View Full Version : Best way to write a fight scene... with a punch.
01-26-2009, 04:42 PM
In a third act, fight scene between the antag/protag is best to just use straight forward, short sentences?
He rushes her. She swings the bat. He dodges. ETC ETC ETC...
What are some good ways to add adrenaline AND creativity to action lines in such a fight scene?
p.s. that was just an example off the top of my head.
01-26-2009, 06:05 PM
I sketch the scene out, in my head or on a notebook page or something. He punches, the bad guy dodges, he moves over there, bad guy climbs up to here.. etc..
Then, I pretend that a competant but lacking-in-imagination stunt coordinater were blocking the pages. (In reality, most stunt coordinaters would come up with more interesting action than I could). And anything that would occur to them -- the mechanical stuff like punching, dodging, moving across the room, etc... I omit. I try to only leave the stuff that's unique, and wouldn't show up in any old fight scene. Often, this is interactions with props or the location.
I don't have an actual example here, but off the top of my head, something like:
The fight travels across the fairground to the Ferris Wheel.
The TICKET-TAKER dives out of the way as Badass Dude somersaults across the turnstile.
The fight intensifies. Hero is really taking a beating, but he gathers his strength and tackles Badass, they slide beneath the path of the Ferris Wheel.
Badass regains the upper hand, pummelling Hero's head against the muddy ground. Hero can't seem to break out of the hold.
A ferris wheel car approaches. Hero reaches up and grabs on to the underside.
He is lifted into the air, but Badass clings to his ankles.
HERO: You forgot one thing! These are quick-release pants!
His buckle BEEPS and his pants slide off. Badass plummets to the fairgrounds far below.
That got a little silly, apologies. That's just how I do it. There's no specific punches or kicks or actions like that, unless it moves the scene forward.
I don't usually write a lot of action but my current project is a thriller that's pretty actiony, so this has been on my mind. I'm curious to see what advice people give you, because I could use it, too.
01-26-2009, 06:23 PM
Awsome. That makes alot of sense. I'm trying not to get too 'DIRECTOR-ISH' with my fight scenes.
01-26-2009, 06:49 PM
1) Grab a pad & pen.
2) Go into a bar.
3) Find the biggest guy in the place.
4) Hit on his girlfriend in front of him.
5) Take notes.
Actually, read a bunch of Shane Black scripts and think "reversals" and also think "why is this a *character* scene?
01-26-2009, 06:57 PM
I love S. Black scripts! I love the personal touches he gives his work. I've read/seen Last Boy Scout many, many times.
01-27-2009, 07:22 PM
Don't try to choreograph the fight scene for the director, but do try to show us what is happening so that we can 'feel' the scene happening, like we're watching the bar fight. Just don't get too caught up with every jab and every counter punch.
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