Screenwriting Philosophy

Screenwriting is a consolidation of scenes and emotions into a potent whole for the eyes of the directors, with your own original language and respectful space to trust the directors and actors to execute–maybe elevate–the material.

The Genesis of my Screenwriting

The genesis of a screenplay is not unlike prose. Okay, well, it starts with the prose, a script treatment, then said prose gets converted into a script format.

My comedy writing is inspired by the social and absurd zaniness of Key & Peele sketches, be it irreverent or black comedy.

Show and Tell: Playing with Words and Visuals

From bad, to good, to masterpieces, I harbored an instinctive urge to line-edit. Whether I enjoy movies like Wonder Woman, The Avengers, or even my favorite TV shows, I glare at the screen and go, “Okay, I would cut that line. Trim, trim, trim, trim it. The context was obvious to us already. Why spoil it with words?”

In Digital Cinematography class at the University of Houston, my Professor nudged the usual “show, don’t tell” method. Rings true. Every filmmaker knows that cinema is about the balance of words and the visuals.

As a flash fiction writer, tightness is my thing, thus my compulsion to line-edit. I convert extraneous dialogue into visual story-telling. I may add a symbol, I may suggest that a character do something more productive besides just sit around and deliver lazy exposition in a coffee shop.

For example, I slapped the oh-so cliche “I love you” line on my death word list. I’ll just convert that line to the characters hugging or making-out or gazing longingly in their eyes from the distance.

To Abide (or Not to Abide) by the Traditional 

I know we like to shoot to be a Quentin Tarantino and be a rule-breaker maverick like the Coen Brothers, but I do revere the traditional act structures, want vs. need, and Hero’s Journey, and all that tropey stuff. But should I receive a script that tries to break the rules, I will respect the authorial rebellious intents and accommodate, rather than work against intents.

When critiquing your screenplay, I will compile a brief analysis of the:

1. INCITING INCIDENT

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

5. RESOLUTION’

*  Want/Need of the Character(s)

 

Advertisements