Does manipulating time on the page make your script feel more cinematic?
Chas and Stu are joined by Khrob Edmonds – an award-winning filmmaker and founder of TangoEDIT – to discuss manipulation of time…
… on the page!
Cinema is a time-based art, and one of the primary tools in film editing is manipulation of time. A closer look at sequences in the scripts of PULP FICTION, THE BOURNE IDENTITY, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, WOMAN IN BLACK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, UP, WHIPLASH, and THE UNTOUCHABLES reveals how master screenwriters use the same time-controlling techniques on the page. The closer a writer can recreate cinema’s use of time on the page, the more of an “I’m watching a movie” feeling you can generate for the reader. Or, as Chas puts it, writing like you’d edit. We discuss use of white space, super-present tense, decompression & compression, Soviet Montage Theory, the Kuleshov effect and just a tiny amount of grammar.
NB: Stu refers to ‘-ing’ words as ‘present participles’, John August (cited below) refers to ‘present progressive’. Turns out there’s a subtle difference between the two – see What Is the Difference between Present Participle and Present Progressive. Grammar esoterica FTW.
- John August: On the present tense
- John August: Present tension
- Scriptnotes: Ep 52: Grammar, Guns and Butter
- TVTropes: Decompression in Comics
- Storyteller’s Journal: Decompression: Writing Comics Like Movies
- Wikipedia: Soviet Montage Theory
- Wikipedia: The Kuleshov Effect
- YouTube: The Kuleshov Effect – Original experiment
- YouTube: Hitchcock on Pure Cinema – The Kuleshov Effect
- No Film School: How Hitchcock Used Editing to Turn ‘Rear Window’ into a Masterpiece of Visual Storytelling
- No Film School: The History of Editing, Eisenstein, & the Soviet Montage
- Kubrick Corner: Kubrick and the Kuleshov Effect
- PULP FICTION by Quentin Tarantino & Roger Avary
- THE BOURNE IDENTITY by Tony Gilroy
- MovieClips (YouTube): Bank Evacuation Plan
- THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM by Tony Gilroy and Scott Z. Burns and George Nolfi, Screen Story by Tony Gilroy
- MovieClips (YouTube): Ross and Waterloo
- WOMAN IN BLACK by Jane Goldman
- YouTube: Woman in Black – scary scene
- RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan, Story by George Lucas
- YouTube: Indiana Jones Fight Scene #1 (terrible quality)
- YouTube: Lego Indiana Jones and the Fight on the Flying Wing
- UP Screenplay by Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson and Tom McCarthy
- YouTube: Married Life – Carl & Eddie
- THE UNTOUCHABLES by David Mamet
- ACMI Dreamworks Animation: Interrogating Gingy
- Temple of the Seven Golden Camels: Presentation Storyboards by Joe Ranft (short article of pitching storyboarded sequences in animation)
- Goodreads: Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll
- Khrob Edmonds’ Twitter: @KhrobEdmonds
- TangoEdit – Collaborative, Cloud-based Editing: http://www.tangoedit.com
- TangoEdit Watermark – Watermark video: http://watermark.meteor.com
- Director’s Guild of America: A Tribute to Director Steven Spielberg
- Draft Zero: DZ-05: Shifting Audience Point-of-View
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