As the summer blockbuster season winds down (or what many studios had hoped would be a ‘summer blockbuster season’ as Tomorrowland certainly didn’t break the bank-in a good way), I noticed this quote from the review of Jurassic World written by AP’s Jake Coyle entitled “Jurassic World Bites Into the Modern Blockbuster”:
“Jurassic World,” the latest incarnation of the franchise, is lacking the deft sense of wonderment, wit and suspense that guided the original.
Exactly! For a while now I’ve been talking about the fact that many of our mainstream studio movies have been relying on CGI effects and digital hijinks just a little too much – so much that storylines are often nonexistent.
It’s no wonder that the movie-going public over 40-45 stays away from the local multiplex along with everyone else (of any age) that is looking for a story and some meaning within their movies.
Where is the Wonderment?
Not only are storylines not happening, as a result, neither is the wonderment, wit and suspense.
Personally, it is wonderful to see a critic using the word “wonderment” as I have been dedicated to teaching my students and clients how to introduce this element into their material. See my earlier post: Make Your Audience Think. Create Moments of Wonderment.
Wit and suspense are necessary elements also, sure, but wonderment is definitely lacking in many (if not most) of today’s movies. See Why Wonderment in Writing Matters published on this blog previously.
So, how can you be sure you have wonderment in your latest project?
One of the simplest ways is to ask yourself if you are providing something within your work that your audience cannot get anywhere else. In other words, it is the act of experiencing your work (via reading, listening, watching) that provides wonderment and in my opinion any piece of work that does not have this experience needs some more rewriting/reworking. So as you continue with your writing, ask if the material will make a difference in anyone’s life – this is the base of what wonderment is.
Oh, and that Jurassic World movie will do fine at the box office, but I know we can do better than this and we MUST do better than this and begin writing scripts and stories that have just that – a story, rather than just the special effects.
For more information about how to get wonderment into your work check out The Writer’s Advantage.
…and let’s face it, the only real reason to see this movie is to watch Chris Pratt, right?