Scriptiments

Show don’t tell… with subtext

Show don’t tell… with subtext

Here’s an article from Scriptmag about writing with subtext in mind. For example to get across a character’s emotional state, instead of saying “He is stunned,” try “The air rushes out of his lungs.” Describe specific actions, then let the reader (and actor) interpret the state of mind.

More examples at https://scriptmag.com/screenplays/shh-subtext-the-powerful-sound-of-show-not-tell

(Scroll past the first part about teaching to get to the parts about subtext.)

Tony Gilroy and Scott Frank Interviewed

Tony Gilroy and Scott Frank Interviewed

In this double episode of The Moment, host Brian Koppelman talks to two acclaimed writers Tony Gilroy and Scott Frank about writing, their careers, and William Goldman. 

The Moment with Brian Koppelman
https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/slate/the-moment-with-brian-koppelman/e/57422291

I especially enjoyed hearing Gilroy talk about the “horse” scene from his script for Michael Clayton. 

EXT. THE FIELD — DAWN

MICHAEL getting out of the car. Standing there.

THREE HORSES poised at the crest of the pasture. Hanging there in the fog like ghosts.

MICHAEL jumping the fence. Walking slowly into the field. Behind him, the MERCEDES with the engine running.

THE HORSES aware of him now. Watching him come.

MICHAEL’S FACE as he walks. And later on we’ll understand all the forces roiling inside him, but for the moment, the simplest thing to say is that this is a man who needs more than anything to see one pure, natural thing, and by some miracle has found his way to this place. The wet grass and cold air and no coat — none of it makes any difference to him right now — he’s a pilgrim stumbling into the cathedral.

And he stops. Just standing there. Empty. Open. Lost.

Nothing but the field and the fog and the woods beyond.

THE HORSES staring at him.

MICHAEL staring back. And just like that…

THE MERCEDES EXPLODES!

It’s not traditional, but slowing down the flow of the screenplay to focus on Michael’s internal state helped to indicate to the production crew just how important this moment should be when filmed and edited. And it’s a standout scene in the final film. 

See the full script at 
https://indiegroundfilms.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/michael-clayton-feb11-06-final-shooting.pdf

See the replay of Scriptitude 2020

See the replay of Scriptitude 2020

Did you miss our live Scriptitude event on May 11? Don’t fret, it’s still available to watch on Youtube (for a limited time). Hear a cast of Rochester actors perform the three winning short screenplays from New York State writers! Watch below:
SCRIPTITUDE live streaming table read

SCRIPTITUDE live streaming table read

Join us for a live streaming table read!

The results are in! See live performances of our three winning short screenplays. A cast of Rochester actors will bring these stories to life, live on the RAFAS Youtube channel.

Live Q&A to follow each reading!

May 11, 2020 at 7:00 PM

Including:
Concrete: The Deep by Jason Terrill
Still Watching by Brian VanDenBergh & Nick Pasquarella
Superbug by Gio Forlenza

Scriptitude will broadcast live on the Rochester Association for Film Arts and Sciences Youtube channel. Look for the LIVE link at the channel on the evening of the event. 

Subscribe to the RAFAS Youtube channel.

Share the Facebook Event.