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What Is An ‘Action Hook’ And How To Use It In Your Movie

What Is An ‘Action Hook’ And How To Use It In Your Movie


As a filmmaker, you should always be searching for new tools to add to your toolbox to more effectively tell a story, instill emotions into your audience and make your projects more entertaining and memorable.


One new tool to add is one of Steven Spielberg’s calling cards…the ‘Action Hook’. Wooh hold on! What exactly is an action hook you ask? Well…


An action hook is a creative and memorable moment in action. Action hooks are the spine of action sequences.


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The best action hooks are attention-grabbing and character-driven. Action hooks are to action sequences what jokes are to comedies. So, in a scene in a comedy, you have one joke that leads to another joke that leads to another joke. So, one joke builds upon the other.


It’s the same with action hooks. You have one action hook in an action sequence that leads to another one and another one. Like in the movie ‘Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade’ in the tank fight scene, there’s one thing after another that happens to Indiana Jones’ (i.e. his face is pushed onto the tread of the tank, then he’s hung from the turret, then a car gets stuck on the turret of the tank, next the tank shoots the car off, etc..). These are all action hooks. When planned properly, you design an action sequence built upon ‘Action Hooks’ that is both gripping, highly entertaining and truly unforgettable by your audience.


Watch the video below to a get a more thorough explanation (complete with examples) of more action hooks.



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And remember it doesn’t matter what genre you leverage action hooks for – dramas, horror, sci fi, etc. action sequences enhance them all. The only limits are the limits of your own (or your creative team’s) imaginations.


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