Broader idea, DARK CITY, ROBOCOP, Theme, TOY STORY -

If the hook/A-story gives us the “what the movie is about,” theme is “what the movie is about besides the plot.” It’s the exploration of a broader idea. This broader idea is the thematic statement. The thematic statement is to theme what the logline is to the A-story; a concise summation that solidifies what the story is trying to “do,” and acts as a guide through both the writing of the script and the shooting of the movie. Not every script needs to be driven by a theme. There is room in the world for kiss-kiss-bang-bang popcorn. But cinema is...

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GROUNDHOG'S DAY, NOMADLAND, protagonist's journey, ROBOCOP, set-up, setting, THE FLORIDA PROJECT, THE MATRIX, thematic statement, TRUMAN SHOW -

Recently, I was working on a script rewrite. Most of the notes I had gotten were fairly straightforward, and I thought turning it around would take perhaps a week at most. But then I realized… wait, we’ve never figured out our themes; the script doesn’t yet have a clear thematic statement. This is really basic, foundational stuff, and it didn’t occur to me until late in the development process. That’s because it’s very easy to get caught up in the spinning gears of plot and character. But the themes are just as important, because this is the true “what this...

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