Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

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  • Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

    First, I apologize for the length of this post and completely understand not wanting to dredge through it, but I am truly interested in getting your opinion on the topic, so I hope that a few might have the patience to finish the post and offer their experience and/or opinion.

    I'm rewriting a spec that utilizes pseudo-science in the story telling. I have to admit, I believe I misjudged the importance to explain 'how' the technology worked- unfortunately drawing more attention to it than desired and am now force to work my way back OUT from that corner.

    What I've learned, undeniably the hard way, is to keep it as simple as possible and do not get caught in the trap of trying to explain everything. When I put it up on The Black List a few of the comments mentioned that I did not adequately explain 'why' the technology requires TWO participants.

    I thought, "that's a fair comment,- and set out to answer that question only to find myself caught up in spending (acknowledging that now) way to much time and worse, too many pages devoted to answering this question.

    Always considering, "the note behind the note,- I do realize that the question might also be coming from other aspects of the story, in which I believe I have summarily addressed as I've been rewriting.

    But I'm not so certain that I have to, or more importantly should, explain as much as I may have initially thought.

    Like everyone else in the world, I've watched hundreds, if not thousands of films in my life. I love the high concept, but with high concept is there always an inherit need to answer questions that may naturally rise from introducing the concept itself?

    Jurassic Park was one of the first (as I can recall) that took it to a new level beyond just the 'talking heads' exposition into a scene that was more entertaining to establish the suspension of disbelief- an animation of ancient mosquitos sucked the blood of dinosaurs and found themselves 'stuck' in the natural preservative amber. Great, bought it- I'm in.

    As I've been working my way toward what is the appropriate approach, I keep finding examples of KISS over and over again. Keeping it simple and avoid explaining too much, which can get you in deep water, if not actually back you into a corner that seems impossible to escape.

    Granted, some genres are more prone to suspension of disbelief without explanation- for example, supernatural, horror, fantasy, and time travel.

    So, I started looking for examples in film and in specs that could 'direct' me, if you will, to finding a satisfying resolution to this 'note.' And what I've found, more so it seems in recent films, is the obviously conscious choice of NOT explaining- the whole less is more option.

    The Cell
    We see JLo suspended by tiny wires. She's given a chemical dose and has a magic 'safe' button on her hand. With no explanation she can create a world in her mind and bring another mind into her dream world by what seems sheer will. They don't ever explain how it's possible. They just show her doing it.

    Minority Report I think MR was a little different since the concept of pre-crime did have to be explained in order to establish the world rules. But I don't think a lot was really explained up front to allow us to suspend our disbelief. What worked well was seeing the technology in action. Which brings me to why the next one works as well. With that said there's a lot that isn't explained- the maglift, the cryo storage facility, the eyesight advertising, the surveillance spiders- of course all this is a beautifully crafted story world. I think the initial set up for MR was like 40 minutes.

    Inception Again, we show the technology in action at the onset, and I do think this works miracles- though not every story may be able to utilize this technique- it is probably the best way to get the audience engaged. We believe it works because we actually see it work. But when they wake up all we see is several people tied to a case with clear tubes and an IV in each one of them.

    The only real explanation that's given is the sedative and it's importance to how the technology works- but it seems that it's building story rules, too, because we need to understand that the stronger the sedative the deeper into the subconscious you can go, that is until you reach the dreaded 'limbo.'

    If you remember, they don't even show (or explain) how Ariadne can actually construct the levels of the dream world. There's never any mention of 'the construct' that she's designing the maze in (I guess it's supposed to be HER mind?)- all we see is she's playing with big styrofoam blocks as if they were Legos- and in doing so she is creating the rich texture of the levels we see in the back half of the film.

    Deja Vu They open a time window that shows us the past as it unfolds with a two day delay (something like that). Again, we see it while it's working. No one explains how they discovered the time window or how the window can actually see into the past. We know it's impossible, and yet we are willing to suspend our disbelief.

