Film begins with an IMAGE
Next you need MOMENTUM and FOCUS. Each scene leads to the next. A cause and effect relationship. Every scene advances the action, bringing the story closer to the climax.
ACTION POINTS. DRAMATIC EVENTS THAT CAUSE A REACITON AND DRIVE THE STORY FORWARD.
BARRIERS. Character tries something that doesn’t work. This action causes the character to change direction.
COMPLICATION. Action point that doesn’t pay off directly.
REVERSAL. Action point that changes the story 180degrees physically or emotionally for plot, action or character.
COHESIVENESS. Unity of your art form. All words reuse and draw upon similar images to reinforce the theme.
FORESHADOWING AND PAYOFF. Visual clues or diagolgues. Think of it as a key compontent in character development. See it it mysteries, suspense and comedy.
MOTIF. Recurring image. Rhythim or sound used to dimentionalize story line and add texture to the theme.
REPETION AND CONTRACT. Images , dialogue, character trists, sound, used to keep the idea focused on an idea.
Don’t get hung up on pages and rules. All stories have a life of their Own.
Now you have a basic structure. Now what?
Nothing works without CHARACTER. Character development is essntial to a story.
Go back to your storyboard. Look at the character. Beyond the stick figure. Who is it? What do they look like? Why are they here? Descibe the character- physically and emotionally. Try to keep as vivid and visual as possible.
3D characters are made up of thoughts, actions, and emotions.
Thinking: Characters philosophy and attitues.
Philosophy- character has to believe in something, that belief affects their actions.
Attitude. The way they look at life. Their attitudes have an effect on the actions they take, on the way they react to other characters.
Actions- A character’s actions and the decisions that lead to those actions.
Aciton is two parts. The decision to act, the act itself.
The moment of decision is what we need to make tha action work. We see actions, but must really see the moment when the decision is made to make the character work, to add depth to the characterization.
Main characters drive the action. Action must drive the story forward. Even if the character starts passive, the character at some point no longer allows the story to act upon him but must act upon the story.
Emotion – the emotional make up of the character as well as emotional responses.
Characters emotional life defines them and their emotional responses define this definition. Extraordinary situations bring out extraordinary emotional responses. This is the emotional response to the action.
Transformational Arc- characters become transformed in the process of living out the story. In romances they are transformed by love.
GO BACK TO YOUR STORYBOARD. LOOK AT THE CHARACTER, BEYOND YOUR STICK FIGURE. What is he or she saying? Why? What is the subtext? How do their words illuminate who they are? Try to keep it as vivid and visual as possible. Under the storyboard write a few lines of dialogue that goes with the visualization in that frame.
You need to have an ear to write dialogue. You can train yourself to hear rhythm and special patterns.
What is good dialogue?
Its like music with a beat, a rhythm, and melody. It tends to be short and spare. It’s like a tennis match between players. It conveys conflict, attitudes, and intentions. It reveals character rather than telling about character.
You can speak it easily because of its rythms.
Good dialogue also has Subtext. What character is saying beneath the lines.
What is bad dialogue?
It’s stilted, wooden, hard to speak. All characters sound alike and not like real people. It tells the subtext, by spelling out every thought and action. It simplifies people instead of revealing their complexity.
How do you make it good?
Lay out the structure of the scene. Analzye the subject and intention. What is the dialgue intended to do?
Listen to people aroud you. Easedrop shamelessly!
Translate real words into dialogue using rhythm, pacing, timing.
People speak in phrases, not always full sentences. There’s energy and life to good dialgue.
Read it aloud.
It represents the attutude of characters. Develop your voice, nuances and attitude.
Ask yourself if you’ve defined your character through rhythms, character, vocabulary, accent, length of sentences. Did your dialogue create conflict? Does it contain subtext? Can I tell who this character is? Are my characters differentiated by their dialogue?
NOW LOOK AT YOUR FILMSTIP. LOOK AT THE WORDS. MAKE IT COME ALIVE BY CONSIDERING THE FOLLOWING POINT.
ACTIVE VS. PASSIVE WRITING. Give writing energy, life, enthusiasm and verve, passion and pacing, and stay true to the emotion.
FINALLY, FINISH THE MINI SCENE YOUR STORY BOARD IS CREATING. What happened by your tree?