We here at Get The Pix Productions want to inspire, educate and entertain you (the audience). We are constantly learning about film as we make them with our own hands. Our loyal cast and crew is comprised of highly talented, award winning christian filmmakers and actors attempting to improve the quality of christian films and videos. To do this, we want to provide you with information that we learn so you can apply it to your own films and/or use it to evaluate other people’s films.
Without further ado here are 5 ways that you can use story telling tips from The Bible to make your next movie a good one.
1. Open strong!
The Bible starts with God creating the heavens and the earth! First sentence! BOOM! I dare you to name 5 movies that start out that strong that wasn’t wildly popular. Now that more and more films are being watched in forms other than movie theaters, viewers are more likely to loser interest and not finish your movie all together. I don’t care how great the ending is. If you do not get the viewer interested early on, you run the risk of losing them.
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
2. Make your “good guys” GOOD and your “bad guys” BAD.
Yes. We all have at one point. That’s the residual effects of good character building, great story telling and the proper development of relatable characters. This hasn’t happened in a long time for me. I’m not sure if I’m getting more difficult to impress or if filmmakers are trying less. What has happened all too much is that moment when I’m telling someone about a movie I’ve just seen and I have to honestly say “It was pretty good but I really wasn’t sure who I should root for.”
The bible constantly depicts good and evil in the purest of forms. Have you ever walked out of a movie and felt you were one of the characters in it? It set up the basics of a lot of the terminology used in movies to describe good and evil. The greater the enemy the more impressive the victory will be.
Let me make completely clear that I am not saying the main hero needs to be flawless. God seemed to always choose those that most everyone agreed weren’t the best people for the job he selected them for. The hero needs depth but we need to have a clear understanding of who we want to win or we won’t care if anyone wins at all.
2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
3. Write a film with lots of “replay value”.
Replay Value is a term that’s mainly used in reference to video games that is a way of saying how much fun a game would be if you replay it again. The term can also be used for short films, videos and movies to determine if a movie is worth watching again. The Bible can be read over and over and over again and you will still notice things you didn’t before. Give your film replay value. This is a very difficult thing to accomplish but a trick to try is to read through your script 3 times, undisturbed, in one sitting and create a strong picture how the film will look. The second time you read through fix any small things that bother you about the script. If you are too bored to make it through your script by the third time, it may be a sign that your story needs more depth added into it.
Another trick is to read the script only through the eyes of one lead character at a time. This trick also helps with spotting plot flaws.
4. Keep different viewers in mind.
The Bible was written to change hearts. Each and every verse has made an impact in someone’s life. A scientist could look at the bible and feel as if it was written just for people in his profession the same way that a poet could look at The Bible and think that it was written to target people in his profession. I have a tough time reading The Bible and not thinking it geared towards story tellers.
What you can do to attempt to target the different types of viewers is to study why people watch movies. Find what they are looking for when they start a movie. Some people are going to be looking for new ways to understand life as they know it and some people are just going to want to see big explosions and bright colors moving on the screen. It’s your job to find out why. I have some running ideas that I would share but I think it is important that each filmmaker learn his own audience and connect with them through learning.
5. Make sure your ending is just the beginning.
The bible ends in the best way…. It doesn’t. Ok, yes, the book does end, but the ending is more of a transition. Some endings to books and movies are brick walls. They end the journey. The Bible ends preparing you with a promise for the future. It gets you thinking about your life and how it will be in the future. It’s a launching point instead of a brick wall.
The best way for a man to achieve this type of ending is to think about your audience and visual the transition into their life. Let them imagine what happens next with the characters they connected with.
Affect your audience. Teach your audience something with the stories you tell them, even if they realize they are learning or not.
Revelations 22:20-21 – He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
Don’t make a film for the applause during the credits… make a film to change the world for good.