Screenplay writing process brings light to other worlds
Views 11 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 11 - 6 - 2018 | By: Lawrence Eady
Stories, more importantly, stories told well, have always had a place in the hearts of humankind. Ancient societies told stories of their gods and the many encounters and epics of their heroes that intertwined with them in order to create understanding of their history. Ghost stories have forever been tradition for campers who venture out into the depths of nature or the mysterious land of their backyard. Jesus even told stories to those he taught in order to form a clearer understanding of the ideals he was teaching. Stories can offer a window into an unknown world or a clarification of a world that already exists. Because of the diversity of the purpose behind stories, their presentation in turn can be equally diverse. One form of this presentation has become so increasingly popular in the past few decades that it simply must be addressed. The art of telling a story through film is quite different than that of telling one through a different medium such as a poem, novel, or music. When it comes to visual art such as plays and film, one is telling a story that must make the screen or stage appear as a literal window into another world, and because of this, there a few key pieces to making a story truly ignite and blaze it’s glorious light.
As mentioned in the book by Lajos Egri, “The Art of Dramatic Writing,” there are a few different pieces that create a fundamental foundation for which the screenplay is to be built upon. The first one mentioned is a story’s “premise,” somewhat of a thesis statement for the film. The premise of the film is not necessarily the plot, but it is what the plot is built around. It is typically a complex idea formed into a simple sentence which is in turn brought to fruition in an elaborate film. This idea is what the author of the screenplay wants to get across to those watching the film. A very large reason for why some movies that we watch and tend to dislike is actually because of a lack of a solid premise behind the film. Even with a truly phenomenal premise, though, a story cannot be told and an idea cannot come into fruition if there is nobody to perpetuate it, and that’s where the characters come in.
Again referring to Egri, characters created for film must be truly lifelike, and because of this must express throughout the film a combination of the three aspect that make up any given human: physiology, psychology, and sociology. The beauty of writing for film is that one gets to create and tell a story about characters that are visually vivid than in any other form.
There are quite a few more true necessities to forming a truly good film, but the premise and characters are what will drive a film, and the rest is just the road on which they travel. The beauty about films lies in its relatability to life, even during it’s radical sci-fi way on occasion. It gives people something to relate to, even in its most disbelieving moments, and the creativity behind it all is only growing.