Rich Tella Filmography


Discovering the storytelling cheat code

In this post I would like to draw attention to some very simple “story making hacks” that I discovered while post producing The Fakefluencer film now available to stream for free right now at


While these hacks were presented to me to be utilised at the pre production phase, I used them in post production, I would imagine depending on what kind of story you are making and what format it will take would inform you of the best time to incorporate these elements into your story.

First, some tips for maintaining an engaged audience while telling the story:

“Telegraphing” – raise questions, promise answers.

Telegraphing consists of telling the audience (implicitly or explicitly) what will happen in the future of the story. To telegraph we can include a deadline, a ticking clock, or a meeting, for instance. Anytime one character mentions something that will happen in the future, that’s telegraphing. We can also telegraph implicitly by showing preparation for something in the future (such as characters putting up decorations for a party).

“Dangling Cause” – An effect will happen in the future.

Typically a dangling cause is anywhere where something should have an effect, but it doesn’t yet. In this way, we can also think of dangling causes as “delayed effects.” Something happens that deals with the future but that future won’t immediately arrive.

“Dramatic Irony” – Audience Knows more than the characters.

Dramatic irony is a form of irony. It is both a literary and theatrical device in which the reader or audience knows more than the characters they are following. The characters’ actions have a different meaning for the audience than they do for the actors or characters, and this device often lends itself to tragedy.

“Dramatic Tension” – Audience cares about a character with an objective.

Dramatic tension is how you keep an audience hooked to the story of your play. It is about creating and maintaining an audience’s involvement in the “journey” of your play. But how is dramatic tension achieved? Below are some of the ways:

Second some Tips for creating COMEDIC EFFECT:

“Incongruity Theory” – Subvert Expectations.

The incongruity theory states that humor is perceived at the moment of realization of incongruity between a concept involved in a certain situation and the real objects thought to be in some relation to the concept.

“Superiority Theory” – Bad things happen.

The superiority theory of humor traces back to Plato and Aristotle, and Thomas Hobbes‘ Leviathan. The general idea is that a person laughs about misfortunes of others (so called schadenfreude), because these misfortunes assert the person’s superiority on the background of shortcomings of others

“Relief Theory” – Tension, Joke, Tension, Joke.

Relief theory maintains that laughter is a homeostatic mechanism by which psychological tension is reduced.[2][3][7] Humor may thus for example serve to facilitate relief of the tension caused by one’s fears.[8] Laughter and mirth, according to relief theory, result from this release of nervous energy.[2] Humor, according to relief theory, is used mainly to overcome sociocultural inhibitions and reveal suppressed desires. It is believed that this is the reason we laugh whilst being tickled, due to a buildup of tension as the tickler “strikes”


When editing The Fakefluencer I found that in combination these tricks or “hacks” provided a great way to maintain the viewers attention and keep them engaged in the story. In combination with an interesting story as opposed to “instead of” I think these tricks of the trade are an incredibly useful resource for any story tellers especially if you have a more complex narrative to express.

Rich Tella

See what I’m working on now at:


Dramatic tension