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.

October 24, 2017

The creators of Combat Hospital knew that the world would be foreign to their readers. Between the title page and the first actual page of the pilot script, two pages of diagrams were inserted. The first depicts the overall layout, including the locations of the runway...

October 17, 2017

As Off The Map took place in an isolated clinic in a third world country, I was really interested to study the impact of its setting. While the landscape was described as beautiful, it also contributed to the potential ailments the doctors had to battle as it contained...

October 10, 2017

Royal Pains premiered on USA Network in June of 2009 and ran for 104 episodes over the course of 8 seasons. While definitely a drama, it was know for its light tone and comedic elements. Here, travesties weren't always life and death. An emergency could be as simpl...

October 3, 2017

ER ran for 331 episodes over the course of fifteen seasons. According to Wikipedia, it was nominated for 375 industry awards and won 116 of them, including 22 Emmys. As it was a long-running drama that garnered lots of critical acclaim, I wanted to look at the pilot ep...

June 27, 2017

This week I read Elizabeth Meriwether's pilot for her hit TV show New Girl. Originally titled Chicks and Dicks, it's a quirky comedy that pairs awkward, off-beat Jess with three male roommates. Although all have just met in the pilot, their friendship and care...

March 28, 2017

The basic premise of Outlander is that WWII nurse Claire Randall is ripped out of her 1945 life and finds herself back in 1743 Scotland. Unlike most time travel pieces, there seems to be only the one jump (for now), and it appears to be left a mystery, or at least most...

Please reload

Recent Posts
Recent Posts

January 2, 2018

December 26, 2017

December 19, 2017

December 12, 2017

December 5, 2017

December 1, 2017

Please reload

Please reload

Please reload