[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on WeScreenplay. It is reprinted here in collaboration with that site.] by Mark Stasenko (@WeScreenplay) 1. GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS written by David Mamet What we learn: Specificity makes dialogue work It’s hard to talk about dialogue and not include David Mamet, and Glengarry Glen Ross is quintessential Mamet in... Continue Reading →
Robert McKee's team recently shared an excerpt from his book about scenes and what they should accomplish. It's excellent advice, though very hard to follow. McKee wrote: “A SCENE is an action through conflict in more or less continuous time and space that turns the value-charged condition of a character’s life on at least one value with... Continue Reading →
You have all the scenes. Just go home and word it in.
It is the task of the scenarist to invent little pieces of business that are so characteristic and give so deep an insight into his creatures, that their personalities clearly and organically unfold before the eyes of the audience so that the latter feel that the actions of these people are contingent upon their characters,... Continue Reading →
I write scenes - often quite long scenes - mainly because I still get seduced into writing six lines where one and a half will do.
Think of story as the plan and screenplay as the execution. A screenplay is a story told in scenes, each scene necessary to tell the story. At this stage you’re just testing if each scene is necessary. When planning a screenplay, I try to write the story in prose first, without dialog, with each scene represented by either a sentence or a paragraph. Then I read and revise the condensed story, omitting what is unnecessary.