In Praise of Great Exposition

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Thomas Flight

Thomas Flight

23 күн бұрын

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Exposition in film and TV has a bad reputation but it’s really just another tool in the writer's toolbox, and the quality of exposition can range from bad to great. This video examines some examples of truly great exposition.
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@ThomasFlight 21 күн бұрын
Hey folks, I recorded this video before it was announced so I didn't have time to include it in th ad-read but you can now give Nebula as a gift:
@shiven513 21 күн бұрын
@PuffyNavel 21 күн бұрын
what's the difference between your patreon and nebula?
@Moustafa11 20 күн бұрын
I thoroughly enjoy your videos, as for Nebula, I tried it for a year when it first started. one thing keeping me from re-subscribing is lack of 4K/UHD support (at least that I can tell on my Apple TV app). I ended up watching many of your videos and other KZbin creators on KZbin instead because it was a noticeable improvement in video quality over Nebula app.
@bkimatab 19 күн бұрын
@ronniedeshe5253 19 күн бұрын
No one views exposition as a bad thing - bad exposition is bad, good exposition is good. Usually in film, exposition doesn't include dialogue - I think you're incorrectly explaining what "exposition" actually is from the get go.
@rikkTV 21 күн бұрын
the only "hello, brother" i accept is Buster from Arrested Development
@merry_christmas 20 күн бұрын
The "hello brother"-hate on the internet is always so funny because I've been calling my brother that for eternity 😅
@christiangomez6239 20 күн бұрын
It also has the best moment of 'turning on the news to see the subject being talked about' where they have to sit through unrelated stories and commercial breaks. "Now imagine the impact if that had come on just as I turned on the television!"
@anthonyfossi 20 күн бұрын
@BimpytheWimpyShrimpy 20 күн бұрын
@@anthonyfossi Hello Annyong
@matthewhamilton2913 20 күн бұрын
@trinaq 21 күн бұрын
One aspect of forced exposition is the phrase "As You Know", which tends to be clunky. If the character apparently already knows the vital information, then why are you telling them? It's purely for the audience's benefit.
@austinwinston684 21 күн бұрын
"as you know, your father, Darth Vader, and I were great friends..."
@ThomasFlight 21 күн бұрын
"Your father, the king."
@Chandler_Goodrich 21 күн бұрын
I think “as you know” has its place, depending how your characters talk. Like using it as a recap, then follow it up with new information as a twist. Kind of like this: Character 1: As you know, he was hit by a car, then ran from the scene, behind the building, then came back a minute later, right? Character 2: (annoyed) why are you telling me this? Character 1: Well, according to cctv, 3 men were waiting for him behind the building. Someone else went back to the scene in his place. Look. Character 2: (looking at cctv) …he was abducted…
@wakeupmrkim 21 күн бұрын
"....but you already know that, don't you?"
@wintermute5974 21 күн бұрын
'As you know' is the sort of thing that a real person would only ever say because they think the other person probably doesn't know or has forgotten, but they're hedging against being wrong/being passive aggressive about it.
@robertmalone9511 21 күн бұрын
I think the spirit of "show don't tell" becomes clearer when you realize the rule applies not just to visual media, but also to novels, where we can't literally "see" anything that happens. Everything is "told" to us in some sense, but within that we can still make the distinction. "Show don't tell" really means something closer to "Don't state, demonstrate."
@cube2fox 20 күн бұрын
That's true! Still, "show don't tell" is arguably more important in movies and TV than in novels. I don't know why, but the very same exposition that is boring in a movie can be perfectly fine in a book. Compare, for example, Lord of the Rings with its movie adaptation. The books contain a lot of background exposition while the movies cut most of that out in favor of fast pacing. I think it also applies to episodic TV shows that aren't so constrained by time.
@robertmalone9511 20 күн бұрын
@@cube2fox It's true you can get away with longer digressions from the plot in novels--but honestly I'm inclined to argue the rule if anything applies even MORE to novels, since efficiency isn't as much of a concern. You can afford time to show in detail what in a film you can't give more than a line or two. But that's almost just a semantic difference from what you're saying. The tricky thing is that in a novel, if you put ENOUGH detail into an exposition dump, it essentially ceases to be exposition and just becomes a flashback. A character talking for twenty minutes straight in a TV show might be bad writing, but in a novel it's just a new narrator.
@cube2fox 20 күн бұрын
@@robertmalone9511 Interesting point. In novels, long exposition becomes narration, and narration becomes flashback/action etc. Basically the text disappears in favor of what the text describes. That may seem as if "show don't tell" is satisfied automatically, but novels should still leave enough things to the reader to infer for themselves, just like movies, in which not all works succeed. I guess that's what you meant with "don't state, demonstrate". Still, I wonder why narrators are often so awkward in movies. They don't disappear like they do in books. Many movies specifically add sidekick characters which ask the main character "stupid questions" in order to avoid a narrator or inner monologue.
@sneggron 19 күн бұрын
Yes, obviously
@Orinslayer 19 күн бұрын
trust me if youve ever read bad fanfiction you'll know why this is a golden rule.
@NatesFilmTutorials 21 күн бұрын
“Somehow Palpatine returned”
@MyoticTesseract 21 күн бұрын
unintentionally the funniest bit of exposition i've ever seen
@TonyBlue87 19 күн бұрын
A great example of neither showing *nor* telling.
@ZZubZZero 19 күн бұрын
seriously worst writing of the 21st century.
@TheSuperUltraGiraffe 18 күн бұрын
The beginning of rise of skywalker is one of the most insane examples of forced exposition i have ever experienced
@claytonwatson1862 18 күн бұрын
​@@TonyBlue87I mean tbf that's not really when the movie is giving that exposition, right in the opening scene you see Snoke clones and Palpatine basically said he was revived by using the dark side of the force. You can say that THAT is vague/lazy exposition but the "somehow palpatine returned" line isn't really relevant.
@Mr_Case_Time 21 күн бұрын
Oh my god I spend so much time thinking about bad exposition, thank you for this. “Diana, we’ve been married for seven years, I think I know what kind of cake you want for your fortieth birthday party. My name’s Steve by the way.”
@ThomasFlight 21 күн бұрын
"Don't forget to pick up our son Danny from middle school on your way home from work."
@Mr_Case_Time 21 күн бұрын
@@ThomasFlightI think a great example of visual exposition is in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The camera pans over Eddie’s desk and SO much information can be gathered there. I’ve always enjoyed the process of writing, but it’s the economic use of exposition that I consider to be the hardest puzzle to solve.
@davidbjacobs3598 21 күн бұрын
@@ThomasFlight Okay, but now I'm interested, because they've been married seven years but their son is in middle school. What's going on there? Is one a step-parent? Did they have Danny then break up then get back together? Did they just remain unmarried until he was six? I want to know.
@Mr_Case_Time 21 күн бұрын
@@davidbjacobs3598 Danny’s adopted. Diana and Steve decided that they would rather adopt than have a child of their own. Steve went through the foster system when he was young and vowed he would one day save a kid from having to go through that. They were planning on adopting more but just the one is quite the handful, and despite Diana’s mother’s passive aggressive remarks about “having at least one real kid”, they’re content with their family of three.
@CharlesMonroe-fr4vx 21 күн бұрын
This makes me want to write an 80s style meta b movie. Just absolutely shit exposition and the characters look at the screen after every sentence of exposition 😂
@datacentre81 21 күн бұрын
Another factor is just how interested is the audience in getting the information delivered by the exposition? Like, in the Matrix, there's a scene where Morpheus just tells Neo what's going on in the real world. It's an extended minutes long sequence of pure exposition, delivered mostly through dialogue of one character talking. But it works, mostly because it's information that the audience has been teased with for the whole first act. They care a lot about getting all this revealed, so their tolerance for an extended exposition dump is as high as it can be. I think similar exposition dumps usually don't work because the viewer doesn't care enough about what's being revealed. The movie hasn't invested the time to make them care.
@JeantheSecond-ip7qm 21 күн бұрын
Also, Neo doesn’t know the information, so it makes sense that Morpheus is telling him. It’s such a simple thing, but filmmakers still often don’t account for why a character is saying the exposition.
@shar3859 21 күн бұрын
Makes sense!! You can also see this in Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, where Lupin and Sirius finally explain everything that's going on to the trio. Despite being a REALLY long info dump, the explanation is intriuging because you're hearing all this for the first time. Whereas upon rereads, you can notice how long it really is because you already know the information.
