Friday, September 12, 2008

A New Screenwriting Blog-a-Thon!

THE TOPIC: Tension & Suspense

WHEN: October 3 - 6

An earlier article about our current
Screenwriting State of Emergency seems to have struck a nerve. So I thought it’d be fun if we, as a community, had a discourse on the topic of tension and/or suspense. Simply post on your blog (the weekend of October 3 - 6) an article about your favorite examples of tension and/or suspense in films. (This must be from a script that has been turned into a film.)

What were the factors that made the tension/suspense so great?

What’s to be learned from those scenes?

OR - feel free to bitch and moan about a film or a scene that lacked tension and explain how it could've been better!

To all of my TriggerStreet friends and anyone else who does not have a blog - if you'd like to contribute, you are very welcome to do so by
emailing me your article, and I will post it right here.

To help you get started, there is a free online book (.pdf) called
The Elements of Suspense, which examines Hitchcock films. also examines countless Thriller and Suspense Films. Here’s David Bordwell with some Theories on Suspense. Of course, it doesn’t have to be about suspense films. I’ll be happy with an article about a scene filled with great tension, albeit sexual or antagonistic.

And finally, if you guys could announce this on your blogs so word gets out, I would greatly appreciate it.




David Alan said...

Sure man, I'd give it a go...

How far in advance would you want the article sent to you...?

Christian H. said...

Sounds like fun. I'm right in the middle of a rather large post on Deleuze and Cinema 2.

I'm also penning a political thriller that has some pretty suspenseful scenes.

I'm firmly in the Hitchcock camp of "the bomb never goes off" for suspense and in some cases tension.

This kind of thing is a great exercise even if it's not published somewhere. I don't advocate trying to watch every Resnais or Godard film but screenwriters are the gatekeepers (regardless of what you may hear) and a philosophical study of film goes hand in hand with writing about people.

Bordwell is very good as a lot of his texts are used in film school. he actually helped me articulate a concept I struggled with for awhile.

Anyway I'm waiting with baited breath.

Carl S said...

This is the perfect chance for me to re-start my blog.

Mickey Lee said...

Posted on the Mystery Man on Film Facebook group!

Mystery Man said...

David - Send it anytime you like. I don't have any preferences.

Christian - Woo hoo! We haven't done a blog-a-thon in a while.

Carl - Yeah, baby!

Thanks, Mickey.


Anonymous said...

Homework. I'll forget, but I'll write something (shallow and glib, no doubt). I already have my film in mind and the scene.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be at least equally instructive to look at examples where (and see the reason why) tension evaporated?

It seems to me I've always learned most from my mistakes.

Mystery Man said...

Absolutely! I'd love to see examples of bad tension. In fact, I'm goin to write about both good and bad examples.


Mystery Man said...

By the way, Bill, I've updated the announcement to include the opportunity to really bitch about those scenes that drive you crazy!


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