DIY Screenwriting Tips

Saturday, 12.4.21

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I am now watching movies with critical thinking, focusing mostly on the details in each movie.

I had recorded Rosemary’s Baby, The Tenant, and Chinatown on my DVR, and I watched them again to analyze each scene. Moreover, this morning, I watched another movie, Serendipity, on the indie channel. Although the acting sucks, I noticed the same screenwriting details in each scene, which tends to leave clues in each scene, eventually leading towards the conclusion. As I flipped through my graphic novel, I realized I had done the same thing, based on the screenwriting tips I learned, by drawing each page with an embedded clue that helps the pages flow smoothly toward the last page of the novel.

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Therefore, I feel writing the layout in outline form is important. It helps you organize what you need to put in each section in order to help lead to your conclusion. The screenwriting details help you elaborate on your outline form to make each scene come alive with realism so that the reader can better relate to your story and/or character(s).

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All the screenwriters and directors do it, whether Polanski, Kubrick, Hitchcock, or other movies, like Serendipity, Sleepless in Seattle, Exorcists, etc. Some screenwriters just do it better than others. And, hiring good actors helps.

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To improve your screenwriting skills, it is important to watch movies with a critical eye, looking for the details in each scene, as well as scene layout, composition, colors, and characters. It might require watching the same movie more than once to pick up on all the details.

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I think that older movies do a better job at these details because the newer films depend mostly on special effects, CGI, and 3D to make a boring film and shitty actors appear more fun and exciting, making the movie appear more entertaining than it actually is.

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I feel that the old actors were more professional, as well as they had more class, style, and poise. Therefore, they are better to use as case studies for screenwriting analysis.

On the other hand, the newer actors, since the 80s, depended mostly on personality, plastic surgery, head-to-toe makeovers, and body doubles. The loud actors with strong personalities do well, such as Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, and Whoopie Goldberg. None of them are attractive, but rather their strong personality made them likable and relatable, although it didn’t last long because they tend to fit into a certain mold, and they cannot do other roles well.

Julia Roberts only did well in Pretty Woman, Mystic Pizza and Erin Brockovich because she fit into the skanky, pathetic loser ho that is often relatable to many ordinary women and girls who have a hard life and often need a role model. (After all, that is what the media does to the public, promoting or planting certain ideas into the viewers’ heads for a certain agenda. So, don’t shoot the messenger). After the movie came out, many women bought the long polka-dotted dress, worn by Julia, as she performed the reformed skanky low-budget ho, after she met her fridget, nerdy workaholic millionaire, who dressed her up into a classy looking callgirl. I never considered buying that dress because I wasn’t interested in looking like Julia Roberts, even though she was entertaining in that movie. I feel Whoopie only excelled in Ghost because she was a fun and crazy psychic woman and Tom Hanks’ best role was in Sleepless in Seattle because it was all about the falling in love mood. I feel their other movies were crap.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of Promptly Written, Medium, or their affiliates.




Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, but raised in America, and now a Cali Girl.

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Fifi Leigh

Fifi Leigh

Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, but raised in America, and now a Cali Girl.

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