8 Elements that Make a Great Film

Man has been telling stories much before he learned to write. But the real trick of creating a standout film isn’t necessarily a complex plot. Instead, pretty much everything you put into your film – dialogue, props, lighting, and a song, – communicates something to your audience.

A lot of talent and creativity goes on to make a great movie. But there are some strikingly similar elements present in excellent screenplays. So with that in mind, let’s look at the most critical factors to consider when creating any film.

Choose Great Characters

How can filmmakers come up with characters that viewers will never forget? The way your character looks and dresses can, in fact, deepen the character’s personality. Evaluate your character’s abilities and aptitudes, and determine which professions might be ideal for them. Realizing this gives you a tremendous range of options for your film.

Knowing your thematic statement is key to choosing the right protagonist for your story. The main character must be the primary mover and shaker and the one present at all the significant moments. Therefore, the best approach is to allow pure instinct to take over, letting your subconscious to tell you how the characters should look like. Also, distinguish your large cast of characters by using different first initials.

Have a Moral Argument

Your film should keep the audience hooked and shift its perspective. Moral arguments, like all arguments, are composed of claims, or propositions, or statements. It ensures that every narrative element revolves around a single set of ideas. This way, you can enhance even the most acclaimed film to new heights. You can still take a firm stance, as long as you emphasize that your view is based on harm.

Create Conflict

A film producer’s job is to give his viewers pleasure through stress, strain and tension. Conflict is the element that kicks off the action and gets the story started. The conflict stems from different people, different groups, and different forces.

When planning your film’s central conflicts, choose a conflict that matters. The conflict should be the push and pull of the character as she experiences the story. A great conflict is also intriguing and engaging to the audience.

Conflict in your film has to be an emotional ride for your audience. Show your characters’ motivation in each scene. Pack it with resistance.

A Great Ending

Everything leads up to the film’s ending, and once it’s over, everything points back to it. The ending is what your readers will take with them from your film. Moreover, the audience expects thematic conclusions and lessons learned, even if not in so many words. As a result, all filmmakers want that perfect conclusion, one that complements and fulfils the purpose of the story.

Of course, there are no universally right or wrong endings. Either way, plot your film so that every scene reflects how your story will end. That’s because satisfying film endings use elements from the story’s beginning and middle. Thus, knowing the outcome will help you drop narrative clues—but no spoilers.

Powerful and Condensed Openings

Opening scene or sequence can make or break a film sometimes. Some say film critics can decide against your movie within the first three minutes. The opening scene is where you promise the audience a fun romp and introduce them to characters. The more exciting your opening is, the more it will resemble how it is unique.

The opening shot of a film is the audience’s initial entry into the world of the film. It has an enormous impact on establishing tone, character, plot, and even theme. Executed correctly, it can be a powerful filming technique. For instance, the opening scene may be people buying ping pong tables from BPPTR.

This is your first opportunity to hook readers in. Shocking the audience immediately with a jarring moment will get them excited to read on.


Films are an artistic and creative expression. A film with bland dialogue and cheesy lines comes off as immature. The perfect dialogue espouses information and gives context to what the characters are feeling inside.

Great dialogue is one of the great pleasures of the films. That’s because the dialogue is very different from regular conversations.  But dialogue, by its very nature, is deceptive. For instance, over dramatic villain monologues can often be perceived as a scapegoat to more complex dialogue. Thus, how you create dialogue will determine how original it is at conveying meaning.


It is impossible to overstate how important a role audio plays in the film viewing experience. Sound is a potent tool for storytelling and giving your film impact. On the other hand, poor sound can ruin an otherwise spectacular production.

Different aspects of sound enhance the characters and the story. Firstly, you can use sound to help show where and when the film is set. Secondly, sound can be used to connect themes and characters, and generally tie a film together.

Key Takeaway

A great film should have a goal, move the story forward, and present an emotional shift.  It also brings to the table new styles or techniques of filmmaking. So, if you’re working on a film, measuring your story against the above standard is a great start.

James Anderson

James Anderson


As the founder of About Film Schools, James has ensured that the school remains on top of its game by providing cutting-edge technology to create its original work. He also facilitates the distribution of films produced by our learners and members.

Asides from his commitment to running the great academy’s daily affairs, James has produced several motion pictures, including the famous “Winter in September” in 2007

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