@TheVanishedMan1 21 күн бұрын
This is also why I think a lot of people misunderstand the architect scene from the sequel. People complain about it being confusing exposition but like... that's the point? The character doing the talking is a machine that considers humanity to be a resource; he's dumbing down his language the bare minimum required to be able to communicate in some sense with Neo. This is a conscious choice, and the only reason it works is because we (and Neo) are finally getting answers to questions we've had for 1.5 movies. It's also just nice to see someone in these movies regard Neo as something other than Computer-Jesus.
@ThomasFlight 20 күн бұрын
This is a great point. I'd also in that case the ideas contained within the exposition (especially in 1999) were just pretty novel and interesting on their own. This is part of what makes Inception's exposition partially forgivable (although there are some rough patches) because most of what they're explaining is actually kind of interesting. If the exposition is just menial details about the characters it's not nearly as interesting as information that is interesting to the audience on it's own.
@deek0146 19 күн бұрын
@@shar3859 Also its implied that Ron is dying of his injuries so it adds an element of suspense to the scene.
@Jake_the_Bioengineer 21 күн бұрын
That exposition scene from Three Body Problem is so unforgivable to me because the book has such a brilliant cinematic scene that explains how the accelerators are going against all of physics. The POV character is talking to a physicist friend of his who is drunk. The drunk friend is at a pool table and does an experiment. He knocks a ball into a pocket. Then he makes his friend move the whole pool table around the room three times to repeat the experiment in different parts of the room. By the end he's out of breath and barely finished his metaphor: the pool tables give the same result no matter the location of the table, but the accelerators are all giving different results. And as soon as he explains it, he passed out. End scene.
@teneleven5132 20 күн бұрын
That wouldve been lovely to see i the show, alas
@TheMattyNation 20 күн бұрын
The writing on the Three Body Problem is terrible. The character dialogue is so cringe I about gave up on it. It only gets by on the brilliance of ideas in the source material
@emporioalnino4670 20 күн бұрын
​@@TheMattyNation Yeah it's a shame considering the books are good
@santhoshsridhar5887 20 күн бұрын
@@teneleven5132 The Tencent show does scenes like those justice. Like Wang Miao investigating the countdown and the cosmic background radiation in a scientific manner, or Ding Yi explaining how the laws of physics are broken through the table example. Though it is NOT necessarily better than the Netflix show, because of how repetitive and stretched out is. Still, it's highs are higher than the Netflix show and I'd suggest giving it a watch if you REALLY like the book. It's free on KZbin.
@TheMoMoBigGC 19 күн бұрын
Thank god i saw it was d&d adapting a book series so i just went to read them instead
@lw8882 20 күн бұрын
The first example from breaking bad is great for other reasons, too. Their son enters the room on crutches while they're both sitting, so despite being physically disabled has the dominant posture in the shot. The shot reaction shot is not showing his parents together, and they have varying reactions, implying they're split on the issue and how to handle it. Then when he treats the mother rudely it's not immediately reprimanded, showing both that this kind of talk is normal in their household, and they're even split on how to raise their son. Then when they're talking about the finances later, he's drinking in the kitchen and she's sitting on the counter ages away from him, creating distance and putting them both in different light, implying that they're not even on the same page as to the severity of or solution to their financial problems, and showing that it's putting a strain on the relationship not just by the way they talk and what they choose to avoid talking about. Exposition through dialogue is great, but incorporating it into framing, blocking, lighting and direction is so much harder.
@deansbian5607 15 күн бұрын
breaking bad has incredible exposition all throughout
@t221000 15 күн бұрын
Absolutely 💯 Breaking bad is the best show imo
@swagmund_freud6669 15 күн бұрын
Yeah and the other thing is they despite all this, despite how well they established how Walt and Skylar are never on the same page about anything and their relationship has been starting to crack since well before the show started, I really got a sense by episode 4 or so that they really did love eachother (at least at the start). One of my favorite pieces of exposition in the show is when Walt is telling Hank and Marie how he met Skylar and it causes Skylar to start crying, since this was right after Skylar learnt Walt has cancer. Through that exposition, we actually learn some big things about Walt: first we learn that Walt had rizz when he still had dreams and could be a genuine person, second we learn that he used to work at Los Alamos, which of course is one of the biggest and most legendary research centers in the US, showing how overqualified Walt truly is for his current job, and thirdly we learn how much Walt kinda doesn't care about the emotional consequences his actions have on Skylar.
@noedits1222 14 күн бұрын
well said
@alguiencualquiera6217 6 күн бұрын
@@swagmund_freud6669 Aint no way you just used the word "rizz" while talking about the brilliant exposition in a scene from Breaking Bad
@calebbrandfilms 21 күн бұрын
Thomas giving exposition on exposition is the meta I need to start off my week.
@polyclot1976 21 күн бұрын
its too monday in the morning for my THC-addled brain to be kicking around the idea of potential meta-loops
@SuperRobertoClemente 21 күн бұрын
Great critique of the wildly overrated 3 Body Problem, which was precisely as paper-thin as those final seasons of GoT.
@gusandthetv 21 күн бұрын
And it was all an elaborate setup for a Nebula ad.
@hwelsh201 21 күн бұрын
That’s Mr. Flight to you.
@line4169 21 күн бұрын
Or you can edit video like dunkey which is great example of showing but not telling also while saying a lot through editing alone
@QuantumHistorian 21 күн бұрын
I can't believe that the opening of _Lord of the Rings_ doesn't get a mention here. It's a couple of minutes of pure exposition, before any characters are introduced, takes place outside of any scene, is a monologue aimed solely at the audience, and even starts in a made-up language. It breaks every rule. And yet it's absolutely amazing. Sometimes, the trick might just be to have great exposition to tell, and not be shy about it; poorly disguised exposition might be the worse sort.
@rueski 21 күн бұрын
I might be wrong but I think I’ve seen him do an exposition video mainly on the lotr intro alone haha
@oyuyuy 21 күн бұрын
I don't think you were listening very closely. There are no bad forms of exposition, just poor execution and poor selection. When you've already got a 3 hour movie and need to dump a lot of information it isn't just acceptable to use a monologue, it might even be optimal.
@juletaurus 20 күн бұрын
We all know this, as Thomas does also. The LOTR could and has had its own videos regarding every moment.
@killitwithfire5377 20 күн бұрын
To be fair, that also mainly works for people who like Lord of the rings in general. My parents tried watching them and didn't enjoy it and my dad to this day keeps making fun of the first 10 minutes being just exposition. Sure, it's done well but it also works because the story in general repels everyone who doesn't want to spend hours learning about middle earth.
@user-ky3kj7pw4d 20 күн бұрын
@@oyuyuyYou sound like you enjoy the smell of your own shit.
@philllllllll 21 күн бұрын
"Do you remember that time when you..." with a LOOOOOT more detail than would be necessary in a normal conversation.
@zzoldd 20 күн бұрын
I HATE WHEN THEY DO THAT SOO MUCH. That in my book is breaking the fourth wall. (The watcher doesnt know so lets remind them) type shi
@soulbitten 19 күн бұрын
It’s only accurate when your boyfriend has ADHD and a terrible memory 😂
@mast3rNate 19 күн бұрын
“remember when” is the lowest form of conversation
@scobeymeister1 17 күн бұрын
if they're mocking someone it could feel natural, tbf. my bf and i say "do you remember when..." all the time but we exaggerate what happened to make fun of each other, like at least weekly. if i were writing it into a scene it would be to establish a playful tone. i think most any dialogue like that can work so long as you can make it feel natural to the characters and show something else about them or their relationship.
@yomommashaus 15 күн бұрын
Then there's anime doing so much exposition, you become more confused lol: "Ahh. I can see he knows the ancient art of ShoeKicking because of the way he lifted his leg. And if he's willing to show me he knows this then it means my father is already dead, because about 5 days ago I received that message about a mysterious shoekicker while I was eating noodles. It made me stop eating them, which has never happened before. Therefore...."
@nahumgale9738 21 күн бұрын
The fact that Dave Bautista also puts on glasses tells us early that even though he's a replicant, replicants age and deteriorate like human beings, foreshadowing Harrison Ford appearing later and still potentially being a replicant, but also showing the humanity inside a replicant that this world ignores.
@HungL0W 21 күн бұрын
And here I thought he wore fake spectacles for style
@BritneyLaZonga 21 күн бұрын
@@HungL0W and stylish they are
@iamwill_s_t 21 күн бұрын
I thought he had them as PPE for the ass whoopin' on Joe.
@rsfilmdiscussionchannel4168 21 күн бұрын
Damn, that’s great observation
@eyespy3001 21 күн бұрын
That always came across to me as a disguise he used to appear more human and hide the fact that he was a replicant.
