With writing, there are times to think… and times to feel.
“I’ve had a sign over my typewriter for over 25 years now, which reads ‘Don’t think!’ You must never think at the typewriter — you must feel. Your intellect is always buried in that feeling anyway.”
— Ray Bradbury
When I stumbled across this quote, it struck me as profoundly right.
I do a lot of thinking about the craft of screenwriting. I come by it honestly. I never went to film school or had any formal training before I broke into the business, so I had to do whatever I could to get my act together to sustain a career as a screenwriter. …
Annie lays down some ground rules for Ebby and Crash.
Movie: Bull Durham (1988), written and directed by Ron Shelton.
IMDb plot summary: A fan who has an affair with one minor-league baseball player each season meets an up-and-coming pitcher and the experienced catcher assigned to him.
Scene Setup: Annie (Susan Sarandon) invites Ebby (Tim Robbins) and Crash (Kevin Costner) over to her place.
The scene as it plays in the movie:
Interesting to note, Ron Shelton is quoted as saying he wrote Crash’s speech never intending it to appear in the movie, rather a monologue to attract an actor’s interest. Yet here it is, one of the most memorable sides of dialogue in contemporary movie history.
If you have a suggestion for a Great Scene, don’t be shy, let me hear from you.
For more in the Great Scene series, go here.
Written by Alex Garland
Here is the movie version of the scene:
This is a good example of what I think is an emerging trend: Leap into the story. Caleb goes from his office desk to Nathan’s remote compound in all of three minutes. This indicates two things: (1) Audiences want stories to get up and go right away. (2) They don’t need as much exposition for context.
Page One is a daily Go Into The Story series featuring the first page of notable movie scripts from the classic era to contemporary times. Comparing them is an excellent way to study a variety of writing styles and see how professional writers start a story.
For more Page One posts, go here.
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