Writing a movie script: the movie is not just a visual medium
If you are a screenwriter, one of the best things you can do to expand your filmmaking knowledge and learn more about how to write a film script, and really focus on the art of writing jokes at the same time, is to simply listen to the audio. of a movie instead of watching it. This allows you to really focus on capturing the nuances of how people speak, which is something many beginning writers struggle with when writing a movie script. If we’re really honest, even the most experienced screenwriters will tell you that dialogue is the hardest thing for them to understand.
While I would recommend this exercise primarily for those of you who want to focus on writing comedies, it can also be useful if you want to work in a genre where the dialogue is highly stylized and is supposed to “sound a certain way.” Think mostly of crime movies – you wouldn’t think it would be realistic if cops and criminals spoke the same way everyone else does, right?
To the comment or not to the comment?
One of the best things that happened with the advent of new types of home media available (DVD and Blu-Ray) is that, for the first time, we, as viewers, were able to get input from actors, writers, and directors about what went through the creative process, including writing a movie script and how they ended up making the finished movie we just saw. The process became a kind of informal film school lecture (as long as your film school had reputable directors coming to lecture as guests there), and for those who were so inclined to sit and read the reviews or the behind-the-scenes feature films, there was a lot of information to be gleaned from the process.
Here’s the main thing to consider when listening to the comment: is the person speaking a writer for the movie you just watched? If not, the comment may not be as helpful to you, and you may find it more helpful to do one of the other exercises I mentioned earlier. The reason I say this is that there are more than a few directors who have never written a script before, so while your feedback may be helpful to those who want to learn more about directing, you won’t actually learn much. about writing a movie script by listening to those comment tracks, because those directors don’t actually participate in that process.
In short, learning how to write a movie script is like, well, taking the time to learn about any other kind of skill – self-education is great, but if you can find an experienced screenwriter to act as a teacher in the form of a clue of comments they have recorded or a book they have written about their process, even better.