Suspense & Tension Example

Suspense & Tension Example

A Lesson by Rayzor

An example of how you can build suspense and tension in one of your scenes. This example is from the movie Abyss.


1. Bud and Lindsay are stranded in a sub on the ocean floor.
2. There's a leak in the sub. Slowly filling with freezing water. 
3. Bud is the only one having a diving suit with oxygen.
4. No panic yet. They are trained for this. 
5. Water is rising.
6. The radio is damaged. Not possible to contact the crew.
7. The rescue crew will not be fast enough. She will drown before they get there.
8. Water is rising.
9. Bud is unable to fix the leak.
10. The emergency air tank is damaged.
11. Water is rising.
12. Too much time to swim and get another diving suit.
13. Water is rising and rising.
11. Their only choice...Lindsay has to drown. Revive her later, after Bud has reached the main rig.
12. Water fills the sub. Bud puts on his suit.
12. Lindsay drowns in Buds arms.
13. Bud swims towards the main rig, dragging Lindsay along with him.
14. Contact with the main rig. Get medical supplies.
15. Reaching the rig. Starts to work on Lindsay.
16. Can't revive her.
17. But ...

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Added on December 21, 2013
Last Updated on December 21, 2013

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Moss, Ostfold, Norway