Character and Theme-focused Screenplay Analysis

Video Essays

The Road Warrior thumbnail brightLesson One: Visuals and Action

Back when I taught Beginning Screenwriting, this is where I would always begin. The opening sequence from The Road Warrior is a rich demonstration of the large amount of information that can be communicated through action and visuals. (View video.) (15 mins.)

winter's bone thumbnailDialogue as Action

Question: How do you make dialogue enhance a medium based in visuals and action rather than distract from it and drag it down? Answer: You learn to think of dialogue as doing. (View video.) (8 mins.)

CP Mona Lisa squareWho Has the Power?

In a scene of psychological conflict, someone has the power and someone else is trying to get it. Track the underlying power balance between characters and make the power shift on action. (View Video.) (10 mins.)

100x100-stand-in-imgSympathetic Doesn’t Have to Mean Likable

The beauty of the concept of sympathetic character is that once you have your viewer invested in your main character, you can then have him go off and do all kinds of maladapted things without losing your viewer’s engagement in the story. (View Video.) (7 mins.)


Rose Sayer: The mother of All Action Heroines

The Mother of All Action Heroines: Rose Sayer

Although The African Queen is a far cry from what we think of as action adventure these days, at its center is a female action hero we could all take a few lessons from. (View Video.) (6 mins.)

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