Christopher Nolan has become one of the biggest filmmakers on the planet, and his first time with a licensed property helped him get there. Co-written with David S. Goyer, Batman Begins was a blast of fresh air, getting major critical appraisal, bringing in a new era for both the Dark Knight and superhero films. That’s why we’re going to look at the Batman Begins script and see how the use of dialogue, themes, and action helped make this movie a beloved hit. (more…)
In film, there are memorable characters and there are iconic characters. The latter is a result of great writing, directing, and acting. Auteur directors flesh out these iconic characters to create a whole person. The screen has been graced with iconic characters like Jack in The Shining, Travis in Taxi Driver, or for this article, Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. Who is Daniel Plainview?There are many components that contributed to the creation of the character of Daniel Plainview. Research, inspiration, and casting decisions are all critical. In this article, we’ll dive into a Daniel Plainview character analysis and ...
In today’s cinematic landscape, very few people are unaware of what a prequel is. Whether you’re watching a new movie ...
What is an anti hero? We’ve all heard that characters like Walter White and Thomas Shelby are anti heroes, but we don’t hear why. Perhaps the better question to ask is: what makes an anti hero an anti hero? We’re going to explore that question by looking at examples from literature, film, and television. But before we jump into our anti hero definition, let’s review the history of the term. (more…)
There seem to be three primary ways people learn screenwriting these days: film school, screenwriting books or the Scriptnotes podcast ...
I think we all can agree, screenwriting contests can be useful tools for both new writers and those with experience under their belts. They’re excellent ways to get noticed, but some of the contests out there can’t take you as far as some others. So what are the best screenwriting contests to enter? (more…)
There’s no doubt about it: Interstellar was one of the most mentally-stimulating blockbusters of the 2010s. As such, a lot of people were confused about the Interstellar plot, high-concept science, and bold ending. It’s time for Interstellar explained – a deep-dive in which we answer some of the biggest questions audiences asked about the film. By the end, you’ll know the plot and meaning like the back of your hand; you might even say we’ll have an “interstellar explanation” for the fourth dimension. (more…)
Many people thought the last time they would see Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the rest of Andy’s toys would be in 2010’s Toy Story 3. However, those beloved toys got one final send-off (for now) with Toy Story 4, released in 2019. To come back after a successful trilogy was no easy feat, but as the Toy Story 4 script proves, Pixar had a strong story they needed to tell. With tons of new characters and great quotes (as well as a tear-jerking ending), some film franchises are meant to be tetralogies. (more…)
Satire is one of the most useful tools writers can use to comment on the follies of humanity and the evils that exist in the world. We’re going to look at some satire examples in literature and movies to gain a better understanding of the term. By seeing how satire is used in a variety of mediums, we’ll be better prepared to apply it in our own projects. But first, let’s start by jumping through a portal to the past to see where satire began. (more…)
Jordan Peele followed up his Oscar-winning horror film Get Out with another horror flick that dealt heavily in social commentary: Us. The movie follows a suburban family who goes on vacation only to discover a group of doppelgangers are out to get them. They soon learn there’s an entire world of doppelgangers hiding within an elaborate tunnel system beneath the surface, and it all leads to a shocking finale. If you haven’t been able to stop thinking about the movie since it came out in 2019, don’t worry. We have all your answers right here. Here’s the Us movie ending ...
In the plethora of slasher-horror films from the 70’s and 80’s, none stand out more than the Halloween (1978) script. Why does this older horror film stand the test time, both critically and with fans? Regardless of the genre, every great movie starts with a great screenplay. In this article we will break down the Halloween script, studying its characters, pacing and “less is more” approach to storytelling. Let’s find out why this boogeyman can’t be killed. (more…)
Foreshadowing is an important element of screenwriting. It’s a fantastic tool you can use to create a layered and intriguing story that will keep your audience captivated and engaged. But how do you use foreshadowing, and how does it work? In this article, we’re going to define foreshadowing and break down the two different types, while looking at key examples from the films Us and Parasite to show us how master filmmakers use foreshadowing to create great stories. But before we dive into that, let’s define foreshadowing. (more…)
What is an epilogue? It’s a term that we hear often but we don’t see it in every story. So why are epilogues so commonly referred to when they aren’t always used? We’re going to get to the bottom of that question by exploring what an epilogue is, with examples from Harry Potter, Star Wars and more. By the end, you’ll know how to recognize epilogues, and how to implement them in your own stories. But before we get into our epilogue examples in literature and film, let’s define epilogue. (more…)
If you gathered a small crowd together, then it might be old news to some people to answer, “What is an oxymoron?” If you caught those oxymoron examples, you've got a head start. The concept is an open secret in the world of literature and film. Of course, you might hear that question with your only response being deafening silence. But once you understand oxymorons inside and out, you can incorporate them into your writing to create humorous, more sophisticated dialogue. Who knows? Oxymorons tend to make awfully good movie titles as well. (more…)
One of the most basic functions of every film is to communicate information over a length of time to an audience. How this film is communicated often determines how engaged an audience may be. One of the most difficult types of information to weave naturally into a story is exposition. What is exposition? In this article, we’ll define exposition and take a look at a few examples of how exposition in film can be implemented without disengaging an audience. (more…)
So you’ve written a script; great! Now what? Well, if you’re like me, you’ll obsess over making every scene perfect (a screenplay is never “perfect,” but that’s a discussion for another time). You have a solid 3-act structure, good dialogue, and a few punch-lines to keep the reader hooked. But something is off. Do your scenes feel a little dull? Is it the pacing, tone, or stakes? The solution is simple — G.O.D.D. It's more than just an acronym, we will go over the four elements to make your characters more compelling and your scenes more dynamic. (more…)
The ending of a screenplay is often more important than the 90 pages that preceded it. Due to the magnitude of its importance, many writers struggle to conclude their scripts with proper resolution. Don’t worry though, we’re going to show you everything you need to know about how to end a screenplay, with basic script format examples from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Big Short. We’re going to cover the technical aspects of writing THE END into scripts. By the end, you’ll have a strong grasp on the formatting requirements of how to end a screenplay. (more…)
What is an antagonist? The simplest explanation is that an antagonist represents the opposite of the protagonist. But there’s much more to the term than that. By understanding how these characters are used in screenwriting, we’re better equipped to handle story conflict in our own scripts. We'll start with an antagonist definition that may surprise you before highlighting some of the best antagonist examples in recent memory. (more…)
Symbolism can create an indelible impression on an audience. Symbolism runs through literature, poetry, and especially screenwriting, where visuals are paramount. But what is symbolism? In this article, we’ll define symbolism and show how symbols change over time. We’ll explore this topic by looking at common symbolism examples in literature and film. Pertinently, we’ll explore how symbolism can enhance your screenplay by taking a look at Eric Heisserer’s script for Arrival (2016). (more…)
There are many ways to enhance the main plot of a film. You can flesh out your protagonist, establish a story structure that keeps the audience engaged, and fine tune the plot points that move the story forward. But did you know that introducing subplots can enhance your film’s main plot? Understanding how a subplot functions and serves the main plot can give your film the depth you desire. So, what is a subplot of a story? And what is the definition of subplot? We’ll answer all of that and more in this article. (more…)