Emotional Distancing

When to hold back ☛ One of the basic tenets of the industry that has grown up to help screenwriters with their scripts is: make your story as emotional engaging as possible. It’s not bad advice: well-written, emotionally impactful scenes cost the same to shoot as averagely written ones; but they can make the difference […]

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Meditations on Monochrome

Should we be defaulting to colour? ☛ During the first film on which I worked, I got chatting to an old-timer in the camera department who bemoaned the lack of black-and-white films being shot. “You’ve got to have a reason to shoot in colour,” he argued. I should add that this was in the ’90s […]

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Cast Away

The Joy of Small Cast Screenplays ☛ Times being what they are, and social distancing being a fact of film sets for the foreseeable, we’re all scrabbling around for ways to deal with the restrictions this creates. What seems to be generally agreed is that scripts with small casts will be considerably easier to film. […]

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Directorial Style

Why directors make their mark ☛ One thing that distinguishes many successful directors is their tendency to leave their own personal stamp on a film. From Woody Allen to Ken Loach, Spike Lee to Tarantino, directors whose names we know often give their films such a distinctive feel that, were we to be dropped into […]

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The Heart of the Matter

The Primacy of Emotion in Screenwriting ☛ Emotion is at the heart of every story. This statement won’t sound controversial if you write relationship dramas or rom-coms, but those of you who pen complex political thrillers or action movies will probably disagree. If you do, you’re wrong and I’ll tell you why. In a bit. […]

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Not ‘How’ but ‘What’

There’s a question that’s on the lips of virtually no screenwriter. So how is that a good subject for a blog? Because, while they rarely ask it openly, it’s a question all writers will have asked themselves privately at some point in their career. And it is: What should I write? Whether you take that […]

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When is a Movie not a Movie?

The Spielberg Supremacy ☛ Last week Steven Spielberg called for a tightening of the rules of the American Academy, which awards the Oscars, to prevent films like Roma, which is backed by Netflix, being eligible in future. Now BAFTA is also feeling the pressure, with two cinema chains – VUE and Cineworld – protesting over the eligibility […]

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