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One of the most difficult points is to find a manner to teach to understand the media, that is, how cinema transmits a story.
Students arrive to you with a very clear and concise idea about what script is: something similar to a form to fill in. And they usually do it using a very long dialogue. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The craft of screenwriting seems to be an infinite subject for books, posts, seminars. Advices everywhere, gurus at the corner of each lost dog on a parking lot. And indeed, some sort of science is finally slowly emerging of all this. What I’d like to highlight here is the most significant aspect of movies : their dream quality.
I don’t do guest posts that often but Marc Omeyer is a stand-up guy and I don’t run into a whole hell of a lot of stand-up guys these days. So I’ve spent the last couple of weeks wondering what to write about… Didn’t want to do the same old, same old and recently, I’ve been doing so much THINKING about concepts that I wondered when was the last time anyone’s ever discussed the THINKING part about writing?
In a movie, the revelation of the backstory can be mind blowing or a miserable burden in the telling : how much, when, what for, from whose point of view, at what progressing rythm (Chinatown) or unique intensity (Runaway Jury, Psycho) is the ultimate identity and vision of the writer.
To some extent, the mastery of backstory is the central crossroad of the craft, the right path to any story, and the most personal artistic signature of the writer.