Exposition: How to make it dramatic

This is the first in a series of short tips based on the creative efforts of IMTF’s entrants. Each how-to piece will reference a trailer that has been submitted to our Festival.

Background information plays a vital role in storytelling by introducing the audience to the characters and their struggles. The challenge is to make exposition dramatic. In “ASSET,” a web series concept trailer, the screenwriters avoided the pitfall of boring exposition by suggesting intercutting informational dialogue with action sequences. This counterpoint, starting at 0:33,  keeps viewers slightly off-balance and hence more engaged than if the exposition were of a single piece. The same trailer is also worth studying for the way it uses motion to grab interest in the opening shot. The team: Director/Editor, Mike Donis; Screenwriters Matthew Carvery and Charles Barangan;  Director of Photography, Henry Sansom.

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