Monday, December 1, 2008

It'll Take A Lot to Drag Me Away From You

Characteristics of a good screenplay

Why do so many screenplays, even those made into blockbuster movies, fall flat? Hollywood is too preoccupied with star-studded affairs, the latest special effects, and million-dollar marketing campaigns, to make art. Meanwhile, Indie film makers, without the luxury of lavish budgets, strive to call themselves artists, but they fail to realize that “different” doesn’t necessarily mean “good.”

Most books on screenwriting will tell you how to come up with ideas. They’ll say to write everyday, and give you cheesy exercises to help “stimulate imaginative thoughts.” I’m not going to do any of that, because if your imagination is broken, there’s nothing that can fix it, other than yourself. I’m also not going to discuss proper screenplay formatting, because that can be found anywhere. Instead, I’m going to go over three should-be-basic characteristics that make up a good screenplay: Character, rhythm, and clarity.

1) Character

Many screenwriters focus so much on story, they don’t realize that a screenplay’s character lies, well, in it’s characters.

--- Coming Soon! ---