THEME

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • THEME

    THEMES:

    AMBITION CONQUERS NATURE.

    NATURE CONQUERS AMBITION, DELIVERS TRUTH.

    AMBITION SAVES HUMANITY.

    NATURAL DESIRE RESTORES HUMANITY.

    LOVE CONQUERS NATURE.

    LOVE CONQUERS SOCIETY.

    RIGHT REDEEMS DISSIPATION.

    Working Definition:
    Theme is that fundamental philosophical message that holds your story together and forms the basis for emotional engagement.

    Egri's THE ART OF DRAMATIC WRITING begins with a crucial and foundational first chapter on the "premise" of a dramatic play, using "theme" as a synonym. Egri emphasizes the crucial nature of theme for a story, asserting unequivocally that : "No emotion ever made, or ever will make, a good play if we do not know what kind of forces [premise or theme] set emotion going. Emotion . . . is as necessary to a play as barking to a dog." Also see Martell's THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING and his online article on theme, with an insightful and thorough analysis of the motifs in LIAR, LIAR.

    The above list of themes I have composed of my seven finished screenplays.

    The challenge: Try to formulate a short yet descriptive premise or theme of your finished stories. :smokin

  • #2
    Then there is the argument for sub-themes, multiple motifs, or thematics.

    Some say you can only have one theme in a film. Most say you can have multiple themes in a novel. And some say you can have multiple themes in a film.

    I side with the belief their CAN BE multiple themes in film because I think an hour and a half is MORE than long enough to convey the idea of "Revenge is Bad", "Revenge is good", "Love conquers all", or whatever the "central" theme.

    All in all, both sides are right in my opinion. You can have stories with just one theme and several motifs or you can have multiple themes working at different levels of the story. One central theme can be very powerful and concise but it can be the deadly - boring at the thought or emotional level. If you doubt that it can be boring, think of "Rambo." If you doubt one theme can be powerful, think of "Bad Lieutenant." Multiple themes can be very thoughtful and provocative but they can also be too abstract and confusing. In the end, it depends on what is best for the story and the abilities and objectives of the writer.

    Just my opinion.

    DS

    Comment


    • #3
      Direct link to my theme article:

      www.scriptsecrets.net/art...theme2.htm

      Which says most of what I have to say on the subject. I did an earlier version of this article on another film, and may pull out my notes and do the ALIENS version sometime next year.

      - Bill

      Comment


      • #4
        I want to add a thought on the power of theme, and why it is so important.

        A good theme in a movie will hold the story together for the audience even when they have trouble following it. I did not understand WALL STREET until years later after studying the financial markets. Yet I always felt that the story worked. Many confess that they still don't understand the philosophy* of THE MATRIX, but the story worked for them. That's the power of theme.

        &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp :rollin

        * (Among other things, the philosophy of THE MATRIX is a great illustration of the 'mind-in-the-vat' argument used to counter the Cartesian cogito. Duh. 8o )

        Comment

        Working...
        X