Monday, June 11, 2007

Cinematic Writing

Inspired by Mystery Man's post about Cinematic Storytelling:

I believe to truly write cinematic you have to get rid of some stuff if you haven't already. Never had them? Fantastic!

First of all no camera directions whatsoever nor anything technical is allowed. I'm a writer/director and even though I write for myself with me directing the script in mind, I don't put anything like "dolly shot" or "crane shot with zoom" in it. It's going destroy the flow of the story, it's obtrusive. These things belong in a storyboard.

Secondly, get rid off this one immediatly: "We see..." or "We move..." etc. It's lazy writing and it's not elegant at all. Seriously, you will be forced to write more cinematic without that.

Now what you add to your writing is very easy. When you write a scene, just describe what is in the frame. You don't need more. The audience will not be able to see more then the eye meets. So why describe more? Just describe everything inside the frame. Like that you will be forced to write cinematically.

Here's an example:


TV is on. Mute.

The ringing breaks the silence. The dog in the corner is alert.

A female hand reaches for the cordless phone.


A dark figure stands on the other side of the street, holding a cell phone.


Hi Cindy, do you wanna die tonight?


The cordless phone falls onto the floor.


While reading you were forced to only see the things I give you. I forced you to see my editing, my camera angles.

If you'd have described the apartement and the woman in there because you feel it is necessary for everything that is being introduced to have a full description, then people reading your stuff will make their own movie in their mind (in terms of cuts and camera angles) because you give them more room.

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