Hollywood & Swine is proud to introduce “Trailer Talk,” where each week acclaimed Glendale Community College screenwriting instructor Jerome Conway offers his expert insight into the world of filmmaking. Although never having actually sold a screenplay, Conway is the author of over a dozen books on screenwriting, including “How to Write a Screenplay In One Day,” “How to Make Your Spec Sparkle” and “How to Land a Franchise Writing Assignment.”
This week’s featured trailer is “Transformers: Age of Extinction” which opens in June.
H&S: What were some of your major observations from “Transformers: Age of Extinction?”
Conway: The major thing I noticed is that this series is returning to its roots. Mark Wahlberg’s character buys an automobile which surprisingly turns out to be an Autobot, much like Shia LeBeouf’s character did in the original 2007 “Transformers.” I discussed this screenwriting technique in my book, “How to Land a Franchise Writing Assignment.” It’s called Getting Back to Basics. You have to find out what made the original film so successful and copy it as closely as possible.
H&S: What Is the Main Character’s Main Problem?
Conway: It is clear Mark Wahlberg’s character is having money problems in the trailer. Worrying about not being able to provide for one’s family is one of the 7 Primal Fears I discuss in my book “How to Write a Screenplay In One Day.” This fear will drive Wahlberg’s character into making a series of decisions which thrusts the character into an adventure.
H&S: At What Point Will Mark Wahlberg’s Daughter Be Kidnapped?
Conway: Personally, I teach my students that it’s always best to have the girl kidnapped at the end of the act two, which raises the stakes for the climatic third act showdown. But I after watching the trailer, my gut instinct is Mark Wahlberg’s daughter gets kidnapped somewhere in the middle of Act Two.
H&S: What Do You Believe the Major Character Arc Will Be?
Conway: I predict two character arcs. Wahlberg’s adventure will teach him that there are more important things to being a good father other than being rich.
The second character arc will be that Stanley Tucci’s character will learn that despite the Autobots being different than us, we actually have a lot in common.
H&S: Third Act Prediction?
Conway: A massive battle. Lots of 9/11 imagery. Autobots pull out a tight victory at the end.