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How Many Action Sequences Should You Have In Your Movie?

How Many Action Sequences Should You Have In Your Movie?


For filmmakers that want to make a great action movie, this is a common concern. How much is too little and how much is too much? First, we’ll share with you an industry standard and then our own personal philosophy (and invention) on the matter.


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A common rule of thumb for action movies is to have 1 action sequence for every 15 minutes of movie. So in a 90 minute movie, you have 6 action sequences minimum (6 action sequences x 15 minutes = 90 minutes). This is the MINIMUM. Well because of this, many filmmakers become discouraged from producing action films because they believe that with so many action sequences their budget has to be very big. Nothing could be further from the truth. More on this later.


Remember, it’s all about instilling emotion into your audience. With advancements in technology and training, it is now possible to implement more action sequences into your film for LESS. That’s right less.


How? Simple, we use a strategy that we developed called ‘Jolts’.


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What is a ‘Jolt’?

A jolt is a mini-action sequence. Something that is not a full-fledged action sequence yet is designed to give a quick thrill to your audience when they least suspect it.


In the formula above, we insert jolts in between the full-fledged action sequences. That means that roughly every 7.5 minutes of the movie, some other exciting action is happening on screen exciting your audience and keeping them on the edges of their seats. Because there’s apparently non-stop action in your movie, your production value goes through the roof, your audience & industry perceived budget seems much bigger PLUS you delight audiences everywhere.


So what are some examples of ‘Jolts’?

We’ll cover this in depth in later posts yet here are a few classics:

1) Short unexpected fight scenes – exciting, gripping and cost virtually nothing!


2) A surprise attack on your central character(s) with a bomb, rocket launcher, grenade, etc. accompanied by an explosion (can be VFX).


3) Your central character(s) are driving in a car having a conversation when the car is suddenly T-boned by another vehicle (ex. car, tow truck, van, tank, etc.). This can be done with VFX.


4) Your central characters are walking along when one of them is suddenly attacked and/or killed by a creature (ex. dog, wolf, bear, jungle cat, shark, etc.). This can be done with VFX.


Learn about our highly popular Stunt Design Solutions for film & TV


This is a short list of Jolts, many of which have already been used in well known movies. With the advent of technology in conjunction with good action acting by your actors & actresses, you can develop jolts and other mini action sequences that will not only delight audiences yet do so for pennies on the dollar!


Like to know more? Contact us today, we enjoy answering questions!



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