01 May, 2009

"Screenplay Structure"

Tom has put up some workshop notes at his place. While splitting the second act into two might be a familiar trick to some of you as a way of avoiding the common problems, it's the next stage that's less familiar and pretty important.

"Next, you divide each of those segments in two, to create eight parts of the story.

While they won't all be exactly equal in length, they'll probably each run to 10-15 minutes for a feature-length script.

Knowing roughly the story you want to tell, you should now apply an 'emotional colour' to each of these chunks. It can be as little as one word; ambition, setback, disappointment etc. " (Article in full)

And here's Bill Martell to explain, better than I can, why it is so important:

"My friend John Hill (QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER) calls movies EMOTION pictures because people go to the movies to have emotional experiences. They want to feel. In our every day lives we usually have to hold in our emotions - films give us a chance to let all of those emotions out.

Our job as writers is to give the audience an emotional experience, whether it's fear from a horror movie, sadness from a tragedy, romance from a love story, joy and laughter from a comedy, excitement from an action movie. Our job is to create those emotions in the audience through our scripts."

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