Friday, December 28th, 2012

Writing Prompt: At the Cinema

The Brothers Lumier: Louis and AugusteToday in 1895, the first commercial movie was viewed at the Grand Cafe in Paris, France. Admission was charged.

The film was made by two professional photographers, Louis and Auguste Lumier, who were goaded into creating a movie when their father saw Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope, and told them they could do better.

(Let’s hear it for a little parental guilt!)

The movie was a series of short scenes of everyday French life.

It enthralled the public, and the rest is history.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write a scene as if you might be writing a movie script, rather than a novel or short story. Don’t worry about making a perfect script. Simply set the scene with a few paragraphs at the top, then write the dialogue.
  • Part 2 from above: once you’ve written the movie treatment, turn around and write the scene as if for a novel or short story. Does the dialogue still work? If not, revise.
  • Write a journal entry or essay on your favorite movie you’ve seen on the big screen. What about it seeing it in the theater makes it your favorite?
  • In Cornhuskers, chapter, 28 Memoir of a Proud Boy, Carl Sandburg writes, “There is drama in that point: the boy and the pigs. Griffith would make a movie of it to fetch sobs…” Write about a movie bringing you to tears. What emotion stirred the tears? Why?

Good Luck!

2 comments to Writing Prompt: At the Cinema

  • Kelly, thanks for the prompts, another set of great ones to close out 2012! Sounds like someone could write an interesting historical tale (or alternate history) about the Lumier brothers themselves. Imagine one of them saying, “Aw, Dad, we can’t compete with Edison; he’s a genius! You’re always trying to push us too hard!” Then later, they’re deciding what their movie should be about…”I know, let’s do it about a guy who brings dinosaurs to life on a remote island!” “Nah, nobody would want to see that; let’s just do some scenes from everyday life.” Then later…”Do you think we should charge money to see our movie?” “Absolutely not! What are you, an American? If we charge money, then the next thing you know, movie tickets will just keep going up in price, and people will clamor to watch movies at home.”
    Anyway, someone could do that, I suppose. Happy New Year!

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