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.

August 29, 2017

Black Swan is another film in which my recollection barely scratched the surface of the story...

August 22, 2017

Inception

by Christopher Nolan

Shooting Script - Undated

Psychological Thriller, 146 pages

"Once an idea's taken hold in the brain, it's almost impossible to eradicate. A person can cover it up, ignore it - but it stays there."

- Cobb

Inception seems to be one of those film...

August 15, 2017

What Lies Beneath

by Clark Gregg

Production Draft v2.0 - December 1999

Psychological Drama, 113 pages

"There was... I thought I saw something." - Claire

The biggest thing I remember from seeing What Lies Beneath years ago was how much Amber Valletta and Michelle Pfeiffer (w...

August 8, 2017

Growing up, The Sixth Sense was one of the first films that really blew my mind. A true psychological drama, I got caught up in all the twists and turns and did not see the mind-bending end coming. It was a delight to watch, and I was curious to see how it read on the...

August 1, 2017

Although I said I was reading psychological dramas and thrillers this month, I would definitely classify Se7en as a crime drama. To me, a psychological storyline, whether skewing toward drama or thriller, must emphasize the unstable psychological state or psychological...

August 1, 2017

Psychological dramas and thrillers have long fascinated me. Along with the normal requirements of a screenplay, these require even more twists and turns, including a mind-bending moment that changes everything that comes before. It's almost like the screenplay has to d...

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