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ReV Up Your Improv Scenes
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

I am Resolved to Resolve Using ResolVe

~ PART 14 of the Series: ReV up Your Improv Scenes ~

You’re almost home. All of the hard work is done and the challenges have been overcome in crafting your excellent improv scene. You’ve reached the climax of your story. What’s left? 

Wrap it up.

We don’t want to just cut the scene after the climactic moment. It does need something more. But sometimes that something more is literally almost nothing. It can be a final line, a final pose or tableau. Something simple needed only for completion, closure – a little button at the end.

Depending on the make-up of your scene and the length of your improvisation and the depth of your story – you may however need to take a little more time to wrap things up.

If you look at final episodes of television series’, you’ll see much, if not all, of the final episode is the wrap up. Since multiple storylines are developed over the years, many elements have to be wrapped up, and in the cases of television shows, we get a glimpse of what the future might look like for the various characters. We’ve invested a lot of our time in these characters and we want to know what will become of them. Some shows have so many stories the resolve of secondary and third-tier storylines will be wrapped up in the second to last episode or even earlier.

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In many movies, especially adventure and action movies, we will also see a wrap up that is no wrap up at all – it seems to introduce rather a new wrinkle or question or revelation. This of course is used strategically to seed a sequel or continued installment. Again, television series will employ this technique from week to week as a means to get you to come back next week. You can really notice this as you binge watch a series in today’s “I want it now” TV culture. I’ve just got to see what happens after the hero receives some devastating news or seems to be inside the exploding building. 

This makes sense as each week’s episode is designed with the same overall strategy we have been talking about in these blog installments. It’s the same pattern over and over again. There is a climactic moment and closure for each individual episode and there are some storylines and themes that cross over and through all the episodes to the final episode credits.

For your scene – have you set up any subplots or secondary storylines that need to be wrapped up and resolved? Perhaps a wonderful or colorful character was introduced during the course of the scene. The ResolVe is a terrific moment to bring back characters that are no longer relevant in the current story (their moment has ended). You’ll see this as well in movies and television. We get so excited when that memorable character from episodes back or in the middle of the movie makes a final appearance. It’s almost like the final curtain call in a play, when all the characters we’ve experienced and come to know parade before us for our love and accolades.

To be honest, in improv scenes, most resolve segments are quick and easy. Once the objective has been achieved, it’s time to get out and move on to the next scene. As I have, I’m sure you’ve seen or been in many a scene where at the mere hint of the climactic moment, you can feel the wind as several arms sweep the lights down from the stage.

On the other hand, there may be some great opportunities to finish off what you’ve started in a creative, satisfying and elegant fashion. Don't take too long with it, but be open to give it the time is needs.


Anonymous said...

Great observations on wrapping up a story!!

Anonymous said...

So true! Great observations on not over complicating the end of a scene, but still tying up the threads.