How to Make A Movie in 10 Steps
How to Make a Film in the Style of Quentin Tarantino
Make use of intertextuality.One of the most parts of a Quentin Tarantino film is the borrowing from other films, or intertextuality. Tarantino often borrows from B-movies and a variety of genres to create his own films. In a true Tarantino film, only the most avid movie buff would be able to recognize every reference on the first viewing. So, the first step in making a Quentin Tarantino film is to watch as many movies as possible and incorporate them into your film. Some call his movies a “pastiche,” but many scholars like James John Millea BAmus believe that this practice allows for an active audience in mainstream media.
- Death Proof is meant to mimic the “grindhouse” cinema Tarantino would watch with friends on a movie night. Kill Bill is modeled after Asian “Kung Fu” films, and everything from the choreography to the CGI is modeled after other films.
- To make a Tarantino film,do your research, and while much of the film will remain original, incorporate as much as possible from other films.
Prioritize music.In most commercially successful films, music is there to enhance the storytelling: It can create an atmosphere, add emotion or connect scenes. Tarantino used all of these in his films, but he is known for adding so much more with his music. He often takes music from other films, and uses them in certain scenes to add layers to the meaning of the movie. For example, the title song from White Lightning - a movie about revenge - fits in perfectly with the theme of Inglourious Basterds. Almost every song is carefully chosen, often giving connotative meanings, developing characters and generally engaging a non-passive audience.
- To make a Quentin Tarantino movie, emphasize the music. Have a good knowledge of music and music from films, and incorporate it into your work to allow it to add another layer to the film. The music should be engaging and emotional, but have more meaning behind it that an active watcher can seek out.
Include lots of violence.The most well known, and arguably the most important, part of a Tarantino film is the violence.
- Inglourious Basterds shows the killing of hundreds of Nazis, much of it on screen.
- Dozens are shot in Django Unchained, with one character killed by a dog.
- Pulp Fiction has a half dozen deaths, including one death by samurai sword.
- Violence is crucial to a Tarantino film, but to do it right we need to borrow from Tarantino’s favorite source, B-movies. Aaron Anderson, a fight director, analyzes the fighting and violence in Kill Bill. He demonstrates how almost every fighting scene borrows from different movies and genres. The fighting is more than just violence, as it parodies gender roles and satirizes a film genre.
- So,include lots of violence and lots of blood.But make sure the violence is meaningful and important for the greater purpose of the film.
Emphasize revenge.Almost every one of Quentin Tarantino’s movies is centered around revenge. For example:
- In Inglourious Basterds, the Jewish special team is avenging their Jewish brothers killed by the Nazis.
- In Django Unchained, Django takes revenge for the years he and his wife were kept in slavery.
- In Kill Bill, Kiddo avenges her attempted murder and the death of her daughter.
- The plot of a Tarantino movie is often centered around vengeance, so if you’re trying to make a Tarantino-style film, it would be a good idea to keep the theme of vengeance.
Create a chaotic and unpredictable plot.A true Tarantino-style film should be unpredictable, chaotic and uncertain. This isn’t true for all of his films, but many of them try to represent the chaos and randomness of life.
- Pulp Fiction shows scenes out of order, and the events that occur are seemingly meaningless and random, at least at first glance.
- In Reservoir Dogs, after an undercover police officer risks his life to save a captured cop, the cop is killed moments later, rendering the sacrifice meaningless.
- Inglourious Basterds ends heroically, but the death of many of the “good guys” could have been avoided with better communication.
Sprinkle in non-plot related dialogue.Much of the conversation in Tarantino’s films does not drive the plot forward. The seemingly unnecessary dialogue in his movies helps humanize and bring the characters to life. Dialogue irrelevant to the plot is a key component of a Tarantino film.
- In Pulp Fiction, Jules has a long discussion with Vincent about hamburgers.
- Reservoir Dogs opens with a conversation about tipping.
- Inglourious Basterds had almost half an hour of German dialogue before the action began.
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Sources and Citations
- Millea BAmus. James John. “Inglourious Intertextuality: Music and Meaning in the Soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds”. National University of Ireland, Cork, 2012.
- Mera, Miguel. “Inglo(u)rious Basterdization? Tarantino and the War Movie Mashup”. Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Anderson, Aaron. “Mindful Violence: the visibility of power and inner life in Kill Bill”. Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 2004.
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Date: 06.12.2018, 05:26 / Views: 51362