Friday, July 5, 2013

10 Screenwriting Tips from Billy Wilder

These tips come courtesy of the film and theatre industry forum blog, Stage 32. These apply just as well to witing novels as they do to writing movies.

SCREENWRITING – 10 Tips From The Great Billy Wilder

  1. The audience is fickle.
  2. Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go.
  3. Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.
  4. Know where you’re going.
  5. The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.
  6. If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.
  7. A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.
  8. In doing voice-overs [introspection], be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.
  9. The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.
  10. The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then—that’s it. Don’t hang around.
And a final tip from the Raindance Film Festival:

Nothing glues you to the screen more than a good story. If the story is there, does one really care about the budget of the film?

If the story is there, the reader will hardly notice the writing!

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