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7 on structure series

7 On Structure #7: The Point Is There Is No Point

SPOILERS: Lost Highway I had a boyfriend once who liked arthouse films. He would regale me, sometimes for hours at a time, about the various plotlines he loved so much. Yet whenever I would ask, “What’s the point?” of a particular narrative, he’d say, as if I had clearly lost my mind, “This is arthouse, Luce. There isn’t one.” Is there no point to arthouse film? I would argue there absolutely, categorically, is a point. All arthouse films have something to say, even if you haven’t got the foggiest what it is. If you consider a film like LOST HIGHWAY… Read More »7 On Structure #7: The Point Is There Is No Point

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7 On Structure: Top Heavy

SPOILER ALERT: 28 Days Later / Resident Evil/ 28 Weeks Later Forgive me Bloggers, for I have sinned… It has been FIVE days since my last post on structure… How can you ever forgive me, especially you Dublin Dave?! 😛 So– Have I mentioned this screenwriting malarkey is like a house of cards? Oh yeah, I have. And also one of those tile puzzles where you move ’em around to get the pic. Oh, I’ve likened it to a jigsaw too, right right. I could say it’s also like a dress: get your measurements wrong and you aren’t going to… Read More »7 On Structure: Top Heavy

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7 On Structure # 5: Reel Writing

Many thanks to the marvellous Chris Soth who agreed to play a part in my series on structure by allowing me to reproduce one of his articles on his famed Mini Movie Method of film structure on this blog. Enjoy!——————————————————————————THE LOST LANGUAGE OF STORY: BE A “REEL” WRITER Don’t you love movies about the movies? I’m not talking remakes of movies that were far better the first time around, or even worse, creatively bankrupt works that don’t purport to be remakes but ARE, inferior, watered-down versions of stories have already been done well. I mean movies like SINGING IN THE… Read More »7 On Structure # 5: Reel Writing

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7 On Structure # 4: Narrative Logic

SPOILERS: SPIDERMAN and ALIEN I’ve suspected for some time now that my nine year old lad is really an impostor. Approximately three weeks ago (around the time we moved, in fact) my all-rocking, Hells Angel son (he’d have a mullet if I let him – when he grows up I’m sure he will look just like the boyfriend in ERIN BROCKOVICH, or at least I thought he would, *sob*), suddenly started listening to The Prodigy instead of Tool and Nine Inch Nails and even started chastising ME for swearing. Like all good mothers however I told myself it was just… Read More »7 On Structure # 4: Narrative Logic

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7 on Structure # 3: Keeping It Up

Some writers are getting better at presenting themselves: they are realising that first impressions count. They’ve noticed that, to get taken seriously in some of the bigger circles (or even medium-sized ones), they need to start well in order to have a good stab at overcoming the sizeable competition they are up against. So they’re stating their intent; they’re setting up their protagonist and his/her goals; they’re formatting well and their script sails past page ten and into a full read. In short, their Act One rocks. Nice one. So what’s the problem? They can’t keep it up. I’m seeing… Read More »7 on Structure # 3: Keeping It Up

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7 On Structure # 2: Plot Construction – Meandering

SPOILER ALERT: Children of Men and Harsh Times Plot construction is something a lot of “official” script reports look at it in detail. If you send your script to an initiative in order to apply for a course or for funding for example, there is a very good chance the reader will be asked to look at this and comment on how the writer has built up his/her narrative. There are two main problems that I usually flag up in this section of official script reports; there are of course many more, but it’s surprising just how many scripts have… Read More »7 On Structure # 2: Plot Construction – Meandering

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7 On Structure #1: Preference

Structure. We all know it, we all do it… Don’t we? Well actually, structure is probably the most talked-about element of screenwriting since it’s probably the element that is most maligned, misunderstood and misused. Certainly it’s the element that I write most about in my coverage for private clients in particular, but also in reports for writing initiatives, funding cos and indies in terms of whether a script is “ready” or not for development (the usual assertion being that, if a structure is bad – or as my favourite non-technical term goes, “lumpy” – it isn’t). So, here are the… Read More »7 On Structure #1: Preference

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