Monday, December 30, 2013

The Two Rules of Art

These are the two rules I try to focus on with my screenwriting, but they apply to any sort of art-making.

ONE: Thou Shalt Not Confuse Thy Audience

It's okay to be erudite. It's okay to make an audience work a bit. It's okay to be challenging and difficult, and even a little hoity-toity. It is never okay, however, to be intentionally obscure -- to take your story down a path that a willing audience will be unable to follow. Good art is good communication. Anything else is, um, self-flagellation.

TWO: Thou Shalt Not Bore Thy Audience

People do not come to art to be shown more of the same, and while you are not responsible for today's audience's micro-sized attention span, you are responsible for adding something different to their lives. I know, I know, "there's nothing new under the sun." There are, however, new and interesting ways -- inherent to your unique you-ness -- to express the old things. And if you want people to give you their precious time (and perhaps money), you'll need to give them this new, interesting, you-filtered experience.

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