(Ch. 1) The Screenplay: The Blueprint Matters

Writing is a challenge to many people, and yet a gift to others. Where do you fall within that range? In the middle? At the top? The bottom? No matter where we are on the scale from a writing standpoint, most humans are drawn to stories (real or imaginary), to characters, and to the lives enveloped by conflict. Check out this video to explore the “simple truth of writing.” *Disclaimer PG-13 language to follow:

The screenplay is truly one piece of the movie-making puzzle that is essential before the project can really get moving. The screenplay is the foundation. There are three types of scripts that are sold & purchased: The standard script, the spec script, and the adapted script. Read the R.B. Jefferson’s article linked here:screenplay-starts

What is A Screenplay and Why is it so Important?


After reading this short article (linked above), watch (or listen) to any two of the following screenwriters dialogue about their craft.

Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin discusses the craft of writing for TV and the silver screen in this NPR Story and the CBS News Story. Sorkin shares his “7 Rules for Screenwriting” here after the Toronto Film Fest in 2017. He also dives into his work on writing the Steve Jobs biopic in this interview:


Oscar-winner Emma Thompson is known for her brilliant acting talent, but many are not aware of her screenwriting prowess. Here, she talks screenwriting, acting, story, and character.

Ami Fuller Brown lives in Southport, N.C. and discovered a gift for writing several years ago, and has developed into a script consultant, script doctor, and a screenwriter for hire. Here, she shares her screenwriting history and philosophy.

Writer and debut director Kelly Fremon Craig offers an amazing coming of age film in The Edge of Seventeen (2016). She talks with Noel T. Manning II on WGWG radio & about her career and the art and science of filmmaking here. Kelly  also offered uncredited support for the 2018 film Bumblebee



5 Comments Add yours

  1. Cinema Scope says:

    How do you feel that understanding Blake Snyder’s approach to exploring “story-genre” can help you in film criticism? Offer examples to defend your thoughts.
    I think Blake Snyder’s approach could be very effective in finding the film genre. He has different sections with different situations that will help us figure out the genre of the film and how it developed throughout the film. I was reading this list and I was thinking, all these genres go with one of my favorite TV shows. I know genres for film and TV are different but it seemed so weird and strange how my TV show seemed to contain all these genres throughout the series.

    2. In exploration of the “Universal Life Lessons” and ‘Character Transformation” offer an example from a recent film you’ve seen that exhibited both (lesson and transformation). Explain and defend your answer with film, character change, and the moral lesson.

    A film that I have seem that has exhibited both lesson and transformation is the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter went from being an unloved orphan boy to defeating the most evilest wizard in their world through the powerful magic of love. He transformed so much throughout the series, at the beginning he didn’t know one thing about this magical world his parents were from and then he get thrown into this magical world, learns magic, defeats the most challenging problem up until he faces death and sacrifices himself for his family. There is many lessons in Harry Potter believe it or not, there’s that everyone dies in the end it’s what you do with your life is what’s important. Voldemort uses most of his life trying to reach immortality, he made horcruxes and killed tons of people in the process. He could have lived his life and enjoyed it instead of being a coward and trying to outrun death. Another lesson we learned is choose your friends wisely, Harry could have listened to Draco and leave Ron and Hermione and become what his parents never wanted him to be, and in the end die to Voldemort. But instead he trusted his gut and went with the person who was caring and actually cared about Harry, not his wealth and status. And i’m going to mention one more lesson that we have learned from Harry Potter, there is many more. But another lesson is money isn’t everything, Ron, Harry’s best friend didn’t have that much money, he had a huge family and they barely had enough to pay for all of their school supplies, they had hand me downs of everything. But they were so loving and caring what matters more in a person money or personality. The Malfoy family had a lot of money but they were stuck up and only cared about blood status they didn’t have much empathy at all but the Weasly’s did. That shows us that money doesn’t matter it, it can’t buy you happiness. Harry had a vault full of money at Gringotts but that couldn’t bring back his parents.
    3. What impressed or intrigued you the most about the writing process? Why? (identify which writer you viewed/listened to)

    I listened to Aaron Sorkin and Emma Thompson. The writing process was very interesting to me from how they set it up to how long the script had to be for a hour long movie. The way that you have to write up a screenplay is very different from writing a book. In a book you could just write out how a person was feeling, but in a film they have to write it so that they show these thoughts externally. They way they write the whole screenplay seems very interesting to me from the dialogue to the shots. Also one more thing that is very interesting is the different types of scripts there’s the standard, spec, and adapt script. I thought that there was only one type of script and that was it.


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