Monday, May 30, 2011

Darn Action Movies

I just realized something hilarious. I picked Memorial Day to edit an action sequence. The day where we honor our real-life action heroes, and I’m spending it writing about an imaginary one. Respectful or disrespectful, I’m doing it. Even though hurtling off a stone tower has nothing on defusing an I.E.D.

Did I just say that? Oops. Well, that’s what happens. Arman does indeed hurtle off of a stone tower. What the circumstances are, and what on earth would possess him to do such a thing, is something you’ll have to find out this October, when the whole thing comes out. Right now I’m taking a break to vent how insanely tough it is to make it awesome.

Ever since I got the idea for The Kingdom Trilogy, I knew there were going to be swordfights. And chases, and monsters, and fire, and jumps, and battle-cries, and everything that made Star Wars, Braveheart, and Indiana Jones beloved by audiences around the world.

Well, Indy makes it look easy. If writing action sequences is not the hardest writing I’ve ever had to do, it’s in the top three. Movies have a natural advantage. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what kind of numbers you get when that picture involves a man kung-fu fighting a gang of ninjas and leaping out of an exploding submarine.

Problem is, I can only write so much. When I throw Arman off that stone tower, I only have one terse paragraph to put you in the scene. I want you to be excited. I want you to squeal as Arman plummets to certain death. Every single word has to draw you in, because when things happen this quickly, one confusing word or phrase will halt the flow.

And, of course, everything has to make sense when you think about it later. Realism is integral to what makes stunts exciting. It can’t be so outlandish or unlikely that you don’t believe it. The Kingdom: The Quest may be a fantasy, but if it doesn’t have enough “real” to scare you, then its job has failed.

See what I’m up against? I better get back in the trenches. Thanks for letting me whine. Clearly, you are a kind and patient person.

Speaking of which! Memorial Day may be past, but keep honoring the soldiers of the United States of America. They have it rougher out there than most of us can imagine. They are the knights of our time. Remember them!

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