So yesterday I was rewatching THE FIFTH ELEMENT. Brilliant movie. And while I was watching, there was one thing that stood out to me.
There's a lot of dirt in that movie. On the people, in the setting, everywhere. Take a look here, as Leeloo presents her multipass:
See that? A giant pile of garbage behind her.
The thing that makes this movie so amazing is the dirtiness of it. It doesn't make a show of the dirt--but the dirt is very much present throughout the whole movie. It makes everything more realistic.
We all here at the League read and write books about the future, and if there's one thing I think is missing in many of these works, it's simply this: dirt.
I know I'm guilty of it. I'm working on the sequel for ACROSS THE UNIVERSE right now--it's called A MILLION SUNS--and there's a lot that's going wrong for Elder and Amy. As I edit the manuscript, the number one thing I'm cutting (thanks to the brilliant guidance of my editor!) a lot of the "pretty" scenes. And adding more dirt.