December 22, 2011

Writing a Scene - Scriptcast notes

Hello my festive eyeballers. Today’s Screenwriters Anonymous is about scene writing. This handful of nuggets comes care of the Scriptcast podcast (you can find it here on iTunes). You could go listen to it yourself, or you can save your minutes and read the crux below, but it's still a podcast worth a regular listen.

I’ve gotta say, I love a lot of these screenwriting podcasts, and we should show gratitude to the awesome folks who make them without getting a buck back from them. Kudos.

* Start with a slugline – what happens? (What needs to happen in the scene based off your outline?)
* Four elements:
-An emotional moment (if you’re writing comedy, this could be the funny bit)
-A character moment
-Plot movement
Your MUST have AT LEAST TWO of these moments per scene.
* What information are you giving? Do you give it more than once? Cut that shit down, son.
* What does each character want, and what will they do to get it?  Where’s the CONFLICT?!
* You can add a third character to a scene to create friction when the two other characters are talking (the great example they gave was The Big Lebowski, how when Walter & The Dude are talking at the bowling lane, Donnie keeps pissing Walter off).
* Characters CAN hate each other.
* You can get a lot of comedy from a stupid character, or a character that lies a lot.
* Think of several ways to write a scene. Don’t just write it one way! Explore. Rigidity is not your friend – experimentation is (unless you’re in college, in which case rigidity and experimentation may go together).

That's all for today, but very soon I'll post a chunky recap of the brilliant Scriptchat on THRILLERS. It should be... thrilling. Yes, I know. Dad humour. I love you too.

Merry Crustmas, Happy Harmonukkah, Joyous Ryan Kawnten-za, and any other holiday religion I forgot to offend. Stay safe, be generous, and get started on those New Year's Resolutions. Next year is set to be huge, considering it will be Earth's going out of business sale, if you believe those meddling Mayans.

Screenwriters Anonymous - when we say give yourself over to a higher power, we do not mean Robert McKee.

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