    And then suddenly they send our hero back in time through the window.

    In several of these films they employ the HERO who gets the answers for the audience, so the HERO kind of gets us up to speed. Maybe the fact that the Hero's on board it allows the audience to suspend easier?

    Constantine He dips his shoes in a bucket of water while holding a cat- he can travel to hell unabated and return at will with what I imagine is a glass globe filled with holy water.

    Source Code The subconscious mind of a blown apart human being is able to transcend the same 22 minutes over and over and over again, finally ending with the 'mind' of this soldier REPLACING the subconscious of the man our hero actually saved. When he replaced him, what actually happened to that guy?

    Looper "Time travel hasn't been invented yet, but in thirty years it will have been.- The voice over device that frames Looper is a very good one. That, coupled with the amazing world building that's going on, makes it very easy for us to suspend our disbelief. And the fact that they show us the 'alternate future' FIRST is, I think, key to suspending our disbelief when we later experience the first timeline where our hero wastes his life on a path of self-destruction. We don't even question HOW (or maybe we do a little but give it a pass) is this diverging future even possible because the story world rules do not allow for it.

    Edge of Tomorrow Another case where we're TOLD that it's possible because it's aliens. You've tapped into their collective hive mind where they can control time dimension, so until you have a blood transfusion where your blood is contaminated by another human being's blood you will relive the same day, every day, and die every day until a blood transfusion breaks the spell.

    Divergent
    Four gives Tris an injection with 'receptors' suspended in a solution and suddenly they can share their worst fears, and have it broadcasted, in a test to pass the initiation of Dauntless in order to become a full fledged faction citizen.

    2014 Black List script
    I read this script last night. The premise is that in the near future, the law has the ability to listen to the past in any location in the world to discover evidence to solve violent crimes. It's a cool idea and equally cool script, but the writer explains nothing about how the technology works.

    The lawman walks onto the scene, opens a case and sets up 'speakers' and suddenly they can dial back in time, to any time in the past at that location and listen to every single sound. But that's it- the writer doesn't explain anything- doesn't even try to, and the character who first uses it IS the person who discovered the technology. He opens the case, sets up the speakers and BAM- we're listening to the past, no questions asked.

    Now Interstellar, as much as I enjoyed the film, and I honestly did, had a few rather glaring moments where I was like, What the ****? Are you serious? I'll list four where I could not suspend my disbelief because there was insufficient information/proof provided:

    1) Love transcends time and space- right? Like, what?
    2) A mile high wave caused by gravity, but the wave troughs were only 2' deep
    3) We're in the ice clouds, but trust me, there's a green planet down on the surface and I'm (Kevin Bacon) not going to kill you and steal your ship
    4) That you can pass through a black hole, communicate with your loved ones across space with morse code in what appears to be a construct behind real time and then return from the black hole with nothing wrong with you- having not aged a day.

    So, there are a few things I'm wondering, and I honestly do think there is a difference between reading it and watching it happen on film, but maybe I'm wrong. For my project I think I've figured out what is the best route.

    Are we naturally more inclined to allow for suspension of disbelief by the simple fact of getting our asses into the theater seat?

    What are your thoughts? Has this happened to you? If so, what choices did you make and why? How did you resolve the issue? When do you ignore a note? When do you pay attention to it? When do we make the conscious choice in the 'written' word to tell the story with less? When do we go too far? When do we not go far enough? When is it easier for you to suspend and when has it been impossible?

    Best,
    FA4
    "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
    Hollywood producer

  • #2
    Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

    This is an interesting question/topic that I've been thinking a lot about recently and was talking about in a Facebook page because of a moment in GONE GIRL that took me totally out of the story. The whole suspension of disbelief is quite fascinating, especially when, at least for me, the moments I'm unable to suspend disbelief are when the story involves a "that could never happen" moment. I find this interesting because we all know that screenplays are fictitious creations, and yet we want them to resemble reality, or at least to obey the laws of physics, which is why time travel stories are always ripe for criticism.

