Posts Tagged ‘48 Hrs.’

When you think of classic actions films a few of these might pop into your mind; Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, 48 Hrs., The Last Boy Scout, The Matrix. Those films all have at least on thing in common —they were produced by Joel Silver. Orphan currently in theater was also produced by Silver.  His first producing credit was back in 1976, so what’s his box-office secret?

Let’s once again turn to the book The Secrets of Action Screenwriting for part of the answer:

Action film producer Joel Silver says, ‘You’ve got to have a ‘whammo’ every ten minutes; an explosion, a car chase, a fight scene, to keep the audience interested.’ Silver believes this is the most important thing in action films, and he’s probably right. Silver has made the most successful action films ever, and launched Schwarenegger as an Action Lead in the low budget Commando. 
    Pacing and Timing are critical to action films.
         Long dead spots and an abundance of talk scenes will sink your script before it ever gets made. Action scripts contain action scenes and you’ve got to keep those car chases and shoot outs coming, or the audience will get up and leave.”
                                                                                          William C. Martell 

Of course, Martell’s book came out in 1998 and I don’t know how old the Joel Silver quote is but it seems like the whammo factor has been bumped up to every ten seconds in some action movies these days.

Scott W. Smith


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