Spoiling the Story
There’s a great article on one of my new favorite sites, Grantland, today. It’s called “Are Spoilers Flipping the Script?” and it’s by pop culture analyst, Chuck Klosterman.
In the article, Klosterman ponders whether or not today’s wildfire social media causes screenwriters to approach their work differently from the very beginning of a project:
Are screenwriters now affected by “spoiler culture” before they even begin the writing process? If you know a twist will be unavoidably revealed before the majority of people see the work itself, and if you concede that selling and marketing a film with a major secret will be more complicated for everyone involved … would you even try? Would you essentially stop yourself from trying to write a movie that’s structured like The Sixth Sense?
It’s a really interesting question, and I think time will tell whether or not the endless media points will change anything. But I do know that you can probably go online and learn almost anything about a film if you want to. I make it a point to avoid press about films if I even hear a murmur about a “twist” ending. The film Catfish, for example. Once there was a little buzz about the third act of that film, I went out of my way to avoid anything at all about it until I finally had a chance to see it for myself. Of course, I found that film to be relatively predictable for the most part, so I wasn’t thanking my lucky stars I didn’t spoil it for myself. But still, if I had heard what happens before I saw it, I’m sure it would’ve been a different experience for me.
It’s pretty interesting how all of this social media and connectivity are changing a lot of things, not just movies. But maybe it’s going to spawn some entire new way of approaching things like films and will actually be helpful instead of giving up too much information. I guess time will tell.
You can read Chuck Klosterman’s article here. And do yourself a favor, visit Grantland regularly.