    This "that could never happen" experience is script specific and story specific and depends on the craft with which both were constructed. It also depends on the relative weight of the moment in the story. We forgive all sorts of "that could never happen" moments in romcoms because we are less attached to the realism of the underlying drama, and because we willingly suspend our disbelief because we want to be transported to a magical world where boy and girl live happily ever after.

    Michael Crichton's novels, and the screenplays based upon them, work because they have, to alter a phrase from a wildly implausible blockbuster screenplay "plausible credibility." I don't even know if mosquitoes existed in the Jurassic period, but if I knew for a fact that they didn't, I'd be irritated about that throughout the story and wouldn't be able to suspend disbelief.

    I think the most glaring offenses happen when the lack of explanation for the thing we're asked to suspend our disbelief about is really just a story shortcut; something needed for the story, or for pure effect, that isn't plausible or credible. The best stories are so good, and so well-crafted, that even when they take us beyond plausible credibility, we don't care because something else in the story is much louder in our minds and we barely hear our own WTF inner monologue.

    I don't know the answer to your question(s), but in the end I think it has everything to do with creating a compelling and coherent story world that resembles the actual world as much as it needs to. LOOPER was compelling and had rules of coherence, but it wasn't entirely coherent and this bothered lots of people. I think you can violate this rule of coherence if the story makes up for it in terms of the compelling story world, or if you "hang a hat on it" like I think they did in LOOPER in the diner scene where there's that ridiculous dialogue about having a conversation about time travel. To me, that moment is like the writer saying, "Yeah, okay, there's some problems here, and I'm sorry about that, but let's get back to the story and I hope you enjoy it."

    It sounds like the note about your script is quite specific -- why the technology needs two people. I bet there's a compelling and coherent answer for you somewhere in the story world you've created.

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    • #3
      Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

      1) Love transcends time and space— right? Like, what?


      This isn't science, so I'm not sure what you're suggesting. Did she shove her tongue down some guy's or girl's throat after saying it? From what I've read it's more like uncharacteristic dialog from an underdeveloped character.


      2) A mile high wave caused by gravity, but the wave troughs were only 2’ deep.


      Poor cinematic story telling.


      3) We’re in the ice clouds, but trust me, there’s a green planet down on the surface and I’m (Kevin Bacon) not going to kill you and steal your ship.

      Out of character dialog or poor set up.

      4) That you can pass through a black hole, communicate with your loved ones across space with morse code in what appears to be a construct behind real time and then return from the black hole with nothing wrong with you— having not aged a day.

      Poor story telling. Or you might be over thinking some stuff?


      The box office seems to suggest that people gave lots of their money to see the movie.


      I don't know what to tell you. I hardly understood Minority Report when I saw it, and barely followed when I read it. I easily understood, and followed my read of "Alien" but the pictures in my mind were very different from the movie. Also in "Alien" it was easy handling Robby, the guy in the read, with Ripley, the actress, Weaver, in the movie.


      Good Luck
      Until I can find a quote from Pope Francis regarding one licking one's butt in the Vatican I'll post this:
      Just One Scene - Contest #1

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      • #4
        Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

        Some people are left-brained analysts almost exclusively. Some are more about right-brain emotion or have more of a blend of left- and right-brain. The really left-brained people who get pulled out of suspension of disbelief because they disagree with your physics are surely in the minority. Most people don't need to understand the physics and don't know enough to know if something is problematic scientifically. A simple explanation is enough for most to get the general idea and accept the rules of the world you give them, which is why less is more. Giving us a less complicated explanation for the quirks of your world keeps the story moving, allows most people to suspend disbelief if you are skillful, and sets up what's really important -- the emotional story. The emotional core of Interstellar is about the father who left the daughter and their love for each other. For me, that ending was satisfying because I didn't question the physics. I accepted it because of the "ghost" that was set up early in the story, as was the conflict about the daughter not wanting her dad to leave her. Thus, for me and for many (but not all) people, that ending was an emotionally satisfying surprise. For me it was an "OH! THAT'S what that was about earlier," as the writer intended it to be, and not a "WTF!?!" as it was for some physicists in the audience.

