Writing a science fiction script
Because its core element is the photography of real people, places, and things, cinema is essentially a realistic medium and viewers will always approach a movie using the real world as a frame of reference.
When hundreds of ideas are lobbed at readers and viewers in quick succession, the amount of time it take the audience to make sense of all of these new things will leave it very little time to focus on the story itself. Blade Runner Photo courtesy: Warner Bros.
Cue: Han and Leia smooching! Live long and prosper!
Writing fantasy screenplay
This can be a problem because it takes film viewers at least a few minutes to grasp a new an unfamiliar concept, which is why most successful sci-fi and fantasy films toss only a few such notions at the audience in the course of an entire movie. And Who are They? Like all genres there are some specific guides you need to follow and things you need to research. Therefore, when you are writing a fantasy script, make sure your premise hews fairly close to recognizable reality — include one amazingly fantastic concept in your premise, but not two or three or ten. This can lead to conflict between the leaders of the alien race who see this outsider as an abomination of the species who must be dealt with while the main protagonist might lose confidence in their loyalty after a failed mission. All that changed with the release of Star Wars in Nobody wants to tell a single story anymore — it seems that most fantasy or sf specs I receive are always part one of a trilogy or an ongoing series or a shared universe or whatever. How many can you think of that you could summarize in one sentence? Many writers of fantastic specs go overboard — telling their tales in many different settings dozens of different planets, castles, time periods, spacecraft, and so on that require hundreds of sets and thousands of extras to bring to life and crafting an overabundance of spectacular action sequences that will require millions of VFX manhours to generate. Because its core element is the photography of real people, places, and things, cinema is essentially a realistic medium and viewers will always approach a movie using the real world as a frame of reference. Too many writers of sci-fi and fantasy specs get carried away when describing the visual elements of their stories — the set design, costumes, props, visual effects, etc.
How many can you think of that you could summarize in one sentence? In other words, you have to strike a fine balance between the alien and the familiar.
Solid storytelling is still a must. It could be that they both wish to save the world, they just have a different idea of how to go about it. Remember, your job is to tell the story.
Be sure to include some humanity. The majority of films produced from the birth of the movies until the mids were comedies, dramas, and adventures about regular people or a reasonable facsimile set in the real world or a reasonable facsimile. However sci-fi and fantasy were never mainstream categories. Three recent genre films that did this very well were Ex Machina which took the stock element of a robot who wants to be human and gave it a sly twist by making the robot a sly seductress who uses her extraordinary wiles to outwit her maker and gain her freedom , Guardians of the Galaxy which dare to make space opera — which has grown rather gritty and grim in recent years — fun again and Mad Max: Fury Road which took the post-apocalyptic action subgenre pioneered by its predecessor Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, augmented and amplified it with some really brilliant worlds building and then gave the whole thing an unexpected feminist twist. Because its core element is the photography of real people, places, and things, cinema is essentially a realistic medium and viewers will always approach a movie using the real world as a frame of reference. I have no idea, and neither will anyone else unless the screenwriter explains what they are. One of the main reasons it works? You guessed it! Take Aliens, for instance. Blade Runner Photo courtesy: Warner Bros. The major studios dabbled in the two genres only occasionally, leaving the production of most fantastic films to low-budget producers whose product appealed primarily to niche audiences. They dazzle us with intriguing concepts, strange terrors and stunning visions of our future. Tweet We also offer a live, instructor-led online course.
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