The Words on the Page

Writing for film, television, and the stage is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult - and most rewarding - art forms. The language needs to be visual and evocative as each script must achieve two important tasks. First, it must be an easy read. On paper, it should tell a compelling story and flow as easily as a novel as, if it doesn't past the first test of being read and enjoyed, it will never amount to anything more than a pile of pages in a drawer. But being an easy read isn't enough. Scripts also have to serve as a blueprint for the finished product and need to tell the story in a manner that allows the reader to picture it in his or her mind's eye. The characters need to be memorable and leap off the page; the story must come to life.


In addition to writing scripts of their own, I believe all writers can learn and benefit from studying scripts that have launched successful movies, television shows, and plays. For the next year, on each Tuesday, I'll be posting my thoughts on a piece.

May 30, 2017

Nancy Meyers is a master of romantic comedy, and It's Complicated is no exception. A movie about a divorced couple in their 50s who fall into an affair at their son's college graduation, it's filled with twists and turns, and it kept me giggling throughout...

May 23, 2017

I was looking for an edgy, non-traditional romantic comedy (read: one that doesn't essentially end in a wedding), and Celeste And Jesse Forever more than fit the bill. An indie flick about two best friends who are trying to maintain their friendship following their...

May 16, 2017

Panic Room

Written by David Koepp

Unspecified Draft - February 2000

Thriller, 103 pages

"Take what you want and get out." - Meg

Panic Room sets its tone even before it fades in. Centered in two lines on the top of the first page, the script reads, "This film is short. This...

May 9, 2017

Directly under its title on the cover page, Gravity tells us it's "A Space Suspense in 3D." It's an interesting inclusion as I instantly know what I'm in for. If I was a reader looking for a sci-fi piece or for a story in outer space, I'd defi...

May 2, 2017

Bridge of Spies by Charman and the Coen brothers is a compelling read. Taking place during the Cold War, it centers around an exchange of prisoners. From the beginning it is evident that its conclusion will hit that coveted mark of being both inevitable and surprising...

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