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        • #5
          Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

          Joaneasley: yes, I think you're right about the left-brain, right-brain people and that may explain why in many films there's a lot of debate about what is and isn't believable. I agree that with a good story you only need "just enough information" to believe in the world-- I am one of those viewers. I easily suspend my disbelief in almost all films, because I want to experience the journey the filmmaker is intending on taking me. I try not to think about what I would do, but try to better understand what the filmmaker's intention was, if that makes any sense.

          I wanted to say, that I really enjoyed Interstellar, I even cried at several moments. The emotional story was so strong and easily identifiable that I didn't have a problem getting into the story or suspending my disbelief for most of the story, but I did have those moments, though, that took me out of it.

          And yes, the set up with book case and 'ghost' were well thought out. Something the Nolan's are exceptional at. I understand why he still sent his daughter the message... STAY, but I wondered, if he really didn't want himself to take the mission, wouldn't he have denied giving himself the coordinates to the secret base in the first place?

          I'll have to watch it again to be sure, but perhaps her going to the facility and spending decades trying to solve the problem, actually allowed her to have the breakthrough moment and ultimately save humanity?

          I think when there are really ambitious projects there are going be a lot more people asking questions. Some people, once they're tugged out of the story have a difficult time engaging again-- I'm glad I'm not one of those people.

          Mark Sommers:
          You've made some very good observations, and I'm glad you commented. I don't think I was over thinking it, as much as they were aspects of the film that stood out while I was watching, speedbumps if you will. And these little moments didn't prevent me from engaging in the story again, just those few moments.

          Admittedly, I may be more sensitive to story logic questions since I also write stories-- as we all do. The Kevin Bacon scene was one of those scenes where the character's intentions were not hidden in subtext, but rather on the surface-- impossible for anyone not to understand what his intentions were, so for almost the entire scene I wasn't engaged.

          For me, it was that the black hole lead to the bookcase scene. I wasn't so bothered by the bookcase construct, and honestly, if they had been sucked into a wormhole and it showed some 'light' being pulling him through and out into the bookcase construct, I think it might not have stood out so much in my mind, I don't know. That sounds crazy, I know.

          Even if we really enjoy a film, that doesn't mean that there still can't be moments that didn't work as well for me as an audience member. I'm trying to learn from other's filmmaking experiences to better my craft, you know?

          I don't want to appear as if I'm bashing any other filmmaker, because that's absolutely not my intention. I have a lot of respect and admiration for anyone who gets a film made.

          And I agree with you wholeheartedly about how wonderful the experience in reading a script can be, especially before the film is out. My imagination serves me well and often my imagination exceeds what is actually captured on film.

          For me, once I read Social Network and Inglorious Basterds I didn't feel the need to watch the films, because the scripts were so amazing. But I did go to the theater to see them anyway-- felt I had to, really. Then there are other moments, like in Inception, where the film is so visually stunning, that you welcome that talent wholeheartedly, because you learn something new-- something that makes you a better filmmaker.

          Jcpdoc:
          I think you're absolutely right, that if you create a compelling story and a world that we can identify with, that simple offerings can be more than enough to suspend your disbelief. Looper is a great example and the 'hanging a hat on it' worked really well. It's one of my favorite films, really. And I think you're right about contrivances and how they can cause so many of the issues we're discussing here.

          I think that's what I was alluding to a bit when I mentioned the 'note behind the note' as I began to see that my characters needed to be better developed. The personal story needed to be stronger. And as the character conflict increased and motivations were made clear, I could see that a lot of the 'shiny' things didn't have to be so shiny, it can be simpler.

