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INT/EXT: SCREENPLAYS FOR CLASSROOM LEARNING. "Audiences don't know somebody sits down and writes a picture. They think the actors make it up as they go.

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Presentation on theme: "INT/EXT: SCREENPLAYS FOR CLASSROOM LEARNING. "Audiences don't know somebody sits down and writes a picture. They think the actors make it up as they go."— Presentation transcript:

1 INT/EXT: SCREENPLAYS FOR CLASSROOM LEARNING

2 "Audiences don't know somebody sits down and writes a picture. They think the actors make it up as they go along.” -Billy Wilder (screenwriter/director) INTRODUCTION

3  What is a Screenplay?  The screenplay as a text for analysis  The screenplay as a creative writing product  Getting started  Questions TOPICS I’M COVERING:

4  Adapted from the Oxford English Dictionary: noun the script of a film, which may include dialogue, acting instructions and scene directions. WHAT IS A SCREENPLAY, EXACTLY?

5  Adapted from the Oxford English Dictionary: noun the script of a film, which may include dialogue, acting instructions and scene directions.  From Scriptlab: Unlike the novelist, who has complete freedom to explore any point of view, shift between conscious and subconscious mind, explore a character or a story from multiple perspectives, etc., the screenwriter MUST write in present tense and only what the audience can SEE and HEAR. WHAT IS A SCREENPLAY, EXACTLY?

6  Like other narrative texts, such as novels, plays and short stories, you can use screenplays to analyse and evaluate:  Plot  Character  Conflict  Setting  Themes ANALYSING SCREENPLAYS

7 LET’S CLOSE READ A SCENE We are going to look at the opening scene of Brokeback Mountain. While reading this scene, try to pick out information that helps establish:  Character  Plot  Setting  Conflict  Theme

8 OPENING SCENE: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

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11 Creative Writing Products SCREENPLAYS AS…

12 GET TO KNOW: PARTS OF A SCREENPLAY

13  Once you have mastered these scene components, you can essentially build a sequence of scenes which you can shape into an entire screenplay narrative.. BASIC PARTS OF A SCREENPLAY When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything!

14  Cinematic writing is about the compression of information. There is no time in a film to dawdle. Unlike a play, which relies heavily on dialogue to communicate information, a screenwriter may use dialogue and visual cues to evoke meaning.  Screenplays are mindful of pace and momentum. It must be crafted to sustain action and audience attention – this means paring down the story to what is crucial. WHAT MAKES WRITING CINEMATIC?

15 Regular Prose by Stephen King  “ When Andy came to Shawshank in 1948, he was thirty years old. He was a short neat little man with sandy hair and small, clever hands. He wore gold-rimmed spectacles. His fingernails were always clipped, and they were always clean. That’s a funny thing to remember about a man, I suppose, but it seems to sum up Andy for me. He always looked as if he should have been wearing a tie. On the outside he had been a vice- president in the trust department of a large Portland bank. Good work for a man as young as he was, especially when you consider how conservative most banks are…and you have to multiply that conservatism by ten when you get up into New England, where folks don’t like to trust a man with their money unless he’s bald, limping, and constantly plucking at his pants to get his truss around straight. Andy was in for murdering his wife and her lover.” Cinematic Writing by Frank Darabont  “ANDY DUFRENSE, mid-20’s, wire rim glasses, three-piece suit. Under normal circumstances a respectable, solid citizen; hardly dangerous, perhaps even meek. But these circumstances are far from normal. He is disheveled, unshaven, and very drunk. A cigarette smolders in his mouth. His eyes, flinty and hard, are riveted to the bungalow up the path.” WHAT MAKES WRITING CINEMATIC?

16  A scene must…  Move the action forward  Provide information about the plot  Reveal something about the character A well written scene will have two of the above elements. A great scene will have all three. THE SCENE AS A NARRATIVE UNIT

17  You are going to adapt an opening scene based on this text: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.  Your scene must:  Use the screenplay writing format  Be no more than one page Extra challenge: present the story in the style of one of the following genres: horrorromanceperiod adventureaction SCENE WRITING ACTIVITY:

18 FADE IN. EXT. FARMLANDS – DAY Dust blows across the parched ground. The earth, deeply cracked and separated into jagged plates, supports no life. A FINGER traces the outline of a crack, picks up a piece of soil and crumbles it into the wind. JACK, 15, gaunt and unkempt, breathes shallowly and deliberately through cracked, peeling lips. He casts a steely gaze across the barren, shimmering horizon. In the distance, a miniscule patch of green protrudes from a sea of brown. Jack bends down. His hand grips the handle of a worn, wooden bucket. He begins walking. HERE’S MY SIMPLE GO:

19  Use one of the following paintings by Artist Edward Hopper to create a short scene.  Think about:  What is happening?  What might be the conflict?  Who are the characters? What are their backgrounds?  What is the dialogue?  What are their relationships with other chacraters? EDWARD HOPPER

20 CHOOSE A PAINTING

21 WHERE TO GET STARTED: BOOKS

22  Linda Seger The Art of Adaptation  Syd Field  Screenplay  William Goldman,  Adventures in the Screen Trade  Which Lie Did I Tell? WHERE TO GET STARTED: BOOKS

23 Sourcing Screenplays  Drew’s Script-o-Rama   Internet Script Movie Database   Simply Scripts  Creative Support  Elements of Cinema   The Scriptlab   Go Into the Story  WHERE TO GET STARTED: WEBSITES

24  Podcasts Scriptnotes  Scriptcast  Q&A With Jeffrey Goldsmith  WHERE TO GET STARTED: OTHERS

25 “We have suffered anonymity far too often. I appeal to all movie critics and feature writers to please always bear in mind that a film production begins and ends with a screenplay.” -Ernest Lehman(screenwriter) A THOUGHT:


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