Download Screenplay: Writing the Picture PDF

TitleScreenplay: Writing the Picture
PublisherSilman-James Press
ISBN 139781935247067
CategoryArts - Film
File Size9.4 MB
Total Pages791
Table of Contents
                            Title Page
Note on Ebook Version
	1 How to Impress a Reader
	Who Are Those Guys?
	What Are They Looking For?
	Writing in Style
	Final Thoughts
	2 Format
	Formatting and Formatting Software
	Setting Up Your Script
	3 Theme, Meaning and Emotion
	Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing (Yet)
	Themes All Right to Me
	Write from the Heart
	Papa, Don’t Preach
	How to Reveal the Theme
	Some Consequence Yet Hanging in the Stars
	Final Thoughts
	4 The World of the Story
	Through the Looking Glass (Story and World)
	The Right (Wo)man at the Right Time in the Right Place (Character World)
	Laughing past the Graveyard (Contrast and Irony)
	Show and Tell (World and Exposition)
	Been There, Done That (Research and Consistency)
	Final Thoughts
	5 Character
	Which Came First, Honey of the Bee?
	Geez, You Act like You’re in a Movie
	What on Earth Is He Doing Here?
	What’s the Situation? (Character and Context)
	Turn On the Spotlight (Character Elements)
	The Arc or the Covenant (Character Arc vs. Catalytic Character)
	Write You Are (Building Characters)
	A Piece of Sugar (The Shorthand of Dogs, Cats, Children and Tucking in Blankets)
	Final Thoughts
	6 Historical Approaches to Structure
	Structure Strictures
	Aristotle and Poetics
	Plotto and Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations
	Lajos Egri and The Art of Dramatic Writing
	Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey
	The Three-Act Structure
	Automated Story Development
	Final Thoughts
	7 Power and Conflict
	May the Force Be With You (Power and Conflict)
	The Orchestration of Power and Conflict
	Types of Story Conflict
	Final Thoughts
	8 Beats, Scenes and Sequences
	Follow the Beat
	Making a Scene
	That’s Another Story (Subplot Sequences)
	Final Thoughts
	9 Scene Cards
	It’s in the Cards
	Final Thoughts
	10 Entering the Story
	The Terminator: Man vs. Machine
	Big Night: Soul vs. Success
	11 The Structure of Genres
	A Moving (Picture) Experience
	Fear and Loathing
	The Need to Know
	Love and Longing
	Final Thoughts
	12 Narrative
	Keep It Moving!
	Write Only What We Can See or Hear
	Describing Characters
	Describing Locations
	13 Dialogue
	The Role of Dialogue
	How Can I Say This? (Dialogue Techniques)
	I Was Born in a Log Cabin I Built with My Own Hands... (Exposition)
	Technical Do’s and Don’t’s
	For Crying Out Loud!
	Final Thoughts
	14 Rewriting
	It’s Great! Now Let Me Fix It
	Taking It Apart and Putting It Back Together
	Final Thoughts
	15 Marketing the Scrip
	The Writers Guild of America
	Where to Find an Agent
	Production Companies
	Film Schools
	Final Thoughts
	16 The Pitch
	To Pitch or Not to Pitch
	Getting in the Door
	Final Thoughts
	17 Writing for Television
	Writing a Spec
	Sitcom Format Guide
	Writing Comedy
	You Need an Agent
	L.A. Is Where You Want to Be
	Pitching for Television
	A Life in Television
	Final Thoughts
	18 Writing Webisodes
	19 Writing for Video Games
	You Are There
	First Things First
	The Real World: Breaking and Entering
	Final Thoughts
	Final Thoughts on Becoming a Screenwriter
	Appendix A: Templates
	Appendix B: Suggested Reading
	Appendix C: A Few Clichés to Avoid like the Plague
	Appendix D: Graduate (MFA) Screenwriting Programs
	About the Authors
Document Text Contents
Page 396


Horror, the Supernatural and dark Science Fiction

The flip side of courage is fear; courage is the overcoming of fear.
Because of this, movies devoted to fear are almost equally as popular
as those devoted to courage; there are obvious examples like

or or the endless variations on the zombie and
vampire subgenres, but the fear category also includes such all-time
blockbusters as , and even
Here, fear is primary, and death is much more personal, malicious and
often serves no larger aim than simply to demonstrate its power over
us. And if fear is the emphasized goal of a story, the strategy must
change from that of a courage movie, or action-adventure. In a
courage movie, the protagonist is an enhanced version of ourselves,
whom we know from the start has the potential to defeat the
antagonist; the thrill comes from identifying with the protagonist’s
courage. In a fear movie, we are overwhelmed by the face-to-face
confrontation with our deepest and most irrational insecurities, and
courage must be suppressed almost until the end of the movie. We
include because, even though Batman is a franchise
character who we know will not die and an apparent “courage”
protagonist, he is also a flawed hero plagued by internal fears and
doubts. The persona Bruce Wayne adopts is not like those of Captain
America, Superman, the Green Lantern or even Iron Man, as emblems
of the invincibility of good- ness and human capability. In the telling of
his origin in #33, he realizes that in order to revenge
his parents’ death and fight the terror that afflicts Gotham, he himself
must “strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night,
black, terrible...a...a bat!” In effect, he has decided to appear like a
vampire. In , his own internal darkness becomes
most horribly and threateningly externalized in the personification of
chaos that is the Joker; in his challenge to sanity and reason itself, the
Joker is actually rather similar to the shark in —he represents our
darkest fear that the world is savage and irrational, and that we live in

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About the Authors
Robin U. Russin is a Professor of Screenwriting at the University of
California, Riverside, where he serves as Director of the MFA in
Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. He has written,
produced, consulted and directed for film, TV and the theater,
including the box-office hit ;

on Fox; and on ABC. His short stories, articles and
reviews have appeared in , ,

, , ,
and elsewhere. He and Bill are also the co-authors

of . A Rhodes Scholar, he received his Bachelor’s
Degree in Fine Arts from Harvard, and has graduate degrees from
Oxford University, Rhode Island School of Design, and UCLA, where
he received his MFA in screenwriting.

William Missouri Downs is a Professor of Screenwriting and
Playwriting at the University of Wyoming. He holds an MFA in
screenwriting from UCLA and an MFA in acting from the University of
Illinois. In Hollywood, Bill started as a script secretary on NBC’s

(Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd), and worked his way
up to staff writer on the NBC sitcom (Paul Reiser). He
also wrote episodes for the NBC shows (Sherman Hemsley) and

(Will Smith). In addition he sold a movie to
Ron Howard’s Imagine Films and optioned another to Filmways. He is
the author of over twenty plays that have had well over one hundred
productions, including at the Kennedy Center, the Detroit Rep, the
Wisdom Bridge Theatre, New York City Fringe Festival, the
International Theatre Festival in Israel, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre,
the Charlotte Actors Theatre, the Durban Performing Arts Center
(South Africa), Performance Network, the Berkeley Rep, the
StadtTheater Walfischgasse (Vienna) and a Rolling World Premiere
through the National New Play Network. Samuel French, Playscripts,
Next Stage Press and Heuer Publishing have published his plays. He
also co-wrote the books (Silman-James) and

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