CLASSROOM: Movie Monsters – Learn to Write with Scope and Scale

30 January 2019


CLASSROOM: Movie Monsters – Learn to Write with Scope and Scale

We’ve all spent countless hours watching fun monster movies and tv shows. When it’s a rainy day, one of my favourite things to do is find the biggest, dumbest, and craziest monster movie and throw it on. That’s how I found gems like Troll HunterSuper 8, and Deep Blue Sea.

Are these movies going to win any Oscars? Probably not.

But who cares?

We watch these movies because they give us a perspective we don’t get in reality. And they give us a reason to head to the theatre and see these movies on the biggest screen possible. What I love about these movies is that they provide scope and scale to our world.

When I talk about a movie’s scope, I’m talking about the amount of time and space your story covers.

Scale refers to the size of the story. Movies like Blue Jay are very small concerning scale whereas something like Star Wars has massive scale.

Do movies with more scope and scale have more worth? No. But as theatrical releases change with the onset of bigger TVs at home, studios are focusing more on making tentpole films that drive audiences to the theatre.

I want to examine how we are using larger than life monsters to show the scale and scope of the action and the stakes. Most of the time, huge monster movies give the beast an origin and then flash later when it’s getting big or fully grown. Other times, these movies choose to make the origins of these beasts a mystery. All we know about Jaws is that it came up the coast looking for a good meal.

No matter what, a great monster movie is not only fun to read, but it also a blast to write.

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Image credit: No Film School