Writing a Movie Script — Comparing the Screenplay Script to the Movie

Here are the things you need to be looking at while undertaking this endeavor to learn more about writing a movie script and comparing the original screenplay to the completed movie.

– Did the director change a lot of things from the final script, or cut them out altogether? If so, why do you think they did that? Understanding what makes it into a movie, or what doesn’t, and why, is crucial to being an effective screenwriter and fully understanding the process
– Is the setting used effectively? Whenever possible, you should try and have the setting be an “extra character” in your screenplay – this is particularly important for horror films, by the way, as the mood in those kinds of pieces is everything

– How does the writer introduce exposition throughout the screenplay? Is it written out in the action of the script (wrong way to go about it), shown visually (right way to go about it), or handled via dialogue (also an effective method, but don’t overuse it – a little goes a long way.)

– How do the descriptions look within the text? If the writer has done their job correctly, there won’t be a ton of it (unless it’s sci-fi, in which case we might be dealing with an entirely different world, so the extra description is necessary)

– Make notes of scenes or sequences that you like and then ask yourself what it is about them that you enjoy so much. Is there a particularly well shot action sequence that makes you hold your breath every time you watch it? If it’s a comedy, is there a moment of really witty repartee that makes you laugh out loud, no matter how many times you hear it?

– Conversely, make sure you take notes of the scenes that don’t work for you and why you feel that way about them. As a writer, certain things are naturally going to annoy you – personally, I can’t stand projects that are overly melodramatic or sitcoms that have no personality of their own – and it’s important that you take note of them to better understand yourself as a writer and to better understand writing a movie script.