“Coincidence may mean exposition is in the wrong place, i.e. if you establish the too-convenient circumstances before they become dramatically necessary, then we feel no sense of coincidence. Use coincidence to get your characters into trouble, not out of trouble.”
Writer/director Alexander Mackendrick (Sweet Smell of Success, The Ladykillers)
On-Filmmaking: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director
I love the simplicity of that line, “Use coincidence to get your characters into trouble, not out of trouble.” Be nice if every filmmaker could memorize that sentence. It would spare a lot rolling of eyes in movie theaters.
Related post: Screenwriting & Coincidence (tip #11)