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

Writing Movies Within Your Means, pt. 2

Writing Lighting ☛   In my previous piece I discussed how decisions about the location of your screenplay can help bring the budget down. This time I’ll focus on how your general approach to story can save you money on camera and lighting. Time was that picture quality was the first thing that would tell … Continue reading

Looking After the Little Fella

A guide to writing walk-on roles for the screen

Rule of Thumbnail

Screenwriting tip #1: How to Introduce Characters in your Script   For an unknown screenwriter it’s always a struggle getting a person of influence – an agent, a development executive, a producer  – to read your script. There’s a reason for this. When these readers do turn the title page bearing an unfamiliar name, all too … Continue reading

Left Hanging

The Art of the Open Ending ☛ Nothing guarantees a good post-movie discussion like an open ending. Some of us love up-in-the-air endings, others hate them, but what are they there for? What do they say? Given this subject matter, be warned: there will be spoilers, but I’ll try to keep them to a minimum. … Continue reading

The raw ingredients of a story ☛ “Not rules, principles. McKee writes that a rule says you must do it this way. A principle says, this works and has through all remembered time.” – from ‘Adaptation’, Charlie Kaufmann I recently attended a talk given by John Yorke at the BBC Drama Writers’ Festival where he … 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

Seeing Double

How and why two-handers work ☛ I attended screenings of three very different films last week, not realising that they had one thing in common: they were all British and made for less than £500k ($800k), but the most interesting similarity was that all three decided to restrict the scope of their story to following … Continue reading

25 Little Words

Loglines and short pitches  ☛ Do you believe in magic spells? Probably not. But if a filmmaker utters the right 25 words to the right person at the right time, their dreams will come true – they could be on the road to glory and a massive pay-cheque. If that’s not a magical incantation, I … Continue reading

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,380 other followers