I believe I have said this before, but I hate it when movies think their audiences are stupid. When you see a character moment and they insist on replaying something influential another character had said to that character. Reminding us that, this is the reason this character is now acting this way or making this decision. It simply indicates a lack of respect for the movie going audience, and often serves to pad the run time by 30 seconds to a few minutes depending on if they do a full on flash back to remind the audience of a moment maybe 40 minutes earlier. There was only one time I saw something like this that actually helped. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country there is a scene during an interrogation where Spock it getting the names of co-conspirators from his protege. In this seen Kim Cattrall’s character lists off a bunch of names. We had scene these people for less than a minute in some cases and had no real need to know their names even in the scenes in which they appeared. So when the DVD came out and actually flashed their faces up for a moment when she spoke them out it actually helped a lot. Now if they were significant characters we would not have needed that, but just a list of unimportant character who form some reason now are suddenly important. I was glad to get the refresher. When a character is holing a gun to somebody and the ghostly remembrance of his father saying “Don’t become like me” can be heard in his head. His fathers final words. Telling the audience this is why he decides not to kill the guy. It’s just condescending to the audiences intelligence that they can’t remember such an important moment in the main characters development.
Another thing movies love to do which is, again, playing to the lowest common denominator, is prologue. They love to tell you about something that will be fully explained during the rest of the movie. This ends up doing one thing. Making people in the movie who explain what we already know appear to be wasting our time. I hear a lot that there was complaints during test screenings that the audience didn’t understand this or that in the movie. It happens. So they put a prologue in the beginning so that the audience has a better grasp of the material going in. Problem is that it’s ok to not know everything about the movie on the first sitting. Movies are supposed to be complex works of art which can sometimes take several viewings to really understand. If that’s not your goal then simplify the content. It’s that easy. Having said all that and in the best hypocritical tradition. I am going to write a prologue to a script I have been outlining for a while. The reason is two fold. First I thing prologues can work. They have to tell you something the movie won’t, and they have to provide an indication to the audience of the setting they are about to step into. Example Star Wars. It doesn’t over explain the movie, it gives a general overview and more importantly it sets a tone, so that when you get the first several minutes of absolutely no dialog, you can still get the context of the moment. Leading to the second reason a prologue can work, tone. Sometimes it’s important to set a tone for your movie and a setting for whats coming. You can give the audience an expectation of whats in store for them, which, despite how counter productive that might seem can be invaluable. Letting the audience know what sort of experience to expect can let them place their expectations in the right places and can make a more enjoyable experience.
Ext – Dusk
Camera Helicopter shot gliding over a mountain range. Single shot to bring more of a sense of heading to a destination
Location: Wallachia (Modern Day Romania) leading through the north of the southern Carpathian Mountains
Prologue ends at Bran Castle) (Vlads Home) During prologue the single shot to the castle continues.
*Note Bran Castle is CGI stand in for the actual castle and is set in historic era
Title Card starts
Wallachia 1478 a year after the death of Vlad Tepes III; ruler of Wallachia, and member of the Order of the Dragon
Vlad and his family the Draculesti were patrons of the Order and one of their biggest contributors in both money and man power
The head of the Order of the Dragons’ Knights was the Belmont family
Trevor Belmont along with his sons Christopher, and Simon run the day to day operations of the order
After the death of Vlad Tepes a cult lead by a former priest named Shapht has risen in the area
Convinced that Vlad will rise up from his own death this cult has formed to serve the risen dark lord
Stirring rumors have started in the villages and towns of the region of a shadow which feeds on the living
Talk of a rise in supernatural events, and creatures, has risen to the ears of the the church
Supernatural threats represent a danger to the Christians trying to maintain a hold in the area
The Order of the Dragon has been tasked by the recently elected pope Sixtus IV to deal with the issue
The Order of the Dragon was created to battle the ottoman Empire and establish Christianity, Men fighting men
For this war they would need a new weapon
Trevor has sent out his eldest son Christopher to search for a legendary weapon
A weapon blessed and constructed for the single purpose of defeating evil in all it’s forms
End on shot of castle
transition to be followed by action scene of Christopher attempting to locate Weapon in catacombs