The Clifton Hub

  • September 5or drop by N115 to speak to her

  • September 5Want to write for The Hub? Please send your work to Ms. Miller-Hamilton at [email protected]

How to Write a Great Movie

Back to Article
Back to Article

How to Write a Great Movie

Salah Allan, Actually Steven Spielberg

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 

Most people always aspire to have some form of involvement in the film industry, including me. Personally, I aspire to become a director, which means I would be the one in charge of the story, and how it plays out. This then lead me to start writing a screenplay, which then lead to wonder: how many other people have attempted to write a screenplay but failed? So I have decided to write a bit of a tutorial on how to write a good screenplay for a movie…okay, I am the only one here who actually needs a tutorial for screenplay writing here.

Step 1-Main Plot

When it comes to the main plot, beginners seem to have two major viewpoints on how to write one. The first is that you should just go with something that has already been done before without trying to much to add anything new, since that’s easier. The other is that you should be as creative as possible, so that your idea seems more original.

However, both of these mindsets have major flaws. The first mindset is obviously generic, and lazy, but the second mindset is a little more complicated. While being original is a major importance, many people take this out of hand, and can come up with absurdly stupid ideas simply because they were ‘creative’. Even though the plot should be original, you need to set some form of boundaries, so that your story is still believable.

For first-time screenplay writers, my advice would be to take a basic concept, and build around it. The base concept could be as simple as an alien invasion movie, a dinosaur island movie, a spy movie, and so on, as long as you build around the story with innovative ideas.

I will use one of my own screenplays for example.

I began out with a basic dinosaur island concept, then built around it so that it wouldn’t be so basic. I added in the concept of government conspiracies, and made the villain more than just a generic dinosaur, and gave it human-like traits. The plot began out pretty bare-bones, but after altering it, it became more fleshed-out.

However, you might find my story to be weird, wouldn’t you? Well, as long as you are capable of turning it into a functional plot, and it is not too outlandish, it is acceptable for the base plot to be a little weird.

Step 2-Writing

Coming up with a plot seems like a cakewalk when compared to actually writing out the script. When writing the script, you want to make sure the events all play out in a manner that makes sense, and pushes the main plot forward. However, not everything has to directly affect the main plot. It is okay to have some extra scenes going on between the main events, it adds some more content to the film. However, try not to have too many extra scenes, because that becomes filler, and filler is just a lame excuse to add runtime to the movie…it’s also why I hated Mario Odyssey so much.

Another thing you want to avoid is cliches. You have probably seen cliches like this: the main hero dies but turns out to be alive, the hero pretends flattering the villain to trick them, or so on. Cliches are not only repetitive, but also annoyingly stupid. I mean seriously, how long do these directors think they can keep pulling the same tropes? They are just lazy attempts to make something happen. So obviously, you would want to avoid cliches, and try to move the plot forward in more interesting ways. However, you can not always avoid cliches, but there is something you can do about that. If you end up using a cliche, try covering it up by executing it in an original way, so that it does not feel like an obvious cliche.

Now I should probably get into what most of the writing will do: move the plot forward through major events and dialogue.

For the movies major events, you have to make them as interesting as possible…obviously. But making scenes interesting is not necessarily that easy. And unfortunately, there is no direct advice for making scenes interesting. My advice for beginners would be to make your scene realistic, but also give it a sense of theatricals. What I mean by theatricals, is too add some drama to major events, to make the scene feel more alive. However, you have to once again add limits, so that you do not over dramatize. Believe me, movies will over exaggerate the most minor things just to look cool, and it does not!

Lastly, you want the writing to portray the style of your film. I can not exactly explain what style is, but it’s kind of like a ‘theme’. Here’s a few examples: smart movies that make you think deeply, brutal movies with intensive actions, wise-guy movies that go too far for the sake of humour. But you probably still do not get what I mean, so let me give an example of writing that portray those themes.

Brutal movies would have highly intensive action scenes with camera angles that focus on all of the gore and damage.

Smart movies would focus on a deeper meaning in their story, that try and get you to think about said meaning.

That’s about the best I could explain what a ‘style’ is. Anyway, you want your writing to portray that style, and make sure not to collide opposite styles.

Step 3-Character Development

Alright, obviously your movie is supposed to have characters, and honestly, character design is pretty simple once you have got your writing style and the basic plot down.

Unlike the main plot, creating original characters is not that difficult, because the plot that your characters are reacting to will already be original. Therefore, your character’s actions will be original.

However, character development is not that easy. You have to make sure their actions and dialogue portray the character’s attitude. That is pretty straight-forward advice, so for once, I do not actually have to go into detail too much. Just make sure that anything major that the character does reflects their main attitude, and do not go too out of character. However, just like over-dramatic events, you can end up over-doing a character’s attitude, and make their actions/dialogue over-exaggerated. A few examples would be the tough-guy being overly angry, or the more timid character being too much of a coward, or so on…I really use the phrase ‘or so on’ way too much. Anyway, that is about all you need to know for character development.

Step 4-The Format Of A Screenplay

So here’s how you format your script…obviously.

 

-Camera Action(Cut To/Fade To/Move To)

-A description of what’s happening on screen.

 

-The name of the character that’s speaking

-A description of their attitude in parenthesis, only used when character is acting a certain way that the viewers are meant to notice. (overly angry, cocky, flabbergasted, so on)

-The stuff the character is saying.

 

Alright, that’s everything you need to know for how to write a movie… you can go now.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • How to Write a Great Movie

    Arts and Entertainment

    “Ready Player One” Book Review

  • How to Write a Great Movie

    Arts and Entertainment

    Eastern Memories Review

  • How to Write a Great Movie

    Arts and Entertainment

    Pain: A Retrospective

  • How to Write a Great Movie

    Arts and Entertainment

    What’s The Deal With ASMR

  • How to Write a Great Movie

    Arts and Entertainment

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” Movie Review

  • How to Write a Great Movie

    Arts and Entertainment

    “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Series Review

  • How to Write a Great Movie

    Arts and Entertainment

    The Hate U Give Review

  • How to Write a Great Movie

    Arts and Entertainment

    Taylor Swift: Reputation World Tour!

  • How to Write a Great Movie

    Arts and Entertainment

    Cryptocurrency

  • How to Write a Great Movie

    Arts and Entertainment

    Daydream Nation

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of Clifton High School
How to Write a Great Movie