Charles Harris author ~

Good visual text puts the image in the head of the reader without them realizing you’re doing it. You guide your readers through the visual experience, so they can’t help but “watch” the movie as they move on. This means being very focused at all times to make sure it pulls its weight. You know you can’t write camera-specific instructions (that’s amateur) but the best writers don’t need to. They know how to be intuitive without even mentioning the camera.

1. Image flicker


Look at TV and newspaper ads – see how proficiently they can condense thoughts into a single moment. Learn from them. How many ideas in your script do you have that could be represented by a single image, instead of talking pages? Amy was suddenly fired. You can write a lot of dialogue to show this – or she can open the door to her study and find all her belongings wrapped in a box.

2. Rewrite the whole thing with pictures

Before completing the script, screenwriter and director Lena Wertmuller cuts out lines of dialogue and tells the entire story visually. She just resets the lines that she absolutely must have. Rewrite your current script as a silent movie. Each beat must be represented visually. Then re-add only the required speech.

3. move the image

Is that conversation static? Simply bringing your characters into motion automatically makes the scene more intuitive. Ask them to talk as they walk (West Wing style). Or swimming. Or drive. Or hang-glide… Read more: how to unlock characters in dragon ball xenoverse 2 In a pivotal scene in Schindler’s List, Schindler and Stern must discuss the advantages of using Jews in the new factory by Schindler. To make it happen, screenwriter Stephen Zailian had them move boxes and papers around their office. Motion is meaningless, but it puts the scene “on its feet”.

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4. Location, location

Look at the settings you chose for every scene. Is there a way hitchhiking saboteur statue Can you make it more visually striking and add more cinematic energy? Orson Welles’ famous cuckoo clock speech in The Third Man didn’t have to take place on a ferris wheel. Hitchcock didn’t need to place Saboteur’s climax on top of the Statue of Liberty. But if not, will they become iconic? Let’s expand your imagination. Did the argument you wrote take place in the dining room? Why not a lumber yard? A cemetery? Behind the scenes in a theater? On a Thames barge? At a cage fight location?

5. Create an obstacle race

Inexperienced writers misunderstand the word “image,” thinking it means every shot must be cleverly lit or designed. The best way to be intuitive is to be active – and the best way to get characters active is to overcome obstacles. Greg walking across a room is not visual unless you put something his way. Top Q & AGreg walked across the room to Anna. Greg threw the chair out of the way and ran to Anna. How many useful obstacles can you create?

6. Use the verb picture

Some words are easier to visualize than others. Especially the verbs. A lot of code is filled with verbs like “walk”, “sit”, “look”, “give” “get” – these tell me nothing about what I’m going to see. Stronger verbs, more visually stimulating. Verbs and phrases such as “strut” “on tiptoe” “sink” “drop” “gaze” “to peer” “toss” “push” “grab” “slide”… See synonyms that is useful to you. Is that interesting? Try these: Three things you need to improve script sales Why you have to write a bad scene sometimes How to become a better screenwriter? You may be surprised at the answers Read more: how to make a ladder hanger on the roof | Top Q&A

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