Movies: It’s All in the Writing
By Mark Bias | Thursday, April 29, 2021
By Mark Bias
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Engaging with different artforms is a great way to generate new material. No matter what genre you write in, you can learn so much by sitting down with some snacks and watching movies or binge watching a good show (don’t let anyone tell you this is you slacking off or being lazy). There are so many aspects to film that you can focus on: the dialogue, the setting, the language of the camera movement, the pacing, etc.
If you want to take it a step further, find the screenplay to your favorite movie and read along as the movie plays. Notice how the work was translated from the page to the screen. How do the characters come to life through the dialogue? How were your favorite scenes constructed through description and conversation? You can even go as far as critiquing the script. Where does the script fail? Where did the director and/or actors take creative liberties when it comes to the writing? While answering these questions, you may come to a better understanding of how the written word can be transposed into different mediums.
Another great exercise is taking a scene from a movie or show, and try to write the visuals as a character’s internal monologue or nonvisual description (stories and poetry are able to do this practice much better than film). You could even take a character from a film and think about the antithesis of that character. Write that person into your story or poem.
5 Films to Watch:
- Knives Out
- Brokeback Mountain
- Do the Right Thing
- Shaun of the Dead
- Hunt for the Wilderpeople
5 Shows to Watch:
- The Queen’s Gambit
- I May Destroy You
- Kim’s Convenience
Mine and mind the movies in Mark's Craft Session, "Storytelling Through Dialogue", and Writing Lab, "Screenwriting: The Foundation to Visual Storytelling".