“You always have to setup and you always have to payoff. But, you know what? It works great! And it works in great movies as well. I noticed some set-ups and payoff in Courage Under Fire were very subtle and sophisticated, but they still work on the same level of your basic action movie setup and payoff. They’re great! I live and die by my setups and payoffs, and most screenplays do.”
The Best of Creative Screenwriting
A great example of a huge setup is found in Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption in the scene known as “Salvation lies within.”
One of the greatest payoffs in cinema was the following scene from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (major spoiler in case there is someone in the universe who hasn’t seen this movie):
P.S. For those keeping records—Both The Shawshank Redemption and Star Wars are two more examples of After Darkness, Light. Looks like this will be a recurring theme on this blog for 2012.