          It's funny, in my search to find the right answer I almost thought I wasn't going to be able to-- but I didn't give up. I was blocked by my own story. Feeling I couldn't change certain things. Then I posted a message in my writer's group and said "the technology needs to to this, and the story has to answer these two questions." And a member gave me the answer, clear as day. Take away one of the coincidences and make it so anyone can be the second person. It's doesn't have to be ONLY the hero. But it's ONLY the hero that's willing to take the risk with his own life.

          And it was that simple. Making that one change will allow me to cut a few pages in the set up and get into the story with a few lines of dialogue. But I couldn't see it because I was too rooted in what I'd already written-- I was too precious with the words I had written. A danger to be avoided at all costs.

          I have to tell you it was an amazing moment. I sat there and stared at his sentence-- I couldn't believe how simple the suggestion was, and I was like-- ****, why didn't I think of that? So I saved it as a new file and archived the old one. Now I have a fresh version I can begin revising tomorrow.

          I think you're right, the answer is in the story. I feel good about it again. I know I can do it-- and that's a great way to start the new year.

          Thank you all for your comments. I appreciate the time you've taken to respond.

          Best,
          FA4
          "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
          Hollywood producer

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

            I agree with Joan: it's not the science that's important as much as the emotions. We start to pick apart a movie when we are not emotionally involved in the story and our mind takes over from our heart.

            But it's more difficult to grab our hearts on paper than on film (where we can see the people).

            Bill
            Free Script Tips:
            http://www.scriptsecrets.net

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

              Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
              Take away one of the coincidences and make it so anyone can be the second person. It's doesn't have to be ONLY the hero. But it's ONLY the hero that's willing to take the risk with his own life.
              You're focusing on the wrong problem. It's not about explaining the technology.

              We set up the "rules" of our worlds early on, so after that stick to the rules you create. As viewers, we agree that a light saber can out-battle a blaster, that a single ring can rule the world, that DNA proteins can survive millennia, or that the NYPD would let a 1% writer pretend he's a detective. None of those are remotely plausible, but we accept them as part of the larger story. We like the characters well enough, the plot is exciting, so we'll join the writer in their make-believe world (and I also believe good characters can trump a lot).

              Whether using science, pseudo-science, fantasy, or no science at all, this suspension of disbelief can be derailed by coincidence. As long as the story behaves in the rules we set up, we'll allow ourselves to believe a great deal of malarky. Cheat the fiction of any story (i.e.: with coincidence) and we stop believing and start questioning. Coincidence doesn't happen in our real lives very much, so while we might allow one moment of coincidence, more than that triggers our BS meter. I haven't analyzed it, but coincidences are probably best left for the beginning of the story -- a writer's allowed one "gimmie" to set things off, but it better be the strength and ingenuity of the characters that carries the story, not a coincidence.

              It sounds like the note of "why does it have to be two people" was more of a coincidence red flag than an honest desire to know about the technology involved. Your revelation about it supports that, which suggests that your hunch about the "note behind the note" was spot-on. The reader saw one coincidence too many, and it turned on his BS meter.

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              • #8
                Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

                I think people will always be more critical at script level, that's just something we have to live with. All films need a suspension of disbelief but I think people are more forgiving of it in great films.

                Back to the Future obviously has some logic holes, any time travel movie will have them. But it's Back to the Future, it's so great that nobody cares.

                Then you have Interstellar, a film great in parts and terrible in others. The film wasn't as amazing as people expected so our natural instinct is to go to those flaws and obsess over them.

                Like others have said having the rules of your movie established early on in a reasonably clear way is the important thing. The problem then is not overdoing it to the point of boring exposition.

                I myself haven't had a problem like scientific plot holes but had a complaint once about not understanding character motivation. I felt anybody that was properly reading would have understood but some people need to be spoon fed.

