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Clips from films produced by Luciano Saber

PLACEBO EFFECT - This espionage thriller was shot on location in Chicago and had a limited theatrical release.

SCARED - This upbeat feature film was shot on the Sony lot on 35mm Kodak film.

AH! Vision


The Making Of A Great Story

By L. Saber

Anyone with some sort of communication skills can tell a story, but not everyone can tell a story well. There are a lot of elements that have to come together—gel, so-to-speak and one of the most crucial elements is the element of surprise. Think about it in terms of everyday life, when someone tells a joke and we all listen carefully, our minds already at work trying to remember if we have already heard the joke or trying to figure out what the punch line will be; and then the punch line hits us from somewhere out in left field. When we hear an outcome that we’d never expect, the joke is very funny. It makes us laugh. Why? Because we never expected to hear that particular punch line. Jokes after all are just miniature stories, but the same principle can be applied to feature length stories. We have to keep the audience on their toes and surprised at every turn.

Can a writer communicate a good story without twists and turns? Yes, of course, but what would The Sixth Sense be without the final twist at the end. Would it still be a good movie, a good story? I think it would still be good since we’re very interested in the characters and care about what happens to them. We sympathize with the little boy who sees dead people; he’s constantly haunted and terrified by these visions. It’s even affecting his relationship with his mother. The other storyline is the psychiatrist, who is successful, has a beautiful wife, takes a great interest in the boy, his patient, and tries hard to cure him; but then his own marriage deteriorates and we don’t know why. We root for them to stay together because they’re such a great couple, but then there’s the co-worker that lurks around and wants to move in on the wife. How terrible, how tragic that the wife is always sad, down right depressed. Why? What happened to them that was so devastating? All great questions to ask during the movie and just like the punch line of a joke, we can’t wait to find out. Now, these two story lines come together as the psychiatrist’s life and the boy’s life intertwine. They share their feelings, their thoughts and finally, the boy comes out of his shell, he learns to deal with his curse and in Act 3 we start to believe that this great human interest story is about to have a nice wrap up and the psychiatrist goes home to rekindle his relationship with his wife. Just as we predicted, he does, but to our surprise we find out that all the heartache his wife was experiencing, all the agony wasn’t over a rocky marriage, it was because the psychiatrist is dead; throughout the movie he’s dead, he’s a ghost. He died in the beginning of the film when an old patient broke into their house and shot him. We saw him bleeding, but the next scene in the movie took place a year later. We saw him walking around and assumed he survived the gunshot. No. He didn’t. He was dead and most importantly the writer didn’t break any rules. He never told us whether or not the character was dead or alive. He let us assume what we wanted. Thereafter, he dropped clues throughout the movie—the biggest one was that no other character had a direct conversation with the psychiatrist, except the boy who saw dead people. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it? We the audience missed it because we assumed he was alive. We didn’t even bother to ask why. We didn’t even notice. That’s brilliant writing. That’s what will set a good story apart from a great story. §