@lianabejan64 20 күн бұрын
My favourite "exposition" is in the original Blade Runner when Deckard goes to the burlesque dance club and there's a boa snake in the changing rooms. He asks the dancer "is this real?" and she responds with "if that were real do you think i would work in a place like this?" to this day it blows my mind. that bit of dialogue tells you about the state of the fauna on earth and the economy and her social status ahhhh
@davidw.2791 16 күн бұрын
I mean the movie has been showing that even since we see LA raining like London 😂❤
@oldoddjobs 16 күн бұрын
Woah dude blade runner like blows my mind woah I'm braindead
@lianabejan64 16 күн бұрын
@@davidw.2791 🤣🤣🤣🤣 never realised that ahahaaaa
@mushkbaar 14 күн бұрын
Wait I'm guessing it works with the visual context of the scene, but seeing it written out and having not seen the movie, I just assumed she was saying "ain't no way I'd work in a place with a live boa"
@Laurel_Ellenstreet 14 күн бұрын
Heston's reaction to the berry preserves carelessly left out on a counter in "Soylent Green."
@richardgrimes5723 20 күн бұрын
Your video made me realize something about the exposition in "Arrival". When you watch Dr. Banks watch television news, the exposition is no longer about aliens arriving. The most amazing thing in the history of the world JUST happened - and she's watching it alone in a dark house. She doesn't even rush to be with her mother. in one minute, we understand just how profoundly alone Dr. Banks is - and she never utters a word.
@michaelcorbett4236 18 күн бұрын
It adds contrast to what comes later in that through learning the heptapods language she can truly never be alone again.
@TristanCleveland 17 күн бұрын
That scene wasn't just good - it made me fall in love with the movie. It gave me such a sense of wonder.
@beanmeupscotty 20 сағат бұрын
I think it better demonstrates that she is alone, but not lonely. My impression was that contrasting her reaction to others demonstrated that something was off about her because of how relatively unbothered/unsuprised she was. Same could be said about a lot of her other memories that were progressively revealed. It connects to how she was gifted with having a cyclic personal timeline-nothing could surprise her since she already experienced it, even if it was at a point in her life where she had yet to realize what was happening. Similarly, she may be alone after the people she loved left her, and alone in how she experienced the world, but the lack of linearity made it so she was not truly lonely.
@z-beeblebrox 19 күн бұрын
You know a movie is about to have the siblings kill each other if it starts out with one of them joyously saying “BROTHER!”
@davidw.2791 16 күн бұрын
That being said, OP is at risk of being wrong about the opening assertion cuz just because Nowadays Westeners don’t go “SISTER!” “BROTHER!” doesn’t automatically mean they weren’t like that in e.g. the Tutor Era. Don’t just use the Current Day sentiments to deem “Nobody talks like that” because plenty of people do it this very day, if outside the Anglosphere.
@beth12svist 15 күн бұрын
@@davidw.2791 Good point. Reminds me of the scene in The Horse and His Boy (yes, that's book exposition) where Edmund and Susan do call each other that (though not as the opening line of conversation), and since it's all old-time-y speak, it doesn't seem forced at all, it's just part of their elevated royal manner of speaking.
@sagunrai8689 13 күн бұрын
@@davidw.2791 had this exact thought seeing the clip placed at the beginning of the video.
@scifigeek14 11 күн бұрын
Big thor and loki vibes lol
@spaghetto9836 10 күн бұрын
​@davidw.2791I'd still disagree a bit. I think no matter the country or time period, there are formal & informal terms for familial bonds. Other languages have their own versions of "bro", "sis", "mommy/daddy", "granny/grandpa", pet terms for uncles & aunts, etc. I feel like modern writers put their preconceptions of older English as formal into their characters' dialogues, when they probably saw each other's English as normally as we see our own. If the characters aren't upper-class, I'd like to see them swear at each other, stutter, have weird humour, etc... as we've done for millennia. In fact, it's nice to see upper-class characters doing that in casual situations. I think it's not just the words, but the whole formal vibe around sibling characters that feels fake no matter the era. My fave examples surrounding this topic are Roman/Greek potty jokes, 1950's actors swearing in bloopers, or scathing insults in "ancient" languages like Hebrew.
@stevecarter8810 20 күн бұрын
The walter junior water heater scene (5:17) also shows a lot in the tone and reactions. There's no money AND Walter is ashamed in front of his son AND Skyler stresses about holding the family together. Breaking bad is great at moving multiple playing pieces with each event.
@TheMarkoSeke 3 күн бұрын
It's also very realistic dialogue, and will hit close to home for anyone that has been in financial struggles with their family.
@Nurolight 21 күн бұрын
Honestly, I think unless its absolutely necessary, there is no need to firmly establish characters relationships with each other. You can infer from peoples interactions that they're likely siblings, or past lovers. Having that aire of mystery about it just adds to the intrigue.
@davidbjacobs3598 21 күн бұрын
Tell that to the Luke & Leia shippers.
@thisisfyne 21 күн бұрын
Agreed. A great example that comes to mind would be Matt and Elektra in the Daredevil series. While it's not the greatest show ever, I absolutely loved how the complexity of their relationship was immediately implied, yet obvious. Without any exposition whatsoever, from the very first scenes you understand that it's a long-lasting, problematic, heart-breaking situation just by the way they talk to each other. People understand relationships; show one on screen and we'll get it.
@youllbemytourniquet 21 күн бұрын
I agree! I noticed when I was first watching Better Call Saul that they didn't explain the nature of Jimmy and Kim's relationship. I remember being unsure if they were friends or lovers.
@stevecarter8810 20 күн бұрын
​@@youllbemytourniquetyeah, they just had them share a cigarette in her smoke break. Ok. They are intimate, but maybe only office intimate, smoke break is a thing, and they don't mind sharing body fluids...
@lonestarr1490 20 күн бұрын
And sometimes it's completely obvious but the writers still decide to spell it out. Like, there's an adult woman next to a boy on a funeral, both looking kinda sad. Yeah, how could anyone guess who's funeral that ought to be. Of course we need the one guy patting the boy on the shoulder and telling him, "I'm so sorry for your father".
@Authoity4576 21 күн бұрын
surprised fleabag wasn't mentioned, i feel like that show is the prime example of good exposition dumping
@j.elizabeth4621 21 күн бұрын
Season 2 is in my top three favorite things ever on film. Absolutely incredible.
@hangedups2608 19 күн бұрын
@t221000 15 күн бұрын
I binge watched that show and I agree ☝️
@TOAOM123 15 күн бұрын
​@@Pedro_Larroza I legitimately wish i could value that show as much as you I couldnt disagree more but im happy you enjoy it
@austincook5475 12 күн бұрын
God no
@Limeyvip 21 күн бұрын
my favourite FAVOURITE instance of exposition / infodumping is the opening to Hot Fuzz, where we get fed bullet-fast background info on nicolas angel telling us how proficient and overly-seriously he takes job as a cop. any other movie would have taken the show-don't-tell rule literally and decided to show us the protag at a crime scene and solving the case quickly, while the other cops roll their eyes and whisper among themselves about how stick-in-the-mud the protag is. that technically works, but it also 1) takes a lot of time 2) has been overdone to hell and back. by going the complete opposite route of just telling us everything right away, Hot Fuzz can get to the main story as quickly as possible WHILE STILL being able to give us ridiculous extra info (such as angel being a biking expert) that doesn't really matter to the story but tells us a lot about who angel is as a person. it also fits the overall vibe of the movie, a fast-paced over-the-top comedy. also, the crafty part of this infodump is that it doesn't tell you everything--it tells you JUST ENOUGH to get the story started. it doesn't tell you that angel's coworkers are jealous of him and dislike him and want him out of their precinct; they show this to us later on. it doesn't tell you angel takes his job so seriously that he has no friends and has trouble keeping his girlfriend; this is revealed when he has an argument with her later. and one last bit that makes this infodumping work: it's a voiceover that makes sense within the context of the movie itself. it's not just the protagonist telling the audience his own backstory; it's his sergeant reading through angel's profile before meeting with him. does it break the "show don't tell" advice? yes. but does it work? is it entertaining? does it give you the right amount of information without feeling forced and awkward? yes, and i think that matters more!
@lorrrdy 18 күн бұрын
Yes!!! I love hot fuzz and this info dumping scene is perfect, pure Edgar Wright magic!
@Waverider781 18 күн бұрын
Hot Fuzz legit might be my favorite screenplay; not a single word wasted the entire way through and every little detail is in fact a joke whose punchline gets delivered later on in the movie. I feel like comedies, by nature, have their own rule wrt exposition where as long you can get a laugh out of it, you can get away with a good amount of telling over showing. Roger Rabbit has a great and I guess kind of recursive example of this with the scene in the speakeasy: "No, not at any time. Only when it was funny."
