Watching Film, Writing Film Introducing the Screenwriting Craft                with             Greg Nielsen
Genre• Genre refers to various film types• A motion pictures such as a thriller, romance, musical, drama  or comedy that p...
Genre      Genre Conventions are       specific settings, roles,       events and values that       define individual gen...
Genre Conventions   Crime Drama must have    a crime.   A Love Story must have    romance.   A Comedy must be    funny....
Mastery of Genre   Study Your Genre   Watch Your Genre   Read Scripts from Your Genre   Ask: What are the conventions ...
Watching Film, Writing FilmIntroducing the Screenwriting Craft
Plot Points   The Inciting Incident   Progressive Complications   Crisis   Climax   Resolution                       ...
Inciting Incident   Turns the Protagonist’s Life Upside Down   Happens to or Caused by the Protagonist   It Must Take P...
Progressive Complications               Easy at First               Raise the Stakes               Seems Impossible    ...
Crisis All Seems Lost The Hero May Not Get What He Wants It Must Be on Screen The Hero Must Make a Decision (Dilemma)...
Climax   Major Reversal Full of Meaning   It Moves the Audience   The Ending Is Unexpected and Satisfying
Resolution A Slow Curtain Resolve Subplots Satisfies Curiosity Courtesy Leave with Dignity
Watching Film, Writing Film Introducing the Screenwriting Craft
Characters   Protagonist   Antagonist   Character Arc   Character Dimension   Character vs Characterization
Protagonist   Must Empathize   A Conscious Desire   An Unconscious Desire   Able to Pursue Desire
Antagonist      Embodies the Forces       of Antagonism      Appears Invincible      Powerful & Complex      Opposes t...
Character Arc                         Story by                         Stephen King Transformation Negative to Positive...
Character Dimension At Least Four Dimensions Dimensions Mean Contradictions Protagonist Is the Most Dimensional
Character vs Characterization Characterization = traits: sex, dress, age,  education, occupation, etc. Character = Revea...
Watching Film, Writing Film Introducing the Screenwriting Craft
Story Structure                                     Alfred                                     Hitchcock, Beat           ...
BeatActionReactionReaction to the Reaction
Scene (story event)             A Value Change             + to -, - to +             - to more -             + to mor...
SequenceA Series of ScenesUsually Two to Five ScenesA Major Change
Act  A Major Reversal  Climactic Scene  More Powerful  Hero’s Life Changed   For Better or Worse
Story“A story is a series of acts that build to a last act climax or story climax which brings about absolute and irrever...
Watching Film, Writing Film Introducing the Screenwriting Craft
Story Endings   Value   Theme   Final Action   Point / Counterpoint   Up / Down / Ironic Endings
Story Value      Look at the final       action of the story.      Then look at the       beginning of the       story. ...
Story Theme Value Plus Action  Equals Theme Example: Crime  Pays or Crime  Doesn’t Pay Theme Arises  Organically Out th...
Final Action Must Excite the  Audience Must Move the  Audience Must Feel Complete Must Be Satisfying                  ...
Point / Counterpoint           Resonate with            Theme           Contradict Theme           Play Point Against  ...
Up / Down / Ironic Endings Up: Optimistic, Hopeful, Dreams Come True Down: Pessimistic, Cynical, Misfortune Ironic: Opt...
Life is like a box of chocolate TheEnd
Acknowledgements   Robert McKee, author of Story.    http://www.mckeestory.com/   Richard Krevolin, author of Screenwrit...
Presented At: Truckee Meadows Community College Pepperdine University University of Nevada, Reno University of Costa R...
Watching Film, Writing Film
Watching Film, Writing Film
Watching Film, Writing Film
Watching Film, Writing Film
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Watching Film, Writing Film

