit — in some cases you can really sell a quick cut by removing frames just before impact.
- Sound design — this can’t be emphasized enough. If your sound effects don’t match the visual or sound like they’re from an old video game then it’s going to quickly remind your audience this thing is fake.
- Pacing — just like a dance contest, save your best moves for the end. The finale. Start big and end even bigger. Keep us engaged, but keep it realistic in terms of the duration of the fight. Unless they’re superhuman keep in mind how much energy these characters will have to pull off the moves you write.
- Leave your characters with scars — real people get bruised, bloody and lumped when they’re in fights. If you’re characters are beating each other to a pulp and we never see any bruises or they leave a five minute bar fight with little blood coming from their nose then you’ve reminded us this whole thing was fake.
Check out the videos below on how to properly capture and execute the fight scenes for your next project!
Fight Choreography in Hollywood
Just for kicks, check out how some other professionals apply their techniques in some cool action flicks.
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Make Your Concepts, Themes & Loglines Stronger
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.
That’s why it’s important to get a good grasp on what a strong concept is as well as how a great theme can enhance your story. Once you have that down you can use your strongest logline to help sell your script or novel to Hollywood or that big publishing company you have your eye on. In this book, we will focus on how to make your concepts, themes and loglines stronger.
How Important Are Character Names?
This is a question a lot of writers ask at one point or another when starting that fresh new story that has them excited enough to dedicate the next several months (or longer) of their life and being able to type “THE END” with pride and satisfaction. Character names can say a lot about your story’s plot, scene, tone or even play on the theme. While it’s never guaranteed that one hundred percent of your audience will get the full meaning or purpose of what may seem like an ordinary name on the surface for your character, however it can be quite satisfying to those who do. These character names can also serve as a reminder to each of their purposes within your story.