Why Is Movie Screenwriting So Tricky?
(I got the idea for that Title, from this great article: Why Are Good Writers So Rare? (Dunbar 2005) (…Good writers borrow, great ones steal, yadda-yadda, yoda-yoda – LOL)
(Almost as rare as unicorns.)
– As it happens I also cited (Dunbar 2005) in my 2017 PhD thesis on Movie RoI..!
Okay – and so here’s some random facts… (you don’t have to like them… I certainly don’t!)
Humans are information-processors.
(See: the computer, inside your head ! )
and of the 2% of scripts that actually do get made, into movies:
…How will you solve that problem…?
…Anyway, read my PhD if you want to solve both of those problems, at once.
(It’s a free PDF ! )
Hope it helps you !
(I’m also a volunteer firefighter too. Your friendly-helpful-neighbourhood-hero typa-guy, etc.)
Just, DO, what the 1% (who succeed) DO…!!!
e.g. …Write a great screenplay –
and then – have it make, over 71 x times its budget, as a Movie.
(Like: the top 20 RoI movies all did ! )
Hey here comes my PhD thesis. All free, and stuff.
…Information wants to be free.
(Though a lot of it isn’t, for various complex reasons. See copyright, and also, copyleft.)
And, also – since I also have a new chapter, in The Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology (2017)…
Here’s also, another reason why: Writing (good) screenplays is so tricky.
They (movie screenplays) actually have quite a lot of information in them…
Here’s an example (a page from, one of mine…)
A film screenplay is sort of like, a recipe for a cake. But – the chef can still burn – or even undercook – the cake.
This is why the scientific study of Creativity is also important, in examining movie success and (epic) failure.
e.g.: How did all of the top 20 RoI movie writers/directors/producers/cast and crew, all do, what they did? Make the highest-RoI movies, ever? This becomes important when you think about Communication, and the Information [the story, the plot, characters, themes, etc]…
As a creative, You want your information [your, movie – your UNIT OF CULTURE that you are creating – and which contains the story – kinda like a Trojan Horse] to become a viral meme.) …What’s not to like about: that? In fact – that’s why we do it, right?
…and – so, all the information in the screenplay (the “recipe” for the movie) has to be: right.
And also: has to be, not-wrong.
(Which, two things, are NOT, ACTUALLY, quite the same thing…!! )
If this seems odd, please also see the Anna Karenina Principle in movie-RoI.
And – if you haven’t read my PhD, then perhaps see, just some of the key, high-RoI movie characteristics, right here, on this very PhD-blog:
- StoryAlity #53 – The StoryAlity High-RoI Film Story & Screenplay Checklist
- StoryAlity #54 – StoryAlity Screenwriting Guidelines – for any aspiring Writer of High-RoI Films
And – now also, check out, this pretty-neat, Information Comparison:
(…Did somebody mention: Information Science…? 🙂
|Information object||How many bytes ?|
|A binary decision||1 bit|
|A single text-character||1 byte|
|A typical text word||10 bytes|
|A typewritten page||2 kilobytes (KBs)|
|A low-resolution photograph||100 kilobytes|
|A short novel||1 megabyte (MB)|
|Average screenplay||1 megabyte|
|A high-resolution photograph||2 megabytes|
|The complete works of Shakespeare||5 megabytes|
|A minute of high-fidelity sound||10 megabytes|
|One meter (or close to a yard) of shelved books||100 megabytes|
|The contents of a CD-ROM||500 megabytes|
|A pickup truck, filled with books||1 gigabyte (GB)|
|The contents of a DVD||4.7 gigabytes|
“So far, the smallest memory device known to be evolved and used in the wild is the genome of the bacterium Candidatus Carsonella ruddii, storing about 40 kilobytes, whereas our human DNA stores about 1.6 gigabytes, comparable to a downloaded movie.
As mentioned in the last chapter, our brains store much more information than our genes: in the ballpark of 10 gigabytes electrically (specifying which of your 100 billion neurons are firing at any one time) and 100 terabytes chemically / biologically (specifying how strongly different neurons are linked by synapses).”
(Tegmark 2017, pp. 59-60)
JT Velikovsky, PhD – High-RoI Story/Screenplay/Movie & Transmedia Researcher
& Human & Computer Creativity Researcher
& Evolutionary Systems Analyst
See the research in my 2017 doctoral thesis: “Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema”. It is reproduced here for the benefit of fellow bio-cultural scholars, and screenwriting, filmmaking and creativity researchers. For more, see also https://aftrs.academia.edu/JTVelikovsky
JT Velikovsky is a million-selling Transmedia writer-director-producer and game designer & writer. He has also been a professional Story Analyst for major movie studios, film funding organizations, and also for the national writer’s guild. He is also a judge for the writers guild and the director’s guild.
For more, see also the Transmedia-Writing weblog: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/
See: How Many Bytes For…?
Velikovsky, J. T. (2017). `Chapter 405: The Holon/Parton Structure of the Meme, or, The Unit Of Culture’, in: The Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition, M. Khosrow-Pour (Ed.) (pp. 4666-4678). New York: IGI Global.