                Do some minor tweaks to make sure everything is established properly and see if that complaint occurs again. Have some regular people read it too. I've always had more valuable comments from people who aren't writers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

                  Originally posted by MoviePen View Post
                  You're focusing on the wrong problem. It's not about explaining the technology.
                  Correct, I was focused on the wrong thing and the act of trying to answer 'that' question seemed to draw more attention to it.
                  We set up the "rules" of our worlds early on, so after that stick to the rules you create. As viewers, we agree that a light saber can out-battle a blaster, that a single ring can rule the world, that DNA proteins can survive millennia, or that the NYPD would let a 1% writer pretend he's a detective. None of those are remotely plausible, but we accept them as part of the larger story. We like the characters well enough, the plot is exciting, so we'll join the writer in their make-believe world (and I also believe good characters can trump a lot).
                  Yes, I understand what you're saying. This is the opening pages 10-25, and I think that the underdeveloped characters were contributing to the reader 'noticing' the plot hole or the too convenient reason the characters were thrown together. And actually, it's possible that, at least partially, that what was in my head wasn't actually coming across clearly on the page?

                  Whether using science, pseudo-science, fantasy, or no science at all, this suspension of disbelief can be derailed by coincidence. As long as the story behaves in the rules we set up, we'll allow ourselves to believe a great deal of malarky. Cheat the fiction of any story (i.e.: with coincidence) and we stop believing and start questioning. Coincidence doesn't happen in our real lives very much, so while we might allow one moment of coincidence, more than that triggers our BS meter. I haven't analyzed it, but coincidences are probably best left for the beginning of the story -- a writer's allowed one "gimmie" to set things off, but it better be the strength and ingenuity of the characters that carries the story, not a coincidence.
                  Yes, I agree, too. Coincidences in the beginning (one) are not typically the issue. it's when it happens over and over that is the problem, because then it feels like the story is forced and not springing from the characters and their motivations. I was listening to Craig and John on Scriptnotes and agree with their assessment-- one coincidence at the beginning, which allows the story to move forward, is allowed. But, it is okay if the antagonist is allowed coincidences as it makes the hero's struggle that much more difficult.
                  It sounds like the note of "why does it have to be two people" was more of a coincidence red flag than an honest desire to know about the technology involved. Your revelation about it supports that, which suggests that your hunch about the "note behind the note" was spot-on. The reader saw one coincidence too many, and it turned on his BS meter.
                  Yes, I think you're right, it wasn't really about wanting to know about the technology.

                  Thanks for stopping by Moviepen916965, your comments have been helpful.
                  "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
                  Hollywood producer

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

                    Originally posted by TheConnorNoden View Post
                    I think people will always be more critical at script level, that's just something we have to live with. All films need a suspension of disbelief but I think people are more forgiving of it in great films.
                    Agree 100%. When I've read a several near future Black List scripts over the past two years, I was amazed that they didn't even 'try' to explain how the tech worked-- and maybe a part of that is the confidence in the writing itself. I think the trick is that you have to be in a moment where the audience/reader is more interested in what's happening and not the 'how' of it.

                    Back to the Future obviously has some logic holes, any time travel movie will have them. But it's Back to the Future, it's so great that nobody cares.

                    Then you have Interstellar, a film great in parts and terrible in others. The film wasn't as amazing as people expected so our natural instinct is to go to those flaws and obsess over them.

                    Like others have said having the rules of your movie established early on in a reasonably clear way is the important thing. The problem then is not overdoing it to the point of boring exposition.
                    Yes, and I think this was my failing when I first went to rewrite it-- I definitely was over doing the explanation. I knew it as I read it. As I wrote it. It was so frustrating.
                    I myself haven't had a problem like scientific plot holes but had a complaint once about not understanding character motivation. I felt anybody that was properly reading would have understood but some people need to be spoon fed.
                    I think some people can focus more on being critical than on trying to understand the writer's 'intention' for the story. When receiving notes, I read them all. I consider them carefully, but there are some that end up being more about the story the 'reader' would write and not how to tell the best story the 'writer' is telling. Granted, sometimes the way someone else would do it is a great inspiration, too. I try to consider 'why' the note was offered. And after doing that, if it doesn't mesh with my intention, I move on.
                    Do some minor tweaks to make sure everything is established properly and see if that complaint occurs again. Have some regular people read it too. I've always had more valuable comments from people who aren't writers.
                    What's interesting, is that I had several writer's I respect a lot read it, and there may have been one or two that were a little confused, but none said they couldn't suspend their disbelief. And comments were focused on telling less. I think that by focusing more on better developing character motivations for all the characters, not only the primary characters have made it a lot better opening.

