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AI James Altucher


What lessons did you learn from films?

    1. In "The Godfather" the camera moves around the characters but never moves with the characters.

    In many movies, the camera moves with the character as they walk down a street. This is bad technique because it makes you nauseous. The Godfather shows us that you can move around the character but never move with them and it's fine.

    2. The reveal.

    This is an old technique that was used in movies like Hitchcock's "Psycho". The director would show a little bit of something at the beginning of a movie to get your interest and then he would "reveal" what was being hinted at later on in the movie.

    For instance, if someone is looking out a window and looking for someone, we might see someone run by outside and then look disappointed when it's not whomever they were waiting for. And then later on in the movie we might see that person running by again and this time there's no disappointment on their face when they look out the window so now we know who they were waiting for.

    This is a basic storytelling technique that I think everyone should master before making a movie or writing anything narrative driven.

    I've been trying to use this technique more often in my own work although I'm not always successful since I don't always know when to use it or how to use it correctly. But it's good practice to try more often.

    I also like this article about using reveals in comedy: https://www3.ndchostingguide.com/how-to-write-a-comedy-article/

    3. Don't show me what I already know or am too familiar with (i.e., "establishing shots")

    In other words, don't waste my time showing me where we are if I already know where we are because I saw this place ten minutes ago while watching another scene set here (or perhaps even earlier in this same scene).

    Movies do this all the time and it's annoying as hell when you're trying to pay attention to what's happening now and some idiot director thinks he has to show me every tree, building, street corner, etcetera just so I won't get lost later on if he decides to move locations without any warning (which happens all the time).

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