Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Make your scenes stand out

The Singing Butler by Jack Vettriano

I believe we learn more about our "art" of choice by looking at other forms of art. As a storyteller, I am drawn to art that tells a story. Would this painting be so famous if it was just a man and a woman dancing?

What makes it stand out:

~ They are dancing in an unusual place - full ballroom dress on a beach
~ It's raining and blustery
~ They've enlisted help to provide a little shelter - and a song to dance to. It's kind of outrageous (as if a couple umbrellas could really help!), and a little touching, too, the guy going to such an extreme to try to generate a romantic moment. If I were the woman being romanced, I'd probably want the help to go away - I'd want the moment to be private, even at the expense of wetness. Maybe this guy thinks he's being really romantic, but she's only putting on game face. Or vice versa, maybe it was her plan gone awry. Either way, there's a story here.

This painting makes me want to revisit my written scenes to see if I can put them in an unusual or striking place. (I've also learned that movie directors seldom use the same scene location twice, and only for dramatic contrast).  Changing the weather can add interesting drama to a scene. Adding a character or two, esp. ones doing something unusual, is the real kicker to this painting and might be the defining difference between a so-so written scene and one that really pops.

What kind of art inspires/teaches you?

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