Introduction to screenwriting 1: The 5 elements. Can we find a movie we all love? Australian movies. by Allen Palmer. Session 1 Introduction

Introduction to screenwriting 1: The 5 elements by Allen Palmer Session 1 Introduction 1 Can we find a movie we all love? 2 Australian movies Who loves
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Introduction to screenwriting 1: The 5 elements by Allen Palmer Session 1 Introduction 1 Can we find a movie we all love? 2 Australian movies Who loves typical Aussie film? Who goes out of obligation? Who won t go? Who feels misled by reviews? Are Australian films meeting the needs of Australian audiences? No, but nor are the meeting the needs of Australian film makers 3 Australian Film Economics 101 Basic cost $3 million Film makers only get $1 out of $6 Need to take $18+ million at BO 4 Oz Films All time $18m 1. Crocodile Dundee $48m 2. Australia $38m 3. Babe $36.7m 4. Happy Feet $31.8m 5. Moulin Rouge $27m 6. Croc Dundee 2 $24m 7. Strictly Ballroom $21.7m 8. The Dish $18m 5 Oz Box Office Mao s Last Dancer $14m 2. Australia $10.6m (W $208m) 3. Knowing $5.8m (W $181m) 4. Charlie & Boots $3.4m 5. Samson & Delilah $2.4m 5% of Total Australian Box Office Most films take $1m 6 Why box office matters Who thinks it doesn t matter? Why it matters Story isn t 1-way interaction Joy in shared emotion More people. More joy. Get to make another film 7 Q. Do Australians want to see Australian films? A. Australians are gagging to see Australian films. 8 Q. Why aren t Australians going to Australian films? a. Poor concepts b. Poor structure c. Australian film-makers aren t addressing the fundamental question... 9 What do audiences want? Entertained Escape Educated Provoked Affirmed Transported Inspired Moved - laugh, cry 10 What do audiences want? 11 What do audiences want? I think that what we re seeking is an experience of being alive so that we can actually feel the rapture being alive. Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth 12 What do audiences want? Expand emotional bandwidth Reminder of higher self Universal connection 13 What did Aristotle think audiences wanted? Catharsis Emotional cleansing or purging 14 What delivers catharsis? Triumph of good over evil Why? Seeing hero transformed Preferable Why? 15 What delivers catharsis? Cracking yarn Definition: A cracking yarn sends hero on a difficult journey that forces the hero the hero to transform and delivers catharsis to the audience at its climax Me 18 You (in 1 min or less) Name Day job Done any courses? Read any books? Written any screenplays? Have a concept? Which film would you like to have written? 19 Course - expectations Introduction Not exhaustive exploration Knowledge not practice How to write, not much writing 2 days won t be enough Content vs discussion Presentation PDFs can be downloaded 20 Lesson Downloads Under Resources Course downloads 21 What will we cover? 22 What s the hardest part of writing a cracking screenplay? Concept? Characters? Story? Scenes? Dialogue? 23 Typical script report Excellent Good Fair Poor Concept X Character X Dialogue X Structure Emotional Engagement X X 24 What will we cover? Day 1 Structure Day 2 Concept & premise Character Scene & Dialogue From concept to screenplay 25 What you ll get Day 1 That movies must take the audience on an emotional journey That transformation is the key 4 fundamental storytelling elements 3 Act structure fundamentals A 12-step timeless story structure that delivers an emotional journey 26 Day 2 What you ll get Why concept is important and how to test your concept The key to great charactisation for both heroes and antagonists Elements and tips of scene writing Secret to great dialogue What to do next Inspiration! 27 Structure What is it? The craft of storytelling Separates pro from amateur How we engage emotions How we escalate tension How we deliver catharsis 28 Is structure bad? Australian resistance Hollywood formula? 29 A Few Good Men African Queen After Midnight American Graffiti Apollo 13 An Officer & a Gentleman Arthur Back to the Future Being There Beverly Hills Cop Big Blood Simple Blues Brothers Body Heat Brokeback Mountain Bull Durham Casablanca Chinatown Dead Poets Society Dirty Harry Fargo Fast Times at Ridgemont High Ferris Bueller s Day Off Five Easy Pieces Godfather Godfather 2 Goodfellas Groundhog Day It happened one night It s a wonderful life Jagged Edge Jaws Hollywood Films JFK Juno Kramer vs Kramer Lars and the Real Girl LA Confidential Little Miss Sunshine Lost in Translation M*A*S*H Meet the Parents Men in Black Midnight Run Midnight Cowboy Mississippi Burning Moonstruck My Fair Lady No Country for