INCEPTION: A Hypnotic Script
By Jacob Krueger
By now, you and everyone you know have probably seen Inception. You’ve read reviews that wax poetic about its dream like nature, its visual innovation, and its extraordinarily ambitious thematic aspirations. Perhaps you’ve even heard me lecture about Inception, and the ways I feel it could have pushed its themes even further.
The Hypnotic Basis of Inception
One of the truly interesting things about Inception is that its structure seems to be based upon the principles of hypnosis. In fact, the organizing principles of the dream within a dream within a dream structure of the film almost perfectly mirror the classical hypnosis training one receives at a weekend certification class in hypnosis.
Your Screenplay’s Organizing Principles
Why is this important to you as a writer? Because as writers we all need organizing principles around which to structure our character’s journey. Usually we think of such structures in terms of acts and themes, but as Inception demonstrates, the truth is that almost any source of inspiration can become the organizing principal of your story: from a question, to a character trait, to a work of art or piece of music, or in this case to a classical hypnosis certification class.
As writers we are not only students of screenwriting, we are also students of the world. And the good news is: you can utilize the hypnotic principles behind Inception not only to inspire the way you create the structure of your own movie, but also to open up new avenues toward building your life as a writer.
An Exciting New Series of Articles
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be discussing the hypnotic principles behind Inception, and ways of applying them to your own writing. I’ll also be describing ways that you can draw upon your own experiences to create organizing principles for your own movies– and harness those ideas to create unity for your script and profound journeys for your main characters. To that end, we’ll not only be talking about the things that work in Inception, but also the things that could have been pushed further, to make the film even more dramatically successful and emotionally powerful.
Finally, we’ll be discussing ways that you can apply hypnotic principles in your life as a writer, in order to break through writer’s block, heal old wounds to your confidence, overcome procrastination, and create a better relationship between your writing and your editing brain.
Check back next week, for the first article in the series: INCEPTION: Understanding Hypnosis For Writers