Flashback or something else?

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    Biohazard
    Member

  • Biohazard
    replied
    Re: Flashback or something else?

    It's been done to great effect, even as far back as the 1940s.

    My favorite scene in The Grapes of Wrath is Muley's flashback.

    No reason why it can't work today. I saw just go with it.

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  • Owen_Thinks
    User

  • Owen_Thinks
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    Re: Flashback or something else?

    Originally posted by Ronaldinho View Post
    Who cares what it's called? What you're describing is pretty common.

    (Although since Out of Sight was brought up, I think it's important to notice how that sequence was a culmination of structural decisions related to how the film treats time. From that point on, we're "in the now" of the movie continuously. I mention this because a single short flashback can often feel like a kludge, as opposed to a well-intregrated structural element in the storytelling).
    For what it's worth, I agree -- a single instance of flashback often feels like the inelegant solution to a backstory/exposition dump. However, when flashback becomes a stylistic element throughout the script or, even better, becomes its own subplot interwoven with the main story then I feel like it can be very effective.

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  • Ronaldinho
    Member

  • Ronaldinho
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    Re: Flashback or something else?

    Originally posted by bmcthomas View Post
    I have a scene in which a character describes an event from his past and I want to show that event with the character's voiceover. It's a very short passage, just two lines.

    When I think of a flashback, I think of a scene from the past that is actually acted out, with the "past" characters having dialogue. Or am I just being too narrow with my definition?
    Who cares what it's called? What you're describing is pretty common.

    (Although since Out of Sight was brought up, I think it's important to notice how that sequence was a culmination of structural decisions related to how the film treats time. From that point on, we're "in the now" of the movie continuously. I mention this because a single short flashback can often feel like a kludge, as opposed to a well-intregrated structural element in the storytelling).

    Leave a comment:

  • bmcthomas
    Member

  • bmcthomas
    replied
    Re: Flashback or something else?

    Thanks!

    I really have considered whether the scene needs the flashback - I even wrote multiple versions without it - but I definitely think it's vital to not just that scene, but the whole story.

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  • Jon Jay
    replied
    Re: Flashback or something else?

    Steven Soderbergh does this all the time. The famous sex scene in Out of Sight has the characters talking in the bar running over the (silent) images of them undressing. The Limey has loads of scenes where Walker describes his daughter and his early life without any dialogue from the actual scenes.

    I'd write it like any other flashback, however I'd ask myself why do we need to see this? If it's something like:

    NARRATOR (VO)
    I applied for a job in MI5.

    INT. BATHROOM - DAY (FLASHBACK - 1984)
    A young narrator strangles a guy in the bathtub - slow, clumsy, painful -

    NARRATOR (VO)
    I passed the interview with flying colours.

    - then fine because there's a reason for showing this, especially if there's some kind of irony there. But if the above dialogue was 'I had to kill some diplomat in a bath' then there's no point showing it as well. Or show and don't narrate.

    As ever the main thing is to make sure it makes sense, that the reader gets what you're doing.

    Leave a comment:

  • bmcthomas
    Member

  • bmcthomas
    started a topic Flashback or something else?

    Flashback or something else?

    I have a scene in which a character describes an event from his past and I want to show that event with the character's voiceover. It's a very short passage, just two lines.

    When I think of a flashback, I think of a scene from the past that is actually acted out, with the "past" characters having dialogue. Or am I just being too narrow with my definition?
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