Are you making a movie or are you just curious about why intelligent movies all feel similar? Hopefully this list of ten ways on how to make a movie feel smarter.
1. Add Classical Music.
To instantly make any awkward pause or slow moving scene seem like a lot of thought was put into it, add classical piano pieces. We tend to associate the sounds of classical music with a bit of rich thought and class. Adding classical music is like adding caviar to a meal. It may not taste good but it looks more expensive and impressive too poor people.
2. Minimize Important Plot Dialogue.
In many “intelligent films” you can notice that many of the scenes key to the plot have very little to no talking. If you minimize the amount of times a random character explains the current state of the plot, you force the viewing audience to pay more attention to the film in order to keep track.
3. Use a non-linear scene order!
A non-linear scene structure is when events are shown out of chronological order. I know what you are thinking: “It won’t make sense if I show that scene before I introduce the main character’s love interest.” Don’t worry. That lack of details will confuse the audience enough to get them interested and searching for answers in your movie. Make sure to eventually give them the information they are seeking or they will hate you. The audience will be so distracted by the odd shape of the film, they won’t have any leftover brain power to judge if the movie was even good!
4. Sneak in Sophisticated Art!
Paintings, Architecture, Statues etc. If it has a nice name or if it looks expensive and interesting, get it in your shot. Any piece of famous art has had an extremely talented artist starring at it for at least 4 hours so it will be great to keep your audiences interested for 5 seconds. It will also add an expensive looking bit of class to any movie.
5. Add Well Dressed Characters!
We inherently associate rich people with being smart. This needs to stop for many reasons. Until that day, you can make your main character wear suit and ties and people will instantly think that they are a smarter person.
6. Write in Time Travel, Alternate dimensions, etc.
I do not care if your story doesn’t have anything to do with time travel, an evil twin or an alternate universe. You need change the script so the entire plot line balances on rough scientific theories. If you refuse to add sci-fi elements to your film you can still achieve the same effect by diving heavily into a psychiatric disorder. Any will do as long as it makes the audience unaware if anything in the film is actually happening or not.
7. Add Long Lasting Shots.
Do not tell the audience anything… show them… show them to death. Take a look at any of your favorite “intelligent films”. The shots in those films change less frequently then other films. When you take out lines that explain the film to the audience you need to show them the plot so they aren’t completely clueless by the end of the film.
8. Make Reference To Hot Button Political Topics.
You may not have noticed this one yet but it is there. There are many different reasons why these political hot button topics make it into these films. You can blame it on many different causes, politically involved writers, marketing ploys, major film studio’s political agendas or just the fact that these issues are on everyone’s minds. Do not give any actual opinion on any of these issues or offer any solution. Viewers of the film will draw their own conclusion and all of them will think the film makers are on their side of the political spectrum.
9. Remove The Dumb Character.
Most movies feature a dumb character who is constantly questioning main plot details. This then allows the leads of the film to explain to this character just what is happening in the plot. It flows something like this.
Dumb Character says “So we’re going to break into the white house so we can we can NOT kidnap the president’s dog?!?” Then a protagonist responds to the dumb character by saying “We are going to break into the white house to distract the FBI away from the pentagon!”
We will explain dumb characters more in a future blog posts.
10. Lie to the audience about the basics of the plot.
Lie to your audience about key elements of the plot, make them think you are lying or make them question if the plot happened at all. Adding an element like this to your story adds another layer or distraction from the actual main plot which makes the audience think even more.
The more you get them thinking the more they will think your film was thought through thoroughly.
Disagree with our ten? Comment below to let us know!