Conversations with the Invisible Man

Writing Movies Within Your Means, pt. 3 ☛ Previously I’ve looked at how locations can bring down your budget and how to justify shooting on cheaper cameras, but you can also save money through clever use of writing itself. Dialogue When asked why his movies were so dialogue–heavy, indie auteur Hal Hartley quipped “Talk’s cheap”. … Continue reading

The Art of Screen Dialogue

Working in layers ☛ A month or two back I wrote a piece about the nature of screen dialogue, focusing on naturalism and style; back then I suggested that there was more to say about the business of making your character talk. There is. Part of the challenge of writing really good dialogue lies in … Continue reading

Saving Your Breath

The Nature of Movie Dialogue ☛ For many years I’ve been puzzling over the nature of movie dialogue and how it works. Anyone who’s ever tried to write a screenplay will tell you that dialogue is deceptively difficult to get right. If they think it’s easy, they probably haven’t yet heard actors struggling through their … Continue reading

Oh, behave!

Behaviour as the basic building block of story in movies ☛ A couple of years a go I attended a Q & A with Dustin Hoffman. During the interview he made a comment that profoundly impacted on my understanding of filmmaking. He said: “The movie camera is something that hates acting, but loves behaviour.” I … Continue reading

Snubbing Sir Basil

Exposition and How to Avoid it ☛ One problem that vexes screenwriters no matter what their level of experience is how to deal with exposition. If you’re not familiar with the term, exposition is information that is given to allow the audience to follow the plot. Problem is, it’s very commonly given clumsily. You know … Continue reading

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