                    But the most important thing that I've learned, is that if you, as the writer, believe in the story you can't give up on the problem. I can't tell you how many ways I've written this opening. And there were times I wanted to give up, but I just couldn't. I would even take a break and write another script which always helps with perspective, I believe.

                    I've learned that there are a thousands ways to write the same story-- and the only way you find the best way, is that you can't be precious about your pages. You have to be willing to throw them away to get to a better place. I save the old draft (see it's still there if I need it) and archive it to settle my inner fear that thinks that's the best I can do, then I can freely delete the section that's the problem and start fresh.

                    By letting go of what's already written it allows us to explore new and exciting opportunities-- you just have to get past the fear of changing what's already written. You can't hesitate. To hesitate limits your opportunities, your creativity and most importantly, your growth as a writer.

                    Thank you, TheConnorNoden, for offering your opinion. It's been helpful.
                    "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
                    Hollywood producer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

                      Regarding Interstellar:

                      "1) Love transcends time and space— right? Like, what?"

                      - That part of the movie really made me roll my eyes. It was way too forced. I also don't think a scientist would really think like that.

                      "2) A mile high wave caused by gravity, but the wave troughs were only 2’ deep"

                      - This works in terms of science and physics. It's water displacement. Even on Earth when a tsunami occurs the tide at the beach will be very low.

                      "3) We’re in the ice clouds, but trust me, there’s a green planet down on the surface and I’m (Kevin Bacon) not going to kill you and steal your ship"

                      - I think the idea behind this was to find something underground. In an earlier draft of the script they find a base underground where chinese scientist (now dead) were testing to see if the planet could sustain life.

                      "4) That you can pass through a black hole, communicate with your loved ones across space with morse code in what appears to be a construct behind real time and then return from the black hole with nothing wrong with you— having not aged a day."

                      - We don't know enough about black holes to refute any of this. For all we know you could go through a black hole and end up somewhere else in the universe completely unharmed. As for the not aging thing, that's scientifically accurate. According to Einstein's theory of general relativity when you're near (or in this case inside) a black hole time slows down greatly for you.

                      I think the takeaway point is that if not enough information about a certain subject exists, you can do whatever you want and technically it could be true. All good sci-fi movies seem to avoid using dialogue to explain things as much as possible. Even in Looper when Young Joe asks Old Joe how time travel works he says:

                      "I don't want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws."

                      How time travel exactly works isn't important to the story. The audience just needs to accept that it exists and works the way it does in the movie.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

                        Originally posted by khurram_89 View Post
                        Regarding Interstellar:

                        "1) Love transcends time and space— right? Like, what?"

                        - That part of the movie really made me roll my eyes. It was way too forced. I also don't think a scientist would really think like that.

                        "2) A mile high wave caused by gravity, but the wave troughs were only 2’ deep"
                        A tsunami is a result of tectonic shifting (warter displacement) and not gravity, right?. An ocean with enough volume to create a mile high wave wouldn't have a trough-- the space between the highest and lowest point of the wave-- shouldn't be 2ft. Besides they weren't on the beach the were in between waves, right? Tsunami's draw water away from the shore as the sea floor shallows, that's why the wave increases so dramatically in height. The next wave draws the water back out.

                        Gravity works more like rising and lowering tides with the gravitational pull. And I think if the gravitational pull was strong enough to create a mile high wave that it might effect people, no? Not to mention the actual land beneath their feet? I honestly don't know.
                        - This works in terms of science and physics. It's water displacement. Even on Earth when a tsunami occurs the tide at the beach will be very low.

