What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

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  • What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

    What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

    Is the subject of my latest Blog at http://www.ronaberdeen.com/
    Ron Aberdeen
    http://www.ronaberdeen.com/
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3609083/

  • #2
    Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

    I'm just jotting this down now:

    Write.....an.....entertaining.....screenplay. Got it! Thanks, Ron.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

      I'm just jotting this down now:

      Write.....an.....entertaining.....screenplay. Got it! Thanks, Ron.
      It's true.

      I think for someone starting out, this is the most important thing to think about. More important than structure and all the other "rules."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

        Originally posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post
        It's true.

        I think for someone starting out, this is the most important thing to think about. More important than structure and all the other "rules."
        If a young writer isn't making their scripts entertaining, I think it has less to do with not being conscious of that idea and has more to do with the subjective nature of what "entertaining" means. It'll differ with every person and it'll differ with professionals too. You wrote a screenplay that got on the blacklist that was considered entertaining by many in the industry, and not so much by some. Write the movie you want to see, would be a better piece of advice, I believe.

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        • #5
          Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

          Originally posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post
          It's true.

          I think for someone starting out, this is the most important thing to think about. More important than structure and all the other "rules."
          +1.

          A great story, even if you tell it in a clumsy fashion, will shine through. You can fix clumsiness.

          But a bad story? It doesn't matter how perfectly structured or how accurately you hit those plot points, it's still going to be a bad story.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

            Originally posted by omovie View Post
            If a young writer isn't making their scripts entertaining, I think it has less to do with not being conscious of that idea and has more to do with the subjective nature of what "entertaining" means. It'll differ with every person and it'll differ with professionals too. You wrote a screenplay that got on the blacklist that was considered entertaining by many in the industry, and not so much by some. Write the movie you want to see, would be a better piece of advice, I believe.
            I don't know, man. Even if you didn't love the screenplay, I don't think you can say it's not entertaining.
            Chicks Who Script podcast

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

              Originally posted by emily blake View Post
              I don't know, man. Even if you didn't love the screenplay, I don't think you can say it's not entertaining.
              What does entertaining mean? Are any of those drama's that won the Nichol entertaining? Is Transformers 2 entertaining? What about RABBIT HOLE? How about 2012 or SCHINDLERS LIST?

              How many people do you know that hate a movie go "but it's REALLY entertaining?"

              It's subjective. What is entertaining to one person, isn't entertaining to another.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

                What if I got to here in your blog post...

                Before answering that I trust you have read the books by McKee, Trottier, Snyder and Field.
                ...and my answer is "no?"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

                  Doesn't the firm of McKee, Trottier, Snyder and Field handle asbestos litigation?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

                    Write the movie you want to see, would be a better piece of advice, I believe.
                    But this isn't applicable to execution and it goes without saying. If someone isn't writing movies they want to see, they are beyond help. It's like saying, "finish a screenplay."

                    Most amateur screenplays have a ton of problems. And sure everyone is gonna have a different opinion on what is "missing" (or wrong). I pose that the biggest problem, before structure, before on the nose dialogue, before lack of a cohesive theme, is that amateur scripts aren't interesting/entertaining. I guess that could be due to fumbling other elements, but interesting applies how you write, also.

                    I'd say number 2 is they're confusing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

                      Originally posted by omovie View Post
                      What does entertaining mean? Are any of those drama's that won the Nichol entertaining? Is Transformers 2 entertaining? What about RABBIT HOLE? How about 2012 or SCHINDLERS LIST?

                      How many people do you know that hate a movie go "but it's REALLY entertaining?"

                      It's subjective. What is entertaining to one person, isn't entertaining to another.
                      It is subjective.

                      But if you write a line of description that you KNOW is boring, or if you write a scene that you suspect is flat, you can go back in with the 'be entertaining' mandate and fix it.

                      But you're right, it's all subjective.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

                        Originally posted by Derek Haas View Post
                        What if I got to here in your blog post...



                        ...and my answer is "no?"

                        If you listen carefully, you can actually hear the illusions shattering.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

                          Originally posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post
                          But this isn't applicable to execution and it goes without saying. If someone isn't writing movies they want to see, they are beyond help. It's like saying, "finish a screenplay."
                          It may seem obvious but I don't think it goes without saying. If you really ask yourself "would I pay money to see this film that I'm writing" and answer truthfully, I think that's a good barometer to what you should be writing.

                          I think a lot of screenwriters have to churn out scripts and ideas and not all of them will be able to answer "yes" to the above question. Some will write it b/c it seems commercial or because they think the market will be receptive to it or because of extraneous things that don't have to do with "would I pay money to see this?"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

                            Originally posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post
                            But if you write a line of description that you KNOW is boring, or if you write a scene that you suspect is flat, you can go back in with the 'be entertaining' mandate and fix it.
                            Totally. I think that's a great way to fix a problem. Cut through the Bvllshit and ask yourself how do I make it entertaining, or better or pop. The key being ask YOURSELF. Don't go by what other people say.

                            Since Derek is on this thread, the one bit of advise I heard him say (on a podcast) is "make cool sh!t happen on every page". That's certainly not bad advise if you're trying to write something commercial.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What's missing from most amateur screenplays?

                              Originally posted by Derek Haas View Post
                              What if I got to here in your blog post...
                              Before answering that I trust you have read the books by McKee, Trottier, Snyder and Field.

                              ...and my answer is "no?"
                              Or if my answer is "yes", but Trottier in my first year of screenwriting for format only, McKee - skimmed, because Story is SO bloated (some inspirational words, though), Snyder - great cookie cutter book and Field. Oooooooh Field. I took a class and it was ****. He didn't give a **** about screenwriting or screenwriters, just the $.

                              /illusions shattered years ago
                              Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams telling myself it's not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.

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