I’ve been feverishly working to help a student complete a comedy screenplay and as a first time writer, he had more than a little fear. I suggested that we read the entire script aloud as a final test. While the script was good overall, there were a couple of scenes that just seemed to be flat, and even though there was plenty of conflict, they just didn’t play. What to do?
The solution was not just to reread the scene aloud, but to read it dramatically as if we were the actors who were going to perform on screen. Once we stopped trying to “act” and began to read “as if” we were the characters, the mistakes were easily fixed. This is a technique you can do by yourself by reading all the parts and recording it. The sound of your own voice may be daunting, but consider the alternative.
Will you be watching the Academy Awards on Sunday night? I will, in part, because there are so many interesting choices of film.
There have always been critics parroting the demise of movies, but somehow the form survives. I must say that the stories were good but the quality of the scripts overall this year is not as good as has been in the past. This is your chance to slide in the door with that amazingly well-written story.
One of the considerations personally is to try to judge a film on its inherent dramatic excellence separate from any political agenda that it may have.
Movies help to define our daily perceptions of life so it is important as a fellow writer to remember to focus on craft and art. May the best movies and actors win!
I had the pleasure of participating in the Schenectady film festival and offered a complimentary screenplay consultation to the winner (an $1850.00 value) and a copy of The Four Magic Questions of Screenwriting.
Kudos to Hope McPherson for winning a screenplay award! I look forward to working with her and to participate annually in the festival.
Here’s to your successful writing!
Professor Marilyn Horowitz