scene work RSS

catharsis, emotionally satisfying, GLADIATOR, great movies, great scenes, micro details, One Great Scene, scene work -

In this series of articles, we’re going to do a deep-dive on one knockout scene from a great movie. Today’s movie is GLADIATOR. The scene is when Russell Crowe’s Maximus reveals himself to Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus (here’s a link to the scene as a refresher: The scene starts with Maximus stashing an arrowhead in his hand. Commodus confronts Maximus in the Colosseum. Commodus praises Maximus and asks him his name. Maximus says his name is Gladiator and turns his back on Commodus. Commodus, offended, addresses Maximus as “slave” and demands he take off his helmet and tell him his...

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great movies, great scenes, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Matt Damon, One Great Scene, scene work, THE DEPARTED -

In this series of articles, we’re going to do a deep-dive on one knockout scene from a great movie. Today’s movie is THE DEPARTED. The scene is when Leonardo DiCaprio’s character interviews to join the police force. Here’s a link to the scene as a refresher ( The scene is really about Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg recruiting DiCaprio to become an undercover cop. But they never say that out loud, throughout the entire scene. Matt Damon’s character interviews first, quickly. Dignam and Queenan speak to him briefly. Things are markedly different when DiCaprio’s character enters. Wahlberg asks about DiCaprio’s...

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rewriting, scene work, screenplay, screenwriting, storytelling -

Rewriting is writing. Nothing reinforces this more than seeing how many drafts it takes to move a feature from first draft to produced film. For this example, we’re going to use a project written by one of our ScriptArsenal readers. This was a low budget film, which means that in this case, the amount of drafts is likely lower than what you might see in a higher budget film. In this case, the writer was hired and wrote several drafts, adapting a novel, for a production company. After three drafts, the production company took the script and partnered up with...

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on set, scene work, screenwriting, screenwriting tips -

As a screenwriter there isn’t anything more exciting than going on set of a film you wrote. It’s like a projection screen realizing your consciousness. You walk past the trailers, craft services, and then notice the giant penguin you wrote exists. Some poor prop department member had to go build a giant penguin, just because, drunk in the wee hours of the morning, you typed “giant penguin.” The excitement lasts until you sit and watch the first scene filmed. But this is also where the most valuable lesson from being on set comes into play. The truth is that being...

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clear writing, inspiration, scene work, screenwriting, storytelling -

There’s an old truism that having written is greater than writing, and it’s true. Having a completed script is a great feeling. Having to write that script is a terrible feeling. While writers vary on how much they enjoy the physical process of writing, many writers agree that the actual writing part is the least fun element of the process. Part of the reason writing can be so laborious is because, the longer someone writes screenplays, the more items come across their mental checklist with each scene. In any given scene, you may ask yourself… Am I advancing the story?...

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