Old Men North by Northwest One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest Parenthood Psycho Pulp Fiction Quiz Show Raiders of the Lost Ark Remains of the Day Reservoir Dogs Risky Business Rocky Saturday Night Fever Schindler s List Sea of Love Serpico Shortcuts Shrek Sideways Star Wars Starman Stripes Taxi Driver 10 Things I hate about you The Apartment The Big Chill The Empire Strikes Back The Fugitive The Goodbye Girl The Graduate The Incredibles The Maltese Falcon The Shining The Verdict Thelma & Louise There's something about Mary 39 Steps Tootsie Toy Story Trading Places Twelve Angry Men When Harry Met Sally Virgin Suicides Vertigo Witness 30 Is structure bad? Australian resistance Hollywood formula? Hero phobic? Limit to creativity? 31 Why we need structure Screenplay is tougher than novel Length: pages Told in one, uninterrupted session Cost Expectation 32 Structure is good But where, as screenwriters, do start? 33 Difference btw writing film and writing novel Novel is prose Screenplay is what...? Drama 34 What is drama? Want to deliver catharsis Transformation delivers catharsis Will hero transform easily? No Forced to transform What will force them to transform? Conflict 35 What is drama? Drama is conflict Drama is conflict Comedy is drama is conflict Drama is conflict How do we create conflict? 36 4 fundamentals of story Someone wants something very badly and they re having a lot of trouble getting it 1. Hero (aka protagonist) 2. Goal 3. Conflict (aka antagonist) 4. Stakes 37 4 fundamentals of story 1. Hero Whose film is it? Whose story are we telling? Who most needs to change? Who acts to resolve at climax 38 4 fundamentals of story 2. Goal or want Get Stop Retrieve Escape Clear finish line External (not inner peace ) 39 4 fundamentals of story 3. Conflict Why is it going to be hard? Why should we be interested? What are the forces of antagonism? 40 4 fundamentals of story 4. Stakes What happens if the hero doesn t go on this journey? If they don t get their goal? Why MUST they do this? Why should we care? 41 4 fundamentals of story 1. Hero 2. Goal 3. Conflict 4. Stakes 90% scripts don t have these basics Your concept, your scenes, your screenplay MUST have these 4 fundamentals 42 The 5th storytelling fundamental 4 fundamentals sufficient sometimes Good vs evil Raiders, Die Hard If you want to deliver catharsis Need hero to transform For hero to transform by story s end, what must they be at start? Flawed 43 3 Act Structure basics Have our 5 storytelling fundamentals Now need to shape the story to deliver what? Catharsis 3 Act Structure is the convention Now introduce you act structure basics Act 1 The beginning Act 2 The middle Act 3 The end 45 3 act structure basics Act 1 Engage the audience Act 2 Escalate the dramatic tension Act 3 Resolve and deliver catharsis 46 Is 3 Act Structure enough? pages 3 acts Enough guidance? If it is, you don t me Mere mortals need help 47 Story Paradigms 48 Syd Field s Paradigm 49 Story Paradigms 50 McKee s Story A scene is an action through conflict in more or less continuous time and space that turns the value-charged condition of a character s life on at least one value with a degree of perceptible significance. 51 McKee s Story Campbell s Monomyth A hero ventures forth from the world of the common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. 54 55 The Writer s Journey 56 Vogler s Hero s Journey 1. Ordinary World 2. Call to adventure 3. Refusal of the call 4. Meet with the mentor 5. Crossing the first threshold Ordinary World 12. Return with the elixir 11. Resurrection 10. Road back 6. Tests, Allies & Enemies Special World 7. Approach the inmost cave 8. The Ordeal 9. Reward 57 Story is transformation Hero goes in pursuit of a goal Wants something very bad and is having a lot of trouble getting it External journey triggers a more important internal journey To complete journey, must transform - catharsis 58 Hero s inner journey 1. Incomplete 12. Complete 2. Excited 3. Scared Ordinary World 11. Decisive 4. Torn 5. Committed 10. Desperate/ conflicted 6. Disoriented Special World 7. Evasive 9. Exultant 8. Confronted 59 Why Hero s Journey? Only a guide. Not a straitjacket. Need an external journey Hero s journey delivers Audience wants emotional journey Hero s journey delivers Not invented. Only identified. It works. 60 Course Plan - Saturday 1. 9: Introduction Hero s Journey Steps Hero s Journey Steps Hero s Jrny Steps Course Plan - Sunday 1. 9: Concept Character Scene writing & Dialogue Concept to outline 62 Next Session Hero s Journey Steps 1-5 Starts at 11.15am sharp 63
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