Over 9200 words.
IN A NUTSHELL: Say goodbye to your writer’s block!
Take a classic film that you love. Analyze and identify its main plot components scene-by-scene. Then write your own movie by using the same skeletal structure.
This is a completely legal and ethical method since a “plot structure” (like “the bad guys chase the good guy and threaten his girlfriend”) is an IDEA and ideas cannot be copyrighted.
Your film will be an original since you’ll be using your own characters, dialog, and events. But the underlying plot structure will be solid since you’ll be emulating the same time-proven formula that your “template film” has used successfully in the past. Why re-invent the wheel to build your own car?
This is like using the same Flowers-Vase-Table composition used by Van Gogh but painting your own original “Sunflowers” canvass by using your own sunflowers + vase + table, your own color palette, and your own brush strokes. The result is a brand new painting with a well-balanced and tasteful structure/composition.
There are many movies that share the same underlying plot structure.
For example: “I Am Legend (2007)" shares the same plot structure with "The Omega Man" (1971) and both are great films to watch.
The Emulation Method
Here are the main steps of the emulation method to write a new film out of an existing one:
(1) TIME and PLACE: Come up with a new time and place where the story is taking place.
(2) CORE SUBJECT: Decide what the core subject of the original story is and mirror the subject by using your imagination. Come up with your own subject to answer the question: “What’s this film all about?”
(3) CHARACTERS. Decide who the main characters are in the original story and mirror the characters. Come up with new characters based on the original characters but with a twist.
(4) SEQUENCES and SCENES: Take the sequences of the old movie and create new sequences for your new movie by emulating them; that is, by re-writing them with your own setting, characters, events and dialog.
A SEQUENCE is a series of related SCENES. Thus there is usually more than one scene in any given sequence. Classic sequence examples include “the car chase,” “popping the question,” “the hero returns home,” “bad guys close in,” “the hero pretends he is someone else,” “the boy loses the girl,” “the good guy gets the good girl,” etc.
Mirror as many steps of the original plot as you can with your own characters, time, place, dialog, and events. When done, you’ll have a brand new screenplay with an already-tested and proven plot structure.
Two Classic Films
This step-by-step guide takes you by the hand and shows exactly how you can write a new film out of an existing one by using two classic films for illustration purposes:
• Hitchcock’s “NORTH BY NORTHWEST” that we’ll re-write as “THE MIXUP”.
• Polanski’s “CHINATOWN” that we’ll re-write as “GEORGETOWN”.
For both films, sequences are introduced one after the other and in pairs for your easy comparison.
Once you understand the basic mechanics of it, you can apply the same method to any film you like and drive your own original screenplay from it.
Add your own characters, events, turning points, dialog, and adapt the comprehensive examples provided in this ebook any way you like to write your own screenplays. In the end you’ll have a winner instead of a poorly structured amateurish screenplay since the original is an all-time classic.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) INTRODUCTION 3
2) From NORTH BY NORTHWEST to “THE MIXUP” 5
3) From CHINATOWN to “GEORGETOWN” 20
4) THE MIXUP 27
5) GEORGETOWN 36
- File Size: 213 KB
- Print Length: 63 pages
- Publication Date: July 27, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005EZ7DCY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- X-Ray: Not Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Screen Reader: Supported
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled