Tag Archive - Movie Directing

Calling the Shots in Screenplays

I love reading through older screenplays. Decades ago, it was the screenwriter’s job to delineate every single shot in a scene, as you can see from the example of The Birds, below, which essentially meant writers had to think like directors and pay close attention to the technical aspects of a script’s structure while trying to write a moving masterpiece. What a tedious way to construct a screenplay! On one hand, the requirements of the structure took away from the creativity of writing the story (I’m thinking it must have). On the other hand, by calling all the shots (literally), a writer took all the creativity away from the director, who was no longer really directing but obeying.  Continue Reading…

Time to Put On a New Hat

Now that we’ve dived into the concept of cinematic technique with a general overview, we’re going to take a look at some of the “hats” novelists need to wear when adapting film technique to their fiction writing. Writing with cinematic flair requires us to be not just writers but also directors. So take off your writer hat for a minute and put on a director one—you know, that sun visor you see the director wear as he’s looking through the camera eyepiece on the outdoor set of the big studio lot as he thinks how he’s going to shoot the next scene.

Have you ever watched a behind-the-scenes look at how a movie is being filmed, or a TV series? I love watching and listening to Peter Jackson in his many videos detailing the filming of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit feature films. Jackson does a wonderful job showing the kinds of decisions he has to make as he ponders the shooting of a scene in order to get across the impact, mood, details, and key moments he desires in the final cut. Continue Reading…