SCREENPLAY 101-2

THE NATURE OF SCREEN DRAMA

Every STORY ever told is a collection of fragments. i.e we select what we choose to TELL (and leave out) and structure it into GOOD TALE-even when we tell a JOKE!

You will be WRITING for the SCREEN, so NOTE: the end product will be shot with a camera. Cameras by design, will only show what is put in front of it, what it sees. So we are going to PUT in front of it, ONLY what is necessary.

SCREEN STORY telling- and the SCREENPLAY- is the most fragmentary form of STORY telling there is (after comic books). Your STORY may take place over several days or years, but you have only two hours of SCREEN TIME to tell it in (120 pages sometimes less)

In NOLLYWOOD you may not have that problem because a longer story will mean that the story will be produced in PARTS 1, 2 AND even 3

So, how do you decide what to omit? Simple; you leave out anything that the audience can DEDUCE for itself

LET’S CARRY OUT AN EXPERIMENT SHALL WE?

Here’s a scenario: if a woman in an office says she is hungry and is going out to get a meat pie. What are the possible scenes?

1.     OFFICE: Rose says she is hungry and is going out to get a meat pie

2.     OFFICE: Near the door. Rose picks up her hand bag and exits

3.     STAIRS: Rose descends the stairs and reaches the street door. She exits

4.     STREET: Rose emerges from the door and crosses the street to the fast food place

5.     FAST FOOD PLACE: Rose enters from the street and queues at the counter

6.     QUEUE: Rose moves slowly in the queue and finally reaches the counter

7.     COUNTER: Rose orders for her meat pie, waits for it to be packaged and is given in a bag

8.     FAST FOOD PLACE: Rose takes her meat pie to a near by table and sits down

9.     TABLE: Rose takes out her meat pie and lifts it to her mouth

10.   MOUTH: Rose takes a huge bite of her meat pie. Now she is happy!

Now, look at scenes 1-10 and figure out what the audience can DEDUCE for itself and then, omit them.

Sadly, this is how most, if not all our Home videos look like

If I were to re-write this, it would look like this:

1→ 4 → 5 →7 → 10

Notice that in 5 scenes, the audience will understand the flow. The audience is not as stupid as most DIRECTORS think. Its about moving the STORY forward.

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