                        "3) We’re in the ice clouds, but trust me, there’s a green planet down on the surface and I’m (Kevin Bacon) not going to kill you and steal your ship"

                        - I think the idea behind this was to find something underground. In an earlier draft of the script they find a base underground where chinese scientist (now dead) were testing to see if the planet could sustain life.

                        "4) That you can pass through a black hole, communicate with your loved ones across space with morse code in what appears to be a construct behind real time and then return from the black hole with nothing wrong with you— having not aged a day."

                        - We don't know enough about black holes to refute any of this. For all we know you could go through a black hole and end up somewhere else in the universe completely unharmed. As for the not aging thing, that's scientifically accurate. According to Einstein's theory of general relativity when you're near (or in this case inside) a black hole time slows down greatly for you.
                        i think it's more likely that the assumptions have to, to some degree, represent current thinking in the field and it has to at least be probable. If light can't escape a black hole what would that mean for something with mass. It's intersting to thing that light can travel through space and it has no mass, so maybe our basic assumptions are incorrect.

                        It took me out of the story, so i guess that is my point. I couldn't seriously believe it. I think you're right... Say as little as possible.
                        I think the takeaway point is that if not enough information about a certain subject exists, you can do whatever you want and technically it could be true. All good sci-fi movies seem to avoid using dialogue to explain things as much as possible. Even in Looper when Young Joe asks Old Joe how time travel works he says:

                        "I don't want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws."

                        How time travel exactly works isn't important to the story. The audience just needs to accept that it exists and works the way it does in the movie.
                        I actually think we suspend our disbelief more readily with time travel because it's so fun.
                        Thanks for commenting, it make for interesting thinking.
                        finalact4
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                        Last edited by finalact4; 01-07-2015, 10:44 AM.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

                          I read that draft of interstellar that had the Chinese team there first and already uncovering information on the planet. I have not seen the movie yet, but will be interesting to see what is in its place.

                          Suspension of disbelief is a part of the movie experience. How many times have you seen the hero of an action movie get shot at with two machine guns, an RPG, and a marksman rifle and not get hit? In real life, they'd be dead as dead could be no matter who they were.

                          For interstellar to work all Nolan has to do is sell you on the fact that black holes contain mystical like powers that warp time and space. There isn't a person around that wouldn't buy into that. If you watch shows like The Planets and The Universe, you'll always see scientists theorizing what black holes are and how they work.

                          You'll always see in movies that ancient relics hold powers, like in Night At the Museum and other movies before that. The writer of that script took an age old Hollywood plot device and put a pretty cool spin on it.

                          In an Segal or Van Dam film their character walks into a room of a dozen people and whoops butt without getting like a cut on their pinky.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Suspension of Disbelief - High Concepts

                            Originally posted by Cyfress View Post
                            I read that draft of interstellar that had the Chinese team there first and already uncovering information on the planet. I have not seen the movie yet, but will be interesting to see what is in its place.

                            Suspension of disbelief is a part of the movie experience .
                            Agreed, but suspension of disbelief isn't an automatic given. If the information is lacking it can ruin a film.
                            For interstellar to work all Nolan has to do is sell you on the fact that black holes contain mystical like powers that warp time and space. There isn't a person around that wouldn't buy into that. If you watch shows like The Planets and The Universe, you'll always see scientists theorizing what black holes are and how they work.
                            Exactly my point. To a certain degree the filmmaker has to sell you on the idea and concept. And in the case of Intersterstellar there were more than a few, it seems, had problems with several logic points-- in other words, the film as presented didn't do it's job for everyone.

                            And I'm not bashing the film or its filmmakers, i did like Interstellar. My intention is to open a discussion on how we, using other films as examples, can learn from them and avoid possible pitfalls.

                            Thanks for commenting.
                            FA4
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