Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Screenwriter's Thirteen Commandments

I started trying to write for the screen in 1999. Six years on, I am actually being paid money to write for it. Yes, it took that long. And what have I learned, in all that time? What accumulated wisdom - and I use the term very loosely - could I possibly pass on?
Jack Dickson on The Screenwriter's Store website, lays down the law.
Thou shalt entertain - if you don't, your scripts will be boring diatribes and no-one will want to read them let alone make them a reality. Your audience is comprised of a huge cross section of individuals and they are not there to be patronised, talked down to or lectured. They are there - primarily - to be amused and / or diverted. Any informing or educating comes a definite second. No-one wants to be preached at. Remember the screenwriter's mantra (thank you, Jimmy McGovern): make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, make 'em think.

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