Online_Lecture_Screenwriting_1_Week_3 - UCLA Extension -...

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UCLA Extension - Screenwriting 1 L. Saber ORGANIZATION (Week 3 Lecture) We’ve discussed the Three Act Structure and went over some aspects of character development and premise, but now it’s time to dig into organizing your thoughts and get you on your way to writing your screenplay. Think of your story as crossing a river. You have to get from one side of the river to the other and the object is to get over the rapids that stand between the starting and finishing points. So let’s think logically. What would you need to cross the river? Before anyone gets any wise ideas and says a helicopter or a boat, or pull off an Tarzan act, let me just stop you there and tell you that what you need is a bridge, right? In order to build this bridge you need a few solid pillars at your starting point, somewhere in the middