Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Time for a summer blockbuster

Ah, summer...long days away from work, sweltering temperatures outside, cool drinks, time to loaf around and catch up on all that reading you've promised yourself and de-stress from the 9 to 5 (or 9 am to 9 pm in my case on thursdays).
And time to go to the movies and watch something noisy involving explosions and car chases and stuff. There are few guilty pleasures better than a trashy summer blockbuster.
The problem is, I end up with the feeling that I've seen one, I've seen them all.
And do you know, that's probably the case - almost all the big budget action movies are written to a series of simple guidelines.
I read a very interesting article on Blake Snyder and his book Save the Cat! The last book on screenwriting you'll ever need, which outlines 15 points you'll find in your typical successful blockbuster.
Here they are:
  1. Opening image
  2. Theme is stated
  3. The set-up
  4. The catalyst
  5. Debate
  6. Break into act II
  7. B-story
  8. Fun and games
  9. Midpoint
  10. Bad guys close in
  11. All is lost
  12. Dark night of the soul
  13. Break into act III
  14. Finale
  15. Final image


Go and watch a blockbuster from the last decade or so, and you should be able to spot all of these moments.
So, why on Earth am I talking about screenwriting guidelines on my ELT Journal blog?
Because it struck me that you could, with a little bit of flexibility, apply these same principles to lesson planning. Certainly the Dark Night of the Soul bit, which usually hits me about three quarters of the way through a lesson on Present Perfect. 
I'm not sure about the Bad Guys close in, though. I suppose it could be something like Bad Grammar Appears. 
However, the idea of opening and closing images, the statement of aims, the catalyst for action, the B-story and certainly fun and games are all features that we could recognise in any given lesson.
Anyway, just to avoid poaching, I'm patenting, trademarking, copywriting and all-rights-reserving this as The Blockbuster Approach © ™ to ELT.
Because of course what the world needs is another ELT methodology.
Have a very good summer, one and all.

1

1 comment:

milan said...

I really like your post . I really appreciate that .Thanks for sharing with us.
- LINGU Worldwide TBG

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