Character descriptions



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  • #16
    Re: Character descriptions

    I avoid it because I've found that a lot of readers/producers etc, tend to be very literal minded and once you put a particular actor's name in their heads, they can have a hard time visualizing anyone else in the part.

    Same thing with very detailed physical descriptions unless there's something about the part that requires it.

    My descriptions, even when I'm dealing with ostensibly physical traits, always tend to say something about the character's personality -- and for the record, being a ravishingly beautiful blonde isn't a personality trait.



    • #17
      Re: Character descriptions

      Originally posted by nmstevens View Post
      ... and for the record, being a ravishingly beautiful blonde isn't a personality trait.

      On the other hand, the lead actresses in two of the biggest spec sales that also rapidly turned into wide-release movies were:

      "18, gorgeous brunette"


      "25. Brazilian. Equal parts brains and beauty."

      Admittedly, in the second example the character was only on screen long enough to demonstrate the first part.

      BTW, welcome to the boards NMS! I think I remember you from some newsgroup, though I didn't post there much.
      Steven Palmer Peterson


      • #18
        Re: Character descriptions

        Originally posted by Brice View Post
        I don't do it and of course am not about to disagree with Craig or others on this thread, but just to play devil's advocate: I recently read (*gasp*) a screenwriting book, though it's the one by the guys who wrote NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM and other movies that they like to mention have grossed over a billion dollars at the box office. So I think it's fair to say they have some credibility, and they advocate using "think (actor's name)" for every character description.
        That was so you can be consistent with your dialogue, ensure each character's voice is unique. Seems good advice for us non-pros.

        In Kiss Kiss Bang Bang two characters point out celebrity look-a-likes plus there's Dawn of the Dead. My examples, good or bad, include:

        (Set in 1987) "She's at the bar, fending off the advances of a Kurt Russell wannabe."
        Then there's a line where my protag riffs on that and calls him Snake (Plissken).

        "His face, leathered and weathered. Imagine Richard Widmark carved out of the Grand Canyon."

        And in my rom com, there's a running gag where a guy gets chicks by telling them he's his doppelganger - the drummer for Bon Jovi.
        Last edited by SundownInRetreat; 07-23-2012, 09:05 AM.