@cameronjosephvideos5942 17 күн бұрын
I mean think about it. Angel is married to the job, he's obsessed with it, his character being introduced with what is essentially his resume is perfect and the fact that they're able to pack quite a few jokes and gags into it ensures it's fun enough to grab the audiences attention and not so long as to overstay its welcome. There's also something about Martin Freeman's delivery that just makes it work.
@beth12svist 15 күн бұрын
@@Waverider781 Oh, excellent point about comedies! I got reminded of the Czech film Kulový blesk (Ball Lightning), which is about a crazy flat-swapping scheme, and spends about ten minutes at the beginning of the film expositioning about it... but since it's interspersed with character introductions and all their various idiosyncracies and off-topic questions et cetera, which is all very much what its humour is about, you don't really realise it takes _that_ long just to explain what the rest of the film will be about plot-wise.
@mistertadakichi 14 күн бұрын
Goddamn do I love this movie
@MyoticTesseract 21 күн бұрын
look at that subtle off-white room lighting. the tasteful script writing. oh my god. it even has a nebula ad read.
@dielaughing73 15 күн бұрын
Let's see Paul Allen's exposition
@yomommashaus 15 күн бұрын
@mikeminer1947 21 күн бұрын
My favorite writing hack: When a character does something unbelievable, have them say, "I can't believe I'm doing this."
@GabrielsLogic 21 күн бұрын
@GabrielsLogic 21 күн бұрын
And when they tell a character what happened, they say "you're not gonna believe this"
@mikeminer1947 21 күн бұрын
@@GabrielsLogic Perfect!
@SFTaYZa 18 күн бұрын
Awesome whedon dialogue bro
@maegor-targaryen 16 күн бұрын
‘You seeing this?’ ‘Yep, that just happened.’
@ajames3062 21 күн бұрын
For me, one of the greatest exposition scenes in movie history is in the first pirates of the Caribbean. It's really random but the scene between Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley on the Black Pearl where he explains his curse and the medallion and finishes by biting the Apple and telling her she better start believing in ghost stories cuz she's in the one. The camera, the acting, the script, the set, this scene lives rent free in my mind as one of the greatest exposition scenes of all time despite it telling more than showing.
@Kitth3n 21 күн бұрын
Black pearl has a lot of expositions and to me its an example doing it well!
@HBarnill 21 күн бұрын
Jack Sparrow's entrance tells you everything you need to know about him without a single word.
@0sm1um76 19 күн бұрын
​@@HBarnillYeah the movie also has a ton of excellent examples of the opposite kind of exposition. Will Turner also has excellent introductory scenes which get further built upon in subsequent scenes(as Will and his background is a central thing other character are trying to uncover).
@yomommashaus 15 күн бұрын
@@HBarnill J Depp was such a great cast for Pirates man.. He has to be one of the best at versatility imo.
@Raymando 19 күн бұрын
My face lit up when 12 Angry Men came on screen OMG I was literally thinking about that film the entire time when this video was going on. How it can introduce 12 characters, and not only have it not be overwhelming, but develop all of them as their person, reveal things about their history and personality - ALL the while having the main conflict build. What a masterpiece.
@attiyahfarah2999 21 күн бұрын
One of my fav exposition is when Miike in Better Call Saul tell story about his son. It was so heartbreakingly written and Jonathan Banks's delivery is top notch
@lemonringo566 21 күн бұрын
Exposition, when done perfectly, is capable of delivering the most emotional scene in the film. My favourite example is in How To Train Your Dragon 2 when Valka says the line "..but a mother never forgets". That line was so smooth and gut wrenching.
@IllusionSector 20 күн бұрын
One of *my* favorite examples of brilliant exposition is the control room scene in Pixar's *Wall·E* where the captain furiously argues but fails to persuade Auto (Axiom's HAL-esque AI auto-pilot) to fly the ship back to Earth. He then looks at the portraits of all the captains that preceded him for generations, notices Auto ominously in the background behind every one of them in the photo, and realizes that the auto-pilot is the one really in charge of the ship, not the captain.
@EGRJ 13 күн бұрын
I'd argue that part of the line is not exposition. It's implication. Just like "No, you were only a babe." She doesn't just say she last saw him as a kid, or that she's his mom.
@emperorchopchop7726 21 күн бұрын
Primer is my favorite example of invisible exposition. The characters never sound like they're speaking for the benefit of the audience. You're there as a fly on the wall, listening to the characters talk to each other and if you pay close enough attention, you can start to piece together what they're doing...just in time to understand the reveal when the character understands it.
@plr2473 21 күн бұрын
primer is super confusing the first watch through. It makes sense for a bit, but then it steps up into overdrive. Yes it all makes logical sense, but you really have to be paying attention, or have to read up on the movie
@emperorchopchop7726 21 күн бұрын
@@plr2473 I'ver never felt bad about not understanding every scene in Primer, I don't think it's required, and I suspect that it would take away from the experience. IMO the point of the last 30 minutes can be summed up as 'when you screw with time travel, things are gonna get FUBAR.' and that message is clear-as-day even if you can't figure out exactly which Adam is which. It's like Donnie Darko...there's a director's cut that 'explains' things, but the clarity detracts from the story rather than adding to it.
@RunaroundAtNight 21 күн бұрын
I had to rewatch Primer and then google what was going on before I understood it. But I still don't think I fully understand it.
@anarchisttutor7423 20 күн бұрын
I love that movie!
@matthewstarkie4254 17 күн бұрын
My problem with Primer is that the characters never once sound like real people throughout the entire movie. I get that some of that is purposeful because they are repeating lines from previous iterations (even when that doesn't make sense), but a lot of it just seems like bad acting.
@Funnymanphilly 19 күн бұрын
This is one of the main reasons I love Denis Villeneueve's films. In a good example, Alejandro's character in Sicario was originally supposed to have a lot more dialogue, with scenes of him expositing his whole backstory to Kate, but Villeneuve and del Toro decided it would be much more interesting to illustrate and slowly reveal this through his actions and snippets of speech, and adds so much intrigue and mystery to his character.
@patricksullivan6988 20 күн бұрын
I appreciate you clarifying that show don't tell can be about subtext - that the "showing" can still be with words rather than images. In my search for a similarly concise or pithy expression, I refer to this corollary as "Say; don't explain."
@Pebphiz 17 күн бұрын
Perhaps "convey, don't explain"?
@akaashhh 21 күн бұрын
3 body problem getting random strays is so funny
@ThomasFlight 21 күн бұрын
Maybe I'm just bitter about what those guys did to GoT
@DKH712 21 күн бұрын
Those scenes aren't in the books. The exposition is done in different scenes in the books, which are much much better. Some of the changes in 3 body problem make sense, and overall the series is decent, but they also made some really unfortunate choices. The books are so damn good.
@thefirminator 21 күн бұрын
@raccoons_stole_my_account 21 күн бұрын
It deserves some, frankly. Especially mrs Salazar. For some reason it's the genius characters played by bad actors that usually scream "I need to be taken seriously" in a super cringy way.
@mrbooboohead157 21 күн бұрын
I read the book I was excited I saw some scenes on yt Now iam not
@bestfedoracontentonyoutube7485 21 күн бұрын
heavy voice over enjoyer here, and one thing i love about it is how it can set the tone so well, for example Galadriel in lotr and Travis Bickle from taxis drivers opening monologue set the tone perfectly. extra shoutout to adaptation (2002) for being one of my other favorite uses of voice over.
@yomommashaus 15 күн бұрын
Don Cheadle in the beginning of Crash was pretty good too. That whole movie had tons of good scenes actually. Like the 2 black guys lamenting at how they are being subtly treated like criminals in the mostly white area and then they ironically contradict themselves by joking "because we got guns" and go and rob some white people lmao. I love that you can't pinpoint which race or gender or religion is getting picked on because it's such a mess of humanity showing the best and worst of each character, leaving you with the understanding that we're all messed up but still have the ability to choose good and to see the good in others.
@susanrobertson984 4 күн бұрын
I was running the LOTR exposition through my head as I listened to this video.
@jerrysstories711 21 күн бұрын
I once wrote a short about a man seeing his fiancé for the first time since leaving for medical school. A guy in a critique group told me, "Now, a basic principle in writing is, show don't tell. So maybe instead of TELLING us that he went to medical, you could have a flashback SHOWING him being in medical school." This is why you need to find a competent critique group.
