For a film director, an audience is a group of people who go to the cinema or the internet to gain an experience. Will the experience be good or bad, depends upon your storytelling style, abilities and the audience’s taste.
Now we’ve identified that the audience wants an experience, so what is this experience? An experience is something which entices the audiences to come back for more or stay away for good.
Now what is this experience made up of for a film director? An experience is basically made up of three main ingredients, concept, character and story.
These are the three main ingredients when combined together, give the audiences an experience to remember or forget.
What is a concept? A concept is the equivalent of a seed that you need to plant in order to get the fruit. For example, an orange. In order to get an orange, you need to plant the seed for an orange. Similarly, a concept is the seed which is the very beginning of the experience and the last two points of an experience will never grow if the seed isn’t planted right.
Let’s talk about the concept of one of the greatest movies ever made, The Matrix. What is the concept of The Matrix? Neo wants to find out what is the Matrix, this question was the concept of the film and this concept was the seed which gave us everything that came afterwards which brings us to point number two, The Character.
Who was the main character of the film, it was Neo. Was this an interesting main character? Hell yes! Why was he an interesting character? Because of two main traits.
First, he was an intelligent software engineer. When you present somebody intelligent to the audiences, they automatically aspire to be somewhat like that character because deep down inside everybody aspires to be intelligent. Christopher Nolan took over Hollywood not because he has a magic wand, but because he is the most intelligent film director and a storyteller of our modern times.
Secondly, Neo was driven by an interesting goal. He wanted to find out what is the matrix and we as an audience member knew that it would lead him to find out something big and amazing and mind twisting. So, instead of being driven by the desire to find love or to fulfill some pathetic sexual desire, Neo knew that once he finds the answer to this question, he will ultimately find the purpose of his life. This purpose wouldn’t be to get married, have children and live a normal life, but it would involve something mind bending.
As an audience when we realize this psychological state of the character, we fall in love with that character.
The third and the last point of making up an experience is the fruit itself. When the tree is grown, you receive the fruit which is the equivalent of the story. So what was the story of the matrix? Neo takes the red pill, finds out what the matrix is, falls into disbelief, accepts the reality, becomes part of the real world, fights an agent, dies, gets reborn, fights the agent again and finally wins. Now he finally realized the purpose of his life, to fight against the system that has blinded the whole world into believing something that is not real.
So once you take a bite out of this fruit, you receive an experience, just like when the movie cuts to black and the end credits roll, the audience receives an experience. Whether you will like the fruit depends upon your taste buds just like loving a movie depends upon the audience’s mind sets and how successfully you’re able to change those mind sets much similar to what Christopher Nolan did. He completely reinvented the superhero genre.
Once he was done with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, everybody out there wanted to reboot their superhero franchise and come up with the next hit similar to Nolan’s hits.
Now you as an independent film director, if you think very carefully and deeply about these three main ingredients, you will realize that most of the ideas in your arsenal suck. Because just like all the clichéd independent film directors out there, you quickly and randomly come up with a character and a story then jump on to the glorified technical aspects of the movie, especially the cinematography.
Just like Stanley Kubrik, the one thing that most film directors care the most about is the cinematography. No matter how much they deny this statement, it is the truth about our current independent film directors.
So hopefully this blog will provide all the film directors and storytellers out there with a fresh perception about concepts, characters, stories, movies and ultimately the experience.
On a closing note, if you’re somebody who wants to become a film director, I would love to have you say something about what you think about what the audience wants and subscribe to my channel where I release vlogs every Monday on becoming a film director and discuss the real aspect that puts guys like Steven Spielberg and Chris Nolan on top of Hollywood. That aspect is the art of storytelling.
So, in the hopes of connecting with film directors worldwide, this is Mr. Zeecon, in the making of a great story.
I would love to hear it from you guys about what you think about what the audience wants and how to give them an experience which would entice them to come back for more of your films.