action, Combining genres, dramedy, horror, HOT FUZZ, KNIVES OUT, THE GREAT, THE SIXTH SENSE, thriller -

In this article, I want to talk about genre. I believe it’s commonly overlooked by new writers and often leads to scripts that aren’t commercially viable, and even if they have a strong concept or story, they aren’t executed in a way that makes it easy to sell, or even digest as a reader. Moreover, new writers tend to write scripts that combine genres in a way that makes their story miss both. Combing genres is VERY HARD TO DO, but we will also look at examples of how they are done well. To start, does your script easily fit...

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Ana De Armas, Blake Snyder, Character Arc, KNIVES OUT, Opening/Closing Image, Rian Johnson, Screenwriting Device, Thrillers -

KNIVES OUT uses the old screenwriting device of the opening and closing image, something that screenwriting guru Blake Snyder was a big proponent of. It’s such a familiar device that, in the wrong hands, it risks being clichéd. In KNIVES OUT, in Rian Johnson’s screenplay, this often-used screenwriting device is incredibly effective. As this post details the ending of KNIVES OUT, don’t keep reading if you haven’t seen it. This is your SPOILER ALERT. Why is the opening/closing image so powerful in KNIVES OUT? The script opens with an image of a coffee cup that reads, “My house, my rules,...

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BRICK, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, KNIVES OUT, LOOPER, Our Favorite Screenwriters, Rian Johnson, THE LAST JEDI -

Because Rian Johnson also directs his films, it’s easy to forget he writes them. Johnson has established himself as not just a top director, but a master screenwriter as well. With early raves coming in for his next film, KNIVES OUT (currently at 98% on RottenTomatoes), let’s take a look at Johnson’s remarkable output.  In the book, The Film That Changed My Life, Rian identifies ANNIE HALL as a major inspiration because it broke so many rules of narrative. This statement is telling when considering all his work.  Rian shot out of the gate with his debut feature, BRICK. This...

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