Craft

Richard-Lund-hollywood-sign-at-night

SCREENPLAY THEORIES

From the earliest days of films, screenplays have developed into an important literary form. Yet there is continuing debate on aspects of this form evident in the large number of screenwriting books available. To help screenwriters understand the various screenwriting theories today, Desert Screenwriters Group member John Fraim has written the book Hollywood Safari. The book is still in progress and will be published in the future.

USING PERSONALITY TYPES IN SCREENPLAYS

Screenplay Personality Types

Despite all the screenwriting books, there has been little use of the major systems for classifying personalities in creating characters and character arcs of emotional development. More research and application to stories needs to be done in this important area. We suggest some preliminary ideas and thoughts using charts of the two key personality type systems.

SCREENPLAY STRUCTURE

Screenplay Structure Sequence (PDF)

There are a number of different theories on the key steps in a screenplay. The universal theory is three steps of Act I, Act II and Act III or Beginning, Middle and End. This chart shows some of the key theories and the steps within them.

STORY WORKBOOK

The Story Workbook offers a short introduction to screenplay elements and structure by Desert Screenwriters Group member John Fraim.

MCKEE STORY PRINCIPLES

While there is no substitute for Robert McKee’s Story, we went through the book and listed all the highlighted areas in the book and present MCKEE STORY PRINCIPLES here.

OUTLINE OF TRUBY’S ANATOMY OF STORY

Again, no substitute for reading John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story, we made an outline of the book and present ANATOMY OF STORY here.

AARON SORKIN

Sorkin – The Essentials of Good Scripts.

CAN SCREENPLAYS BE VISUALIZED?

New research from the Digital Humanities Quarterly on visualizing screenplays. An interesting new approach.

50 DEAD GIVEAWAYS YOU’RE AN AMATEUR WRITER

In no particular order, covering a broad range of script issues.

SLIDESHOW ON HOW TO WRITE A SCREENPLAY

One of the best and shortest explanations of how to write a screenplay we’ve ever seen. Well worth the time to view.

SCREENPLAYS IN THE DIGITAL AGE

One of the leading media theorists in the world is Douglas Rushkoff. Read his brilliant short article titled “How Tech Has Dulled Our Sense for Tall Tales” from Digital Trends. As Rushkoff argues, “We’re dissatisfied with how movies work, because digital media has rendered them – or at least the way they tell stories — obsolete.”

“SCRIPT SYMBOLOGY” ARTICLES IN SCRIPT MAGAZINE

For a little over a year, John Fraim was a columnist for Script Magazine writing a column on “Script Symbology” or how symbols and symbolism relate to screenplays and (ultimately) films. He has been researching symbolism for a number of years and authored the book Battle of Symbols in 2003. He feels screenplays and films are really about the ordering of images in a sequence (rather the ordering of places, dialogue and actions). A different perspective than many screenwriting gurus today. See his articles on “Script Symbology” from Script Magazine. (The beginning articles are at the bottom of the list.) See his site Symbolism.Org for his major manuscripts and articles on symbolism.

 

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