Here is how a screenwriter should watch a movie

As an upcoming or professional screenwriter, if any one tells you that you have to watch a movie like ten times before you can assimilate it, and then write a screenplay which is as good as that of the movie, you would rebuke him. But, I don't care how you may react if I tell you this is absolutely true.
There are different components of a movie and until you master those components, you may end up not having a wonderful script.

The components are;

  1. Number of scenes
  2. Kinds of characters
  3. Dialogues
  4. Scene settings
  5. Story structure
  6. Plot
  7. Genre
  8. Actions
  9. Movie

Almost everybody emulates good work. Script-writers do too.
Nobody is born a screenwriter; they only develop themselves to be one. Developing oneself means learning the art of screenwriting. Learning this art can be through direct lectures or through personal exposures.
Personal exposures can be through reading already made scripts, attending drama shows and watching movies.
Watching movies is one of the best personal exposures one can use to develop and truly learn the art of screenwriting. Movies are of course from screenplays. Movies, not only adding to more knowledge about screenplays through its mobile, visual and non audio interpretive actions (Computer generated actions); they also go a long way in interpreting thoroughly, the elements of a screenplay. These elements of a screenplay which make up the components of a movie are the key ingredients needed in a typical screenplay.
A movie is the end product of a screenplay. Watching a movie is like reading, studying and learning how to write a screenplay.
As mentioned earlier, a screenplay has many elements which are well interpreted and represented in the components of the movie.
The quest by a screenwriter to write a screenplay which is as good as that of the movie should be backed up by a determination to study the components of that movie.
The components of a movie are many and it may not be possible to learn them just by watching the movie once. An avid screenwriter should watch the movie as many times as the number of its components.

As listed above, the least number of the components of a movie is nine.

  • Number of scenes
The number of scenes in a movie evaluates the length of the screenplay. This relates directly to the time the film from the screenplay will take up.
This can help a screenwriter in writing seasonal movies as there is an average number of scenes that will feature in a single episode. It's usually thirty five scenes. The writer should equally monitor the time it will take for the average number of scenes to feature in the single episode. This is necessary because there are long scenes, and there are short scenes as well.

  • Kinds of characters
The thorough mastering of the kind of characters in a movie is very important as it helps a screenwriter in casting for his screenplay. It helps him give roles to the characters he has created. It helps to place the characters appropriately in every bit of the plot of his story.

  • Dialogues
Dialogue is the life of a movie. It is the interaction between and among the characters which drives the movie successfully. It is just the exact dialogue in the writer's screenplay.
There are many things about dialogue. It is not just the words said by the characters. It is the words that precede, compliment, follow and describe actions of the characters. It is interactive and engaging.
The dialogue from the movie the writer is watching is the insight which he needs to create quality and mature dialogue for his screenplay. He should study the manner, pace, pulse and rate at which the characters voice the dialogues. The dialogue is the heart of his screenplay which pumps the 'blood' to the rest of the elements of the screenplay in order to give it the life it needs.

  • Scene settings
The several scenes of a movie are painted with 'colors' that describe the activities and actions that will take place in it.
These 'colors' include the arrangement of the objects found in the scene, the lightening system, the costumes, the houses and the environment.
A screenwriter who takes note of all of the above mentioned can create a good scene in his screenplay.
Knowing fully the distances in the setting of the scene characters have to move in order to perform an action, the type of costumes they will use, the kind of environment they are in and the kinds of objects they will use in performing the actions will help the writer to create very dramatic scenes for his screenplay. It will help him to know when to write short or long dialogues, bearing in mind the distance between the characters' original position and the position at which they will exert their actions.
Timing and spacing in the distance between one point of the scene to the other matter so much. The scene setting from a movie will help the writer a great deal.

  • Story structure
This is another important aspect when it comes to writing screenplays. Story structure is the organized story ideas which convey the overall message of the story. The story structure of a movie is the entire message about and from that movie.
The careful study of the story structure of a movie will go a long way in giving the screen writer the required initiative to knit his ideas together to form a good story for his screenplay.

  • Plot
Plot is the arrangement of the story. It is related to the story structure. The study of the plot of a movie will aid the screenwriter to wonderfully organize his story for his screenplay.

  • Genre
A screen writer should study the genre of the movie.
We have these genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Rom-Com, Drama, Family, Animated, Period, Historical, War, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Thriller, Horror.
This study will help him in taking note of the characters, dialogues, scenes, story, action and other elements that fit a particular genre of the screenplay he is writing.

  • Actions
Learning the processes taken by the characters in the movie to perform an action will help the writer to write thrilling actions that will entice his audience.
Actions are the 'backbone' of a screenplay. Without actions, what is then a screenplay? Action makes a screenplay readable. Action is the mobility of the screenplay. Action is the visuals of the screenplay. Action is the reason it is called a screenplay.
A writer should be able to write the actions in his screenplay in such a way it will be pulsing with waves of excitement to the reader, not to talk of the audience who will be seeing it after it may have been produced into a movie.

  • Movie
This is the whole of the produced movie. It includes the features of the production credits. It is the summary of everything about the movie.
If the writer can study this, then he is good to go in picking up his pen and start writing a screenplay.

There is an important thing a screenwriter should know. It is in line with the fact that a screenwriter should watch a movie at least nine times.
The human body system is designed in such a way that the brain functions with one particular organ at a time.
The mind centers on one thing at a time. If it's moving in one direction, it would not want to be interfered by another direction.
If the mind is focused on counting the number of scenes in a movie, it wouldn't want to be disturbed by the dialogues.
If you are busy studying the characters, it will be hard for you to also study the plot.
If you are busy studying the actions, it will be hard for you to also study the scene settings.
If you are studying the story structure, you will not be able to also study the dialogues.
What you are made to understand is that biology supports you watching a movie at least nine times in order to learn everything about it.


Consult the author of this update,  Winston Oge 'Winny Greazy' to teach you more on every topic or sub topic herein.

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