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|
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.