Why do filmmakers repeatedly rely on death, especially murder, to move their story forward? True, reckless killings happen often; however, they repeatedly happen in movies.
I’ll never forget listening to the director’s commentary of a famous independent film. During a scene in which an adolescent character is killed, the writer/director said that he “needed something to move the story forward…a device.” So he killed off a kid. I’m sorry, but that is downright disgusting.
Personally, I feel death is the easy choice. Like in life, one simply needs to pull out a gun and shoot their character – done, which leads to drama. It gives the writer something to write about. But I believe there are much better ways to generate drama and move the story forward.
More importantly, I believe these better alternatives to death lead to developments in the plot that would otherwise never have happened if death were chosen. In other words, by simply choosing death as a plot point, other, more beautiful and exciting developments are also put to death.
Believe me, I’m not immune to death as an idea. I am currently developing a feature film script and death has arisen as an option multiple times, not to mention rape and incest. It’s sick, I know. But from a writer’s perspective, they are “tools of the trade.” They have been ingrained in me.
Not sure if that’s such a good thing….