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Watching Film, Writing Film

  1. 1. Watching Film, Writing Film Introducing the Screenwriting Craft with Greg Nielsen
  2. 2. Genre• Genre refers to various film types• A motion pictures such as a thriller, romance, musical, drama or comedy that plays on the expectations of the audience regarding familiar plot structure, characters, and setting.
  3. 3. Genre  Genre Conventions are specific settings, roles, events and values that define individual genres and their sub-genres.
  4. 4. Genre Conventions Crime Drama must have a crime. A Love Story must have romance. A Comedy must be funny. A Social Drama must identify problems in society.
  5. 5. Mastery of Genre Study Your Genre Watch Your Genre Read Scripts from Your Genre Ask: What are the conventions of time, place, character and action?
  6. 6. Watching Film, Writing FilmIntroducing the Screenwriting Craft
  7. 7. Plot Points The Inciting Incident Progressive Complications Crisis Climax Resolution Robert Towne, Screenwriter of Chinatown
  8. 8. Inciting Incident Turns the Protagonist’s Life Upside Down Happens to or Caused by the Protagonist It Must Take Place on Screen
  9. 9. Progressive Complications  Easy at First  Raise the Stakes  Seems Impossible  Tests the Hero  Forces of Antagonism
  10. 10. Crisis All Seems Lost The Hero May Not Get What He Wants It Must Be on Screen The Hero Must Make a Decision (Dilemma) It’s the End of the Line Face to Face with the Forces of Antagonism
  11. 11. Climax Major Reversal Full of Meaning It Moves the Audience The Ending Is Unexpected and Satisfying
  12. 12. Resolution A Slow Curtain Resolve Subplots Satisfies Curiosity Courtesy Leave with Dignity
  13. 13. Watching Film, Writing Film Introducing the Screenwriting Craft
  14. 14. Characters Protagonist Antagonist Character Arc Character Dimension Character vs Characterization
  15. 15. Protagonist Must Empathize A Conscious Desire An Unconscious Desire Able to Pursue Desire
  16. 16. Antagonist  Embodies the Forces of Antagonism  Appears Invincible  Powerful & Complex  Opposes the Will and Desire of Protagonist
  17. 17. Character Arc Story by Stephen King Transformation Negative to Positive Positive to Negative Written and Change thru Choice Directed by Frank Darabont
  18. 18. Character Dimension At Least Four Dimensions Dimensions Mean Contradictions Protagonist Is the Most Dimensional
  19. 19. Character vs Characterization Characterization = traits: sex, dress, age, education, occupation, etc. Character = Revealed by Choices Under Pressure.
  20. 20. Watching Film, Writing Film Introducing the Screenwriting Craft
  21. 21. Story Structure Alfred Hitchcock, Beat Director of North by Scene (Story Event) Northwest Sequence Act The Alfred Hitchcock Story Collection
  22. 22. BeatActionReactionReaction to the Reaction
  23. 23. Scene (story event)  A Value Change  + to -, - to +  - to more -  + to more +  Meaningful Change  Achieved thru Conflict
  24. 24. SequenceA Series of ScenesUsually Two to Five ScenesA Major Change
  25. 25. Act  A Major Reversal  Climactic Scene  More Powerful  Hero’s Life Changed For Better or Worse
  26. 26. Story“A story is a series of acts that build to a last act climax or story climax which brings about absolute and irreversible change.”Robert McKee
  27. 27. Watching Film, Writing Film Introducing the Screenwriting Craft
  28. 28. Story Endings Value Theme Final Action Point / Counterpoint Up / Down / Ironic Endings
  29. 29. Story Value  Look at the final action of the story.  Then look at the beginning of the story.  Ask: What has changed?
  30. 30. Story Theme Value Plus Action Equals Theme Example: Crime Pays or Crime Doesn’t Pay Theme Arises Organically Out the Last Act Climax
  31. 31. Final Action Must Excite the Audience Must Move the Audience Must Feel Complete Must Be Satisfying Run ForrestRun Run Forrest Run
  32. 32. Point / Counterpoint  Resonate with Theme  Contradict Theme  Play Point Against Counterpoint  Builds Intensity to Final Act Climax
  33. 33. Up / Down / Ironic Endings Up: Optimistic, Hopeful, Dreams Come True Down: Pessimistic, Cynical, Misfortune Ironic: Optimism/Idealism and Pessimism/ Cynicism Merge
  34. 34. Life is like a box of chocolate TheEnd
  35. 35. Acknowledgements Robert McKee, author of Story. http://www.mckeestory.com/ Richard Krevolin, author of Screenwriting from the Soul & professor USC. http://www.profk.com/bio.html Joseph Campbell: The Hero’s Journey. www.netflix.com streaming 1 hour introduction
  36. 36. Presented At: Truckee Meadows Community College Pepperdine University University of Nevada, Reno University of Costa Rica

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