@michaelegan3522 17 күн бұрын
Yeah people sometimes take "show don't tell" to an extreme. It would be kinda ridiculous to write a full flashback scene just to get the point across that the character had been in medical school. It's perfectly fine to include background details without having to show the character's whole life experience up to that point
@tuamigoyvecinolevi 11 күн бұрын
I think it could've been better if you just showed a diploma, simple yet effective
@erich6073 10 күн бұрын
Man, I had a Screenwriting 101 professor who gave me this kind of useless advice all the time. All of her critiques (such as telling me to take the talking animals out of a screenplay that was meant to be a fairy tale) just distracted me from what was ACTUALLY wrong with my work, like fuzzy character motivation and bad structure. The result was inevitably a second draft that was objectively worse and more confused than the first draft because I was trying to fulfill her arbitrary demands instead of shaping the story I was trying to tell into a more refined version of itself. (Come to think of it, I had multiple professors like this. Another one told me that my idea--not even a screenplay or a treatment, just a logline--about a man feeling increasingly distant from his wife was "boring" and that I could make it better by adding a werewolf into it. Keep in mind these were films we had to fund pretty much ourselves with minimal resources from the school itself.)
@OKaysional 20 күн бұрын
one of the most wonderful expansions on "show don't tell" i ever read was a slight shift into "describe don't explain" because with "show" people will assume u mean 'use less dialogue' or something similar. which is not the answer in every case. "desribe don't exaplin" is a great way to remind people to focus more on presenting the exposition without it feeling like a lesson to the audience, which i think a lot of clunky dialogue comes from. u want to describe to create an experience for an audience, not lecture to them
@TristanCleveland 17 күн бұрын
In another comment someone said "Demonstrate, don't tell." I think that gets at what you mean?
@EGRJ 13 күн бұрын
I've seen a lot of clunky, pacing-killing descriptions too. Enough to make me immediately give up on stories.
@billyalarie929 9 күн бұрын
Does somebody watch Shaelin Bishop?
@OKaysional 9 күн бұрын
@@billyalarie929 oooh no but i will b checking them out thank u! i saw it originally a few yrs ago in a very long blog post that i wouldnt know where to start tracking down so have no clue of the OP
@sailor_gaia 18 күн бұрын
When I think of an example of "master class in great exposition," I always think of the 1999 version of "The Mummy." Goofy action movie/blockbuster that it is, I consistently find cinematic appreciation for the way they tell the story. We not only get appropriately used (and not over-used) narration/voice overs, every bit of spoken exposition is lovingly baked into conversations that entertain as much as they inform. For example, one of the biggest pet-peeves I have in cinema is when a sibling is introduced the words "brother or a sister" (bro or sis, even) is forced into the conversation to explain the relationship, which usually never happens again in the film and tends to *feel* very much like blatant exposition. In contrast, in "The Mummy," Evelyn's brother is first introduced as with a *character- appropriate,* semi-sarcastic quip, "my dear, sweet, baby sister." It flows naturally and and sets the mood for character, which is my point. The film is full of moments like that: all pertinent details, from lore, mythos and credentials, are either shown or given in dialogue that feels natural to the characters and the situation, even when it's way over-the-top. It is just so...""chef's kiss" and I am glad to see the film given more appreciation in recent years.
@kadirarslan972 21 күн бұрын
An example of exposition that always got under my skin is from Candyman (2021) where one character (from the recently urbanised area) explains to the protagonist (an artist documenting the urbanisation of the same area) what gentrification is. Both clearly know that the other understands the concept but they shoehorn it in very heavy handedly and undermine the audience as a result.
@bartman999 20 күн бұрын
Strongly agree. Gentrification should have been the subtext of the movie, instead they stop the narrative dead to have characters discuss gentrification for five minutes.
@brianaguilar8283 16 күн бұрын
@@bartman999reminds me of the scene from Little Women where Florence Pugh delivers a melodramatic monologue about the struggles of being a woman in her time period
@Advent3546 21 күн бұрын
One of my favorite exposition drops I've ever seen is that beautiful scene in Eddie Valiant's office in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The staging of the props and photographs, Alan Silvestri's wonderful score, Bob Hoskins' humane performance, and each seamless movement of the camera tell you everything about Eddie's grief and who he is as a character without a single word spoken. It has always been the gold standard of exposition to me since I was a kid
@davidw.2791 16 күн бұрын
Shades of the camera exposition in Doc Brown’s garage-home, eh? Hint hint nudge nudge ❤
@julietv61 12 күн бұрын
one of my favorite examples of exposition in television is in the better call saul pilot when we see jimmy and kim’s first official interaction in the parking lot. how it starts with jimmy kicking the trash can in the elevator lobby and the camera slowly panning out to reveal kim standing there, not reacting, even though she can definitely hear him. then the way he walks up to her, takes the cigarette right out of her mouth, takes a drag, and then places it back into her mouth with her still barely reacting to the whole thing just so perfectly tells the audience that there is/was something more intimate between them; she knows him well. what makes it even better is the only two lines of dialogue in the whole scene being him saying to her regarding what he had just done in the hhm office “couldn’t you just-“ and her replying “you know i can’t” indicating this is not the first time he has done something like this, and that she would do this for him if she could. and it wraps up perfectly with her picking up the trash can he had knocked over, showing that she is always cleaning up his messes. it would’ve been easy for them to have jimmy make some comment about his past with kim to chuck or something but that would not be nearly as interesting. god i love that show
@katerockpool3725 2 күн бұрын
I just re-watched this episode (starting the whole series again with my children). My 14 year old said "But who is she?" and I said, "well we don't know yet, but what did you notice about their body language?" It's all there in the performances.
@julietv61 2 күн бұрын
@@katerockpool3725 exactly! and they do a fantastic job
@lh790_ 21 күн бұрын
Some of the best use of inworld-media exposition has to be the TV montage from Shaun of the Dead.
@Eamonshort1 21 күн бұрын
That scene is genius
@GorgeDawes 19 күн бұрын
It works because we the audience are learning things at the same time as the characters in the scene. Oh, and it’s also brilliantly edited and extremely funny, so, you know, there’s that.
@jmckendry84 18 күн бұрын
​@@GorgeDawesI'd say that we're not really learning something at the same time as the characters. We already know it's a zombie movie. We know there's going to be a zombie outbreak. We know all the little clues we've already seen are hints it's about to happen. But the characters don't know any of this, it's just a normal day to them.
@kb_100 17 күн бұрын
Starship Troopers for me
@Hemlocker 21 күн бұрын
I think a brilliant bit of exposition/world-building is the opening scene of Children Of Men.
@vickdinvick5485 18 күн бұрын
children of men is a masterpiece
@davidw.2791 16 күн бұрын
@@vickdinvick5485Alfonso Cuaron and Rian Johnson are the same kind of brilliant: Their own projects and IP picks, sure; making something in the middle of a series, questionable. You won’t even believe Prisoner Of Azkaban was done by the same guy, in terms of screenplay & its execution re: Exposition et al. How COULD you change the book’s point that “Sirius Black was magically the ONLY person who knew the secret” to “he was ONE OF the few who knew”?? 🙃 Among many other things.
@jmwild1 21 күн бұрын
Better Call Saul's pilot is excellent at "show don't tell", and I would argue the whole series excels at it.
@t221000 15 күн бұрын
The whole show does it so well there are a lot of things I missed because it’s so subtle
@t221000 15 күн бұрын
The whole show does it so well there are a lot of things I missed because it’s so subtle
@YourBlackLocal 21 күн бұрын
Exposition works when it’s in service of an argument. People naturally exposit when trying to convince others. “I wanted to be a gangster.” Works because the movie is Henry’s argument for why he loved the life, literally ending on him explaining how bad life is without it.
@KZ-tt9me 17 күн бұрын
Hiding exposition in an argument, playful or not, is one of my favourite tricks. The tv show Leverage did it a lot. It gives the characters a reason to be talking to each other (even about something they already know), can run the gamut from hilarious to gutting, and how people communicate/react in arguments tells you a TON about the individuals and their relationships. You don't need your characters to tell the audience that they're siblings or ex-lovers or best friends if the audience watches them argue. As he said, having multiple layers of information is really key in making it feel organic.
@N0bodyn01 21 күн бұрын
0:07 me and my sister DEFINITELY talk like this.... but to your credit, we probably do it because it is awkward, and inspired from awkward media.
@N0bodyn01 19 күн бұрын
@@_I-OvO-I_ That’s a profound perspective. I am glad to finally understand the root cause of my sister and I greeting each other in formal terminology is not simply an inside joke, between siblings(as we always perceived it to be). But in truth, was caused by the psychological damage of consuming the media of such uncivilized imbeciles. Thank you dear friend. I will strive to be more like you, and consume a higher grade of media, so that I no longer call my sister, sister. Thank you, you wise, noble, and mysterious messenger of truth.
