There is nothing as disappointing as spending so much time, effort, and money into shooting a film that the audience will regret ever watching once it hits the marketplace.
And to avoid such disappointment, every filmmaker needs to study and understand the qualities they must incorporate to make their films worth watching.
Now one thing about a good film is that you will never get tired of watching it over and over again. From my personal experience, one needs to watch a movie more than once to get the full message which is sometimes hidden in the suspense that accompanies the film.
I can close my eyes and recount a few movies I have never gotten tired of watching ever since I was a kid up till this day. Some of them are Hollywood movies like “The Legion”, “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and the seasonal movie “Merlin” has been one of my favorite films.
I can recall how I ensured I followed that film up right from season one to the very end, and I think The sorcerers apprentice was the climax or resolution to that great storyline.
So the main reason why you should aim to make a good film is to ensure viewers keep watching them over and over again, and in this digital age, this will help you to make so much money from online streams of your movie.
In this article therefore, I am going to take the time to list and explain the basic qualities of a good film in the hope that you will adopt it into your next film project to make it a hit when it reaches your viewers.
So without any waste of time let us get started with this article.
Basic qualities of a good film.
The basic qualities of a good film are:
- A captivating storyline.
- Character Development.
- Talented and experienced casts.
- Emotional impact and connection.
- High quality visuals and sound.
1. A captivating storyline.
The number one quality every film should have is a captivating storyline. Whether the film is based on a true life story, dream, or the power of imagination, it must be a kind of story that keeps the audience at the edge of their seats.
Now one mistake so many amateur storytellers or screenwriters make is to write whatever comes into their head without fledging the story with all the nitty gritty that will captivate the audience.
As a matter of fact, every story needs to have a character who must overcome several obstacles to achieve a particular goal or goals. Most times, this obstacles are created by an opposing character whom we often refer to as a protagonist.
I often encounter people who argue that there is no originality in filmmaking because every story that abounds in life have already been told.
But I always oppose this motion based on the fact that even if a story is curled from an existing film, the characters and locations can never be the same and as such every story told in a film is original.
Besides, if you consider the fact that billions of human beings are existing on earth at a particular time and you will never be able to count the ones that have existed and died right from the beginning of time and the ones that will exist before the world ends, you will agree with me that even 2 percent of life stories have not yet been told in an existing film.
So even if you will be writing your film script from an idea or inspiration you had from a film you watched and liked, you must ensure that you make your own ideas paramount in the story as a means of creating originality for it.
3. Character Development.
Another quality that makes a good film is the character development, and it is the process where your character changes their perspective about life due to the things they personally experience in life.
Some call this the character arc, and the best character arc is when the character changes from a good person to a bad one.
Take for example, a Philanthropist changes to a very stingy person after he was robbed by someone whom he offered an helping hand to.
Another character development that will make your film very good is the character flaws, and this is the process where your character is secretly fighting a weakness he finds very difficult to overcome.
While giving your character a flaw in a film, ensure that flaw is not open enough for other people to realize , and you can then go ahead to create a situation or encounter that caused your character to turn a new leaf.
4. Talented and experienced casts.
Another quality of a good film is having talented casts playing out the characters embedded in the film.
Before now I used to criticize film producers and directors engaging the services of established casts which we often refer to as popular faces instead of giving upcoming talents the opportunity to showcase themselves, until I finally got to discover that established casts are always talented and experienced enough to interpret any role or character they are given in a film.
Suspense is another quality of a good film and it is the process where things turn out the opposite of what the viewers proposed or expected.
Take for example, your character, who is a detective officer has been fighting from the beginning of a film to play an undercover cop to arrest a drug baron, not knowing that his partner is a corrupt cop who has been telling on him to the drug baron.
And as soon as the undercover cop arrests and handcuffs the drug baron, he turns around to see himself surrounded by armed men and his partner, and this is when he finally gets to realize that he has been sold out.
So when you are creating your storyline or script, always ensure you understand when the audience expected things to turn right and you make it turn left instead.
6. Emotional impact and connection.
A good film must have an emotional impact and connection with the audience. That is to say that the audience must always find their life being reflected in the film they are watching.
This kind of film is capable of keeping the audience at the edge of their seats because they will be eager to see the outcome of having such feelings or living that particular lifestyle.
Whenever you see an audience feeling pity for or even crying over a character they are watching in a movie, you need to quickly understand that they have gone through or are going through the same experience in their personal lives.
Create these kind of film and you will see how it turns out to be a block buster.
7. High quality visuals and sound.
High quality visuals and sound is the responsibility of the DP or cinematographer, the gaffer and the film edit, and this can be achieved by using the best video equipment and gears.
I think the most challenging part of the visuals is often seen in the night and interior scenes where lighting is required.
Sometimes, the gaffer can get the lighting right but the cinematographer messes it up with the character settings. For instance, using a high ISO that exceeds 180 will introduce noise if you are shooting with a Canon DSLR.