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Produce Powerful Presentations (Collection) by Jerry Weissman

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9. Show versus Tell in Hollywood: The Wrong and the Right Way to Tell a Story

Lesson One in Screenwriting 101: Show Don’t Tell. In a well-made film, the story advances by action. In a lesser film, the story advances by exposition, with the characters describing the action. In an inferior film, the story is advanced by an unseen narrator.

The latter technique is drawn from books, where, because of the absence of visual images, the unseen author must describe the images and the action. In books, the art of telling the story is in the author’s narrative word craft; in films, the art of telling the story is in the director’s camera and editing choices. In presentations, the art is in the value the presenter adds beyond what the audience sees on the ...

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