@johnathandoe6034 17 күн бұрын
Now I need to know what he said, because this is the most based reply ever... Either way, I also do this all the time with my siblings, usually as a joke though... It's usually followed up with one of us saying "I hate you"
@francescoalexgiacalone878 17 күн бұрын
@@N0bodyn01oh god you Made him delete his comment with this reply
@davidw.2791 16 күн бұрын
It may be awkward in the Anglosphere but millions of people elsewhere do it.
@Greenballoffire 8 күн бұрын
Ahaha😂 That's nice 😊
@cinnamon9390 21 күн бұрын
I was extremely into the lack of exposition in M Night Shyamalan's Glass, I saw it without knowing it was the third movie in a series. I was fascinated with how little the movie actually needed to tell me about these characters
@ThatGuySquippy 21 күн бұрын
Every time I hear someone say "hot water heater" I die a little inside.
@EveloGrave 20 күн бұрын
"ATM machine" is another one that causes that feeling.
@MrOtistetrax 20 күн бұрын
@@EveloGraveit’s such an redundant tautology.
@VikingKong. 20 күн бұрын
@EveloGrave RIP in peace.
@RonPaul42069 19 күн бұрын
It's unnecessary exposition, really
@s.henrlllpoklookout5069 19 күн бұрын
PIN number
@boopsbucket 14 күн бұрын
Oh my god, that exact scene in Three-Body Problem drove me INSANE for this reason
@MrEnvisioner 21 күн бұрын
11:15 "...they turn the information the audience needs to learn into something that one of the characters is desperately trying to figure out." My favorite example of this is probably the anime series Attack on Titan. There are 5 or 6 different episodes in the series that are almost *entirely* exposition dumps; however, the *dozens* of episodes leading up to those ones are FILLED with suspense, mystery, and intrigue all revolving around the characters being thrust into worldview-bending situations that they spend sometimes YEARS struggling to unravel & understand. So when the exposition finally comes, it's a relief and incredibly satisfying, even if it feels like being mouth-fed a fire hydrant's torrential output.
@Pebphiz 17 күн бұрын
Yes! That's what immediately came to mind. Three seasons of drip-fed exposition disguised as the drama itself, when really you don't know what the show is even ABOUT until the final season. It's just brilliant.
@liliaweber7257 7 күн бұрын
Erwin's line to Eren early on, "what do **you** think the enemy is?" stayed with me through the final episode and HAUNTS ME STILL
@arrowrandoman 19 күн бұрын
At a writing convention I went to earlier this year, an author called Matthew Bockholt gave a presentation on another approach to the "Show, Don't Tell" concept he called, "Write What You Can't Say." There was a lot to it, but basically, taking the time to present an idea rather than reporting facts, to give an audience questions to fill in themselves rather than always give the answer right away. I think that's the kind of worldbuilding or scene-setting I enjoy most as a reader or audience member. He also suggested making the first draft without worrying about the specifics of how the exposition looks so it can be whittled into a more intriguing form later.
@BabyScreenwriter 21 күн бұрын
Can we take a moment to appreciate the way Thomas' editing is unlike any video essayist on KZbin? He never bounces from movie to movie. Instead, he slows it down, treating each movie like a case study in the topic he's covering.
@octavio2895 15 күн бұрын
Micheal Corleone helping the nervous guard of the hospital light a cigarette on The Godfather is a brilliant piece of exposition so subtle most people miss. Another one is when Chigurh looks at the soles of his shoes at the end of No Country for Old Men.
@thezachmarsh 21 күн бұрын
My favourite exposition in a movie is the sadly late Donald Sutherland's entire part in JFK. It's like 20 straight minutes(!) of exposition but you're glued to the screen because of him. Quite literally a "could read a phone book" actor.
@running_chamomile 21 күн бұрын
@davidw.2791 16 күн бұрын
A much smaller movie than JFK in terms of exposure but his exposition/showcase parts in the 1990 Norman Bethune movie was also great.
@yomommashaus 15 күн бұрын
lol like Morgan Freeman. I could listen to him list all the street names in LA and be enthralled the whole time
@JonathanWymer 21 күн бұрын
Okay, YES. 12 Angry Men! One of my favorites of all time and just rewatched a few days ago. It's incredible in its subtle yet strong exposition through a dialogue-driven, singular location movie. I think all of the examples you used for displaying great feats of exposition done well treat the audience with respect and have them engage with the story rather than sit back and be told everything. Great video, Thomas!!
@WaveSamu 21 күн бұрын
great video! for me personally, Children of Men by Alfonso Cuaron is the manifestation of "show, don't tell" I love this movie so much for example in the first scene, they made use of the "TV broadcast exposition" while also introducing us to the main character to a certain extent AND having a dramatic (and by the way well shot) scene that reveals how instable the country is, in which the story takes place
@xingcat 21 күн бұрын
I think Memento has a great twist on this, in that a character has to tell himself what he doesn't know, because he can't retain information for any length of time.
@marknelson55 21 күн бұрын
My favourite expository voiceover, at least off the top of my head right now, is Taxi Driver, because it gives you the view of Travis Bickle's fairly insane mind parallel to the more objective view of the camera, making it not just useful to speed up exposition, but something you could not get as well otherwise. Those kind of unique insights are probably the greatest advantage books have over films, where internal monologue is so easy.
@yomommashaus 15 күн бұрын
"internal monologue is so easy" - anime has entered the chat
@user-ih6dh7yz8z 21 күн бұрын
I'm glad you included the three body problem because I couldn't stand the dialogue.
@shridharambady2069 21 күн бұрын
It's an interesting example because the books its based on are *notorious* for having poor wooden dialogue. It's my favorite book series, but the story is basically a vehicle for the author to convey his answer to the Fermi paradox, and so characters are very one dimensional and exist purely to convey this. The TV show, if you can believe it, actually gives the characters and dialogue more depth than the source material (at the massive expense of the actual science and ideas)
@Kitth3n 21 күн бұрын
@@shridharambady2069honestly prefer the relatively simple book characters to the cringey millennials
@personalanonymous3172 21 күн бұрын
Honestly the dialogue and characters were kinda worse in the book. It may be an artifact of the difficulty of translating a work from Chinese to English, but I never actually liked any of the characters in the book (except for Da Shi -- Clarence in the show). Still it's one of my favorite series of all time because of how COOL the scifi elements are, and because of how much I love scifi in general.
@emperorchopchop7726 21 күн бұрын
that three body problem scene had legit 'The neutrinos have mutated' vibes
@XMysticHerox 20 күн бұрын
@@shridharambady2069 Common issue with sci fi. Writers are often more interested in conveying high level concepts and the actual story and characters come after.
@transrightsdinosaur 20 күн бұрын
Thanks for bringing up 12 Angry Men!! What an absolute writing masterclass of a movie. I need to rewatch it, it's been a year or two.
@ChildOfDarkDefiance 15 күн бұрын
To be fair, in English people did address each other by title or familial relationship a lot more than they do now, & it is still very common in other languages, such as Korean. That example is set in Tudor England. It could be argued that people greeting each other like that is also creating a feel for the setting as well as being exposition.
@brennenhiatt7479 21 күн бұрын
Not even gonna mention the greatest voice over exposition ever in Fellowship of the Ring?
@ThomasFlight 21 күн бұрын
Almost did! One of the best prologues.
@brennenhiatt7479 21 күн бұрын
@@ThomasFlight I can't believe you actually replied to my comment! I am one of your biggest fans so i'm not surprised you had to consider the Fellowship exposition!
@thisisfyne 21 күн бұрын
@@ThomasFlight 1000%
@BurazSC2 20 күн бұрын
Well, the world is changed.
@bonglesnodkins329 17 күн бұрын
One of the movies that makes great use of overt exposition is "The Terminator" (1984). Indeed, you can make a case that around half of the plot of The Terminator is conveyed to us through exposition. Why is the terminator here? Who sent it? Why is Reese here? Who sent him? Why is Sarah Connor being targeted? Why is she important? All of this is told to us explicitly by the character of Kyle Reese, in three key scenes. None of the exposition scenes are boring: one takes place during a car chase (and the lull in that car chase, hiding in a parking lot), one is a police interrogation, and the final one, a moment of calm at the start of the third act, transitions nicely into a "future flashback". All three are organic, and none of them feel clunky or forced. Also, importantly, we as an audience want to gain a better understanding of what's going on, and only Reese can really give us the answers we want. If you were going to explain the plot of The Terminator to somebody who had never seen the film, at least half of what you tell them is likely to be a precis of Reese's exposition dialog. The true Big Bad of the movie - Skynet - is never really seen in the film at all. It's an entity whose existence you know about purely through the anecdotes told to Sarah (and Silberman) by Reese.
