Assorted Thoughts
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Assorted Thoughts

How to write the worst possible movie script

In nine easy steps

An example of inspired screenwriting

If you don’t repeat the dreadful mistakes I made, you can this time around write a true piece of garbage! Don’t miss even a single one if you are aiming for bottom of IMDB notoriety!

One- Don’t ever give your characters any kind of goal, thing or issue that drives them. If not even a single one of your characters has any goal, event better. If you were to do that, you may set the nature of the story and the character, which is to be avoided at all costs for a truly, honest to god, unreadable script.

Two- If you are forced by any foul reason to give a character a goal, take into account that the higher in the Maslow hierarchy of needs is the goal, the more can shine your ineptitude as a film maker. The ability of the audience to connect with the character depends on how much it can understand and sympathise with the character goals and motivations, so you need to make sure they, if present at all, are as far as possible from the bottom of this pyramid:

Maslow hierarchy of needs

Three- Let’s put ourselves in the worst situation: Your character has a goal. If that is the case, avoid at all cost illuminating the audience with what is it that prevents the character to get what he or she wants. If make this mistake, cover it by using some ex-machina, never an error by other character, an attack from other character, or an accident. Also don’t make the story progress by showing what happens if the character does not get it.

Four- End your story at a random point, or when you ran out of stinking ideas, never when the goal is reached.

Five- Don’t tell the story trough conflicts (errors, attacks or accidents) Avoid depicting conflicts that can arise from lack of experience, motivation, superstitions, phobias, manias, missing resources like not enough time, money, space, consumables, energy, tools, information. The risk of making the story engaging through

Six- If you somehow, accidentally, include a conflict in your script, don’t fall in the temptation of making the happen for a reason, or having any logic of why it happens at that particular point in the story. The best conflict is the conflict that could happen at any time in the story at all, middle, beginning or end.

Seven- If you can, use only verbal exposition and don’t fall in the temptation of telling the story through images. Also don’t show anything because of the effects like:

  • Sounds
  • Movement
  • Vibration
  • Echo
  • Reflection
  • Shades
  • Traces

These are only used by screenwriters who are not truly committed to write rock bottom quality scripts. This type of screenwriters may also reveal things by removing an obstacle, change of colour or lightning. Stay away from that type of techniques in so far possible.

Eight- Drown the audience with as much possible information as soon as possible. The audience of your script finds no entertainment value in putting any work into the story, whatsoever. The more and the earlier, the better. Start with the motivation and right after, as soon as feasible the goal, for example you can use an opening like this:

ARTHUR- Martin, dear brother of mine, with whom I have a strained relationship, I just proposed cousin Berta, your ex-girlfriend, look at the 3000 dollars diamond ring I got her, look, it is right here in her finger! — Points at Berta finger

MARTIN — I am going to play with this Playstation here, this one I am pointing at with my finger, dear Arthur my brother. Oh! Hi Berta, my ex-girlfriend, I don’t haver a strained relationship with Arthur, who is here, of perhaps I do but I don’t remember why

Nine- Make scenes linger long after they are necessary, give the audience plenty of opportunities to wish they were somewhere else.

I wish you the worst of luck writing a script that sucks!

(My own dreadful short films can be found here)

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