Beginnings and Endings

I’ve been thinking about openings and closings. When it comes to storytelling must-haves, I think these are the two most important things to get your mitts around. Sure, every element is important—stories that waiver in their basic foundation are not going anywhere, and work without engaging characters (or pick any other element you want) face uphill battles.

But, yeah. The beginning and the end.

For me these get me thinking hard about the entire point of the story—which, as I’ve noted before has become something of a link pin for me. Think what you will of my work, it’s important to me that the piece I’m working on makes me feel something important, even if I don’t like that feeling (yes, Lisa and I recently watched Manchester by the Sea why do you ask?).

In that light, I recently came across this extremely interesting screenwriting page that discussed opening and closing images in films, focusing on their purposes—how the opening scene sets the tone and basic framework for everything that’s going to follow, and how the end-frame does something completely different. “The two work as bookends,” the piece explains…then there’s a fascinating 5-minute video at the end that puts the beginnings and ends of a series of movies together side-by side in a fascinating exercise.

Really interesting.

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