@JayzVeez 17 күн бұрын
Yeh nice one man. Terminator was peak action movie cinema. Its has all of the bombastic action you'd expect, Arnie as an absolutely badass villain and great storytelling. There's nice world building with Sarah's waitress job and how much it sucks. She's established as a likeable slightly ditzy suburb girl who is kind of a bit lost in life and bit of a wallflower at the same time which sets the crazy contrast with what she transforms into in the sequel. It spends just the right amount of time with Reese so he doesn't feel like a throwaway character just there as a plot device to keep the story moving. The pacing is great. It shows us how far action movies have fallen since. So many of the best action movies in the 80s and 90s had well written stories. The action was the icing on the cake. While today its all about the action while the story takes a back-seat. This is why most modern action movies suck and why the John Wick and Bourne movies stand out as the better types of modern action because they heavily incorporate an interesting story and world building.
@SimonTaylorcomedian 21 күн бұрын
When a character asks "why are you doing this?", all I hear "explain your motivation to the audience."
@markymarkzero 14 күн бұрын
*Shows scene with a setting hundreds of years in the past* "No one really talks like this." God, I'm so thankful for these genius video essayists
@davidmylchreest3306 20 күн бұрын
One of my favourite ways to deliver exposition is when it happens in the middle of a big chase / action scene. The Bourne or Terminator series have loads of these.
@isCarsonMiller 21 күн бұрын
First scene that came to mind for me was Snowpiercer when they get to the classroom and use the kids/video to inform the backstory of how everyone got here, while also adding this creepy cult-like devotion the higher class passengers have for Wilford, making the whole environment more unsettling and daunting.
@evanward4303 21 күн бұрын
Glad to see you used Severance as an example. Really looking forward to season 2. Everyone should see it!
@tbird81 18 күн бұрын
It's so, so boring. And from reviews (at least from those not taken in by the blatant pretentiousness of the show) it seems it doesn't get better.
@kameryngreer3098 13 күн бұрын
@@tbird81So the people who don’t like it also happen to think it’s bad? It feels a bit circular, no?
@bryanchu5379 21 күн бұрын
bro this mf has been carrying film analysis youtube on his back for years now like at a certain point we need to start talking about how his legacy measures up against goats like every frame a painting
@thysquid2157 21 күн бұрын
Film analysis on KZbin seems to mostly be a ghastly pit of content farms. It’s so refreshing that a handful of channels actually know what they’re talking about and make quality videos.
@Bandofbeebles 21 күн бұрын
Do you guys have suggestions for other good film channels? I’ve found a lot of cookie cutter content farm ones but very few good channels
@padawansound6423 21 күн бұрын
@@Bandofbeebles Yhara Zayd, The Cinema Cartography, Pop Culture Detective, Lessons From The Screenplay, In Praise Of Shadows, Broey Deschanel, off the top of my head. There's probably quite a few more (I didn't mention the obvious ones like RLM), plus a lot of mixed media channels, social commentary channels etc. that incorporate film and media into their discussions
@Sporting1210 21 күн бұрын
@@Bandofbeebles I'd like to add "Like stories of old", which i rather enjoy.
@MrMertakhai 21 күн бұрын
@@Sporting1210 Thomas Flight and Like Stories of Old are my fuckin' GOATs
@masteroogway2405 21 күн бұрын
theres a malayalam short film called "night call" here on youtube. it only has one character and takes place in his house. i think it has done an excellent job in doing exposition the correct way. u might find it a bit awkward cuz its another language tho.
@4ofdubs 19 күн бұрын
Where are the English subtitles for that?
@masteroogway2405 18 күн бұрын
@@4ofdubs I think it's in yt itself. Try going to settings and settings subtitles to english (uk)
@theironmullet 21 күн бұрын
I do actually greet my sibilings with "Hello Brother" or "Hello Seeester" but it's always a reference to Arrested Development.
@penrose5383 21 күн бұрын
glad you mentioned arrival. it shows in a "dazzling" way, where the start of the movie starts off with the audience being shown some weird vision that doesnt really make any sense. the alien's language, is shown. it makes the audience feel engaged, through their own capacity to pay attention or rather to see "what is going on" because of these showings. the emotional payoff at the end wouldn't be possible without some sense of showing, because SHOWING is one of the themes of the entire movie. showing, which is really observing (to show is to show to someone), isn't possible without time. moreover showing love isn't possible without time, feeling pain isn't possible without time.
@antoinepetrov 21 күн бұрын
Always a good day when Thomas posts a video
@ImmaculateOtter 19 күн бұрын
A fantastic example of voiceover is in The Batman. The whole introductory monologue is a journal entry. It gives crucial information about the setting and the psyche of the protagonist. Plus it’s stinkin cool.
@TheRecider 21 күн бұрын
Your ability to breakdown and teach these abstract topics is so incredibly valuable; this is going to help me improve my filmmaking so much 🙏🏼
@THX0001 20 күн бұрын
struggle with exposition and cannot seem to grasp the whole concept all together. However, in little as 20 minutes duration, you taught me the concept in simplest ways with great examples. I've been a subscriber to your channel little over 3 years and amount of stuff I've learnt from your thorough, informative and engaging videos are immense. Thank you, Thomas for being a TRUE lover of storytelling and sharing this knowledge ~for the people like myself~ in this KZbin space! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
@TonyTapay 21 күн бұрын
I think it's worth noting the power of NO exposition which can introduce confusion and enhanced curiosity by the viewer. A prime example of this, in my mind, was The Wire. There were many scenes where it felt like the viewer had been dropped into the middle of a conversation. This could be confusing, but it only raised the stakes and forces the viewer to pay attention. Eventually the viewer catches on and pieces things together. This work done by the audience has value and I wish it was done more often.
@ethanfleisher1910 20 күн бұрын
Right? That show was a different level. The lack of context and exposition gave it a kind of gritty realism I don't think anything has duplicated since
@dameanvil 19 күн бұрын
- 00:00 👫 Stating relationships bluntly is efficient but awkward; Succession introduces characters playfully, revealing personality. - 00:55 🎬 Iconic movie lines often serve as exposition; good writing can make exposition memorable. - 01:20 🕵‍♀ Exposition is a tool; quality varies, and avoiding it entirely is rare and unconventional. - 01:57 💡 Poor exposition can feel lifeless when characters state obvious information; dramatic stakes are necessary. - 03:03 🎭 Blade Runner 2049 uses tension and implication to deliver exposition naturally and effectively. - 04:30 🎨 Show don't tell can be powerful; visual storytelling often enhances narrative without explicit exposition. - 05:16 🚿 Breaking Bad uses dialogue to imply financial struggles subtly, avoiding unnecessary visual exposition. - 06:02 🧛‍♂ Only Lovers Left Alive reveals vampire identity through playful dialogue and subtext. - 07:37 🗣 Introducing a character for exposition can feel contrived but is better than having characters state the obvious. - 08:26 📝 12 Angry Men and Before Sunrise masterfully reveal information through naturalistic dialogue and gradual revelation. - 09:10 🕰 Timing of exposition is crucial; revealing information at the latest possible moment often feels more natural. - 10:22 🧩 Sci-fi stories like Severance dramatize exposition, making the discovery of information part of the plot. - 11:46 📺 In-world media can deliver exposition effectively, blending it with character experiences and emotional context. - 13:15 🔀 Starting with dramatic moments and then providing context can engage the audience, as seen in Breaking Bad and The Sopranos. - 14:59 🎤 Embracing exposition with strong storytelling, such as voiceovers, can be engaging, as demonstrated by Goodfellas and Fight Club.
@juliasugarbaker3859 19 күн бұрын
Great video. Exposition via subtext is not just the most effective imo but also the most respectful. It demonstrates a writer understands that their audience is intelligent and capable of piecing information together.
@santiagobauza4257 20 күн бұрын
I immediately thought of the Severance pilot when I saw this video pop up in my feed. Creating a situation in which the exposition comes so naturally, which works two-fold (to introduce Helly's innie into this world and to help Mark getting used to his new tasks), is one of the most brilliant ways around it that I've seen, while keeping the audience gripped on just how this world works.
@tbird81 18 күн бұрын
How could anyone even get through that pilot. So boring, over-rated and pretentious.
@cgillespie78 21 күн бұрын
I'll never forget the channel changing in Shaun of the Dead... It is pure TV exposition, but so subtle that you miss it the first time, and laugh after that
@BigFaoiter 21 күн бұрын
gotta get a sopranos series like you did the wire
@ThomasFlight 21 күн бұрын
I would love to do this some day, just gotta carve out the time to rewatch the whole series.
@zucchinigreen 21 күн бұрын
​@@ThomasFlight I researched it recently for the first time ever, and it makes perfect sense why it's Donald Glover's fave series. So much of Atlanta's surrealism is Sopranos' coded. I think it's worth a revisit if only to show its impact in less well-known ways.
@echecroi 21 күн бұрын
Excellent Video, Mr. Thomas Flight. Your videos Soar above all others, while maintaining a Balance level of depth and information, while giving us a good overall View of the subject at hand.
@chriskaprys 18 күн бұрын
I like it when the exposition actually has an effect on the scene/characters. One shining example is Aliens, when Ripley is in the briefing meeting: she's finding out first-hand what happened to her colleagues, while also trying to impress upon the committee how lethal this creature is, while we also get to see how dismissive said committee can be (the foreshadowing itself is its own reason to be pissed off on Ripley's behalf) ... the marriage of the situation + writing + Sigourney Weaver's pitch-perfect acting manages to pump a dense amount of backstory + setup into one scene, and justifies Ripley's emotions/behaviour throughout - her anger, defiance, caution, distrust, grief, survivor/mother/badass-ness - all in one scene, in one room. It's exposition very well executed, charged with cause-and-effect that both belongs in this sci-fi otherworld and is very tangible and easy to sympathise with as an audience. Also, Black Mirror, especially the first two seasons. Masterclass in exposition, how it moves the short story along one choice, meaningful reveal at a time.
@nerd26373 21 күн бұрын
We appreciate your efforts. We hope to see more content like this.
@M4TCH3SM4L0N3 21 күн бұрын
And you, Thomas Flight, we will watch your career with great interest!
@uknwtheusername 21 күн бұрын
I'm glad someone's explaining why 3BP is so awkward
@thenetworkingstudy2208 20 күн бұрын
I couldn't finish the first episode. The writing, acting, and casting were all so bad. It had so much potential, I've heard good things about the book and the concept sounded good. But yeah it just felt like just a shitty network TV show. It just felt like "content" instead of people really trying to make something special. Maybe it gets better but that first episode is just so bad.
@uknwtheusername 20 күн бұрын
@@thenetworkingstudy2208 yeah it's a 6/10 at best. I pushed on and want to say it got better around ep4, but even then, not by much
@santhoshsridhar5887 20 күн бұрын
@@thenetworkingstudy2208 Read the book
@santhoshsridhar5887 20 күн бұрын
@@thenetworkingstudy2208 Read the book
@diantyn6870 19 күн бұрын
i watched the first episode and totally forgot about it the next day. i wont be watching it again lmao
@theknight27 16 күн бұрын
The commentary on how well Succession delivers its exposition in Episode 1 is excellent.
@WilliamDye-willdye 21 күн бұрын
By coincidence this video arrived just as I was thinking about how to reduce the amount of exposition in my current script idea. Thank you for the timely guidance.
@swampert564 21 күн бұрын
It already pops up in the video a couple of times but I've got give a shout out to Jurrasic Park for very effectively sidestepping a lot of potential clunkiness. The simple and quite frankly obvious solution of letting your intelligent characters actually be intelligent plays out excellently. The central trio are clearly smart and openly curious which allows them to explain things from their specific areas of expertise to the others and ask for explanations without seeming like they are denser than a box of rocks. It's very well done (too bad that Dr. Grant never had a chance to tell Muldoon his theories about how raptors would hunt, could have saved his life).
@ladyreverie7027 20 күн бұрын
One of the best examples of a voiceover clever exposition is the one at the start of Trainspotting. "Choose life". The sardonic way he describes a sober life in a way that makes it sound boring and soul crushing and part of a system he doesn't want to be part of. "Choose a fixed rate mortgage". The way it's contrasted with the chase scene. The way it echoes drug recovery language before it even reveals at the end that he's a heroin addict. Amazing.
@skullsaintdead 17 күн бұрын
100%. I had a graffiti battle with some other girl in the women's toilets at Curtin Uni (Perth, WA) in 2009-10 with that line. "Choose not to choose life". She crosses out -"Choose not to"- And I come back, couple weeks later, pretty impressed but also irritated, so I write it again: "Choose NOT to choose life!" She crosses it out again! -"Choose NOT to"- I'm thinking, girl, ain't you ever experienced that rush of endorphins? Never had chronic pain? Never had period pain? It went on a few times more. As far as I know, I got the last line. Guess she got that electric tin opener!
@davidw.2791 16 күн бұрын
@@skullsaintdeadWhy do you lump endorphins together with the pains
@skullsaintdead 16 күн бұрын
@@davidw.2791 Cause if you're born with the right amnt of endorphins, or if your body produces the right amount, you prob won't have to use opiates (at least not for most minor injuries, nor would you need them to feel normal ie with no pain, and defo not long term, like I have to for severe chronic pain; i was born with a lower level of pain that was triggered, in 2020, by a worldwide shortage of a period-pain specific birth control pill; now im housebound & mostly bedbound).
@davidw.2791 16 күн бұрын
@@skullsaintdead Ah ok, for a while I was confused thinking Endorphins CAUSE pain because of the way I read your question “Do you feel Endorphins? Do you feel deliberating chronic pain?”
@skullsaintdead 16 күн бұрын
@@davidw.2791 Lol yeah, no worries! Can defo see how you'd interpret that.
@AngeloLunch 19 күн бұрын
“You just don’t get it do you, [re-explains everything that character should probably already get]” “[after having been re-told stuff they should already know] You think I don’t know that??”
@BelindaErcan 17 күн бұрын
Instant sub. Your channel is gold for the world of storytelling. Thank you!
@spencerlee8639 21 күн бұрын
Furiosa's opening motorcycle chase was great exposition.
@joesimpson4522 20 күн бұрын
Off the top of my head, the most creative exposition I can think of is in Shaun of the Dead, when Shaun is flicking through TV channels and the dialogue of disparate presenters juxtaposed together creates a new meaning, setting up the zombie virus.
@wade6282 21 күн бұрын
Thanks for the analysis. Paying attention to such details makes watching good movies even more enjoyable.
I have been waiting for this video.
@seba777100 21 күн бұрын
Something that always bothers me is that, when a character in a scene turns the TV on, the news presenter is ALWAYS just about to start a new sentence talking about exactly what the audience needs to hear. You never catch them half-way through a sentence, which is statistically what of course would happen 8 out of 10 times.
@EMETRL 21 күн бұрын
something you didn't mention in the Breaking Bad pilot is that it was important to show Walter Jr. walking around the house and talking to his family. If we just got a shot of him trying to take a shower, the daily life of someone with cerebral palsy would not be as visible. While the shower being cold is technically being told and not shown to the audience, there's so many other things being shown and not told as a result of the conversation. But you're absolutely right that what really makes the scene not feel artificial is that the conversation would absolutely happen outside the context of filming a tv show.
@zakuraiyadesu 21 күн бұрын
Love the videos, man. Keep it up!!!
@matthewdutton9910 19 күн бұрын
Absolutely adore your content. Makes me love film all over again!
@MrShagification 20 күн бұрын
"Nobody really talks like this..." I always just say "sister" when getting my sister, and she almost always just says "brother".
@davidw.2791 16 күн бұрын
In a lot of cultures e.g. Chinese, you SHOULD call siblings and other family members by their relation to you and not their names. Even in liberal-minded families with e.g. a stepmom who won’t insist you call her “mom”, you should still call her “auntie”, and not her name. Also even in the Anglosphere: who the F are we to summarily dismiss that it happened during e.g. the Tudor era just because NoBodY tAlkS liKe thAt 😅
@SamAronow 21 күн бұрын
My all-time favorite use of voiceover is _The Informant!_ [SPOILERS] ... As much as it is exposition, it's also just the main character's inner monologue as he gradually succumbs to bipolar disorder. The narration becomes increasingly eccentric and rapid-fire until he can't keep up with his own thoughts. And then when he gets treatment, it's gone.
@acarroll6842 17 күн бұрын
MY favourite bit of expo from Only Lovers Left Alive is when Eve talks to the plant using its scientific name, and she says it's too early (or too late) to be out this time of year or something along those lines. Like yeah, someone who lives 600 years would totally notice tiny things like that. If I were to ever write an immortal character I'm using that line as inspiration
@notherbert7095 21 күн бұрын
You just made story telling a whole lot easier for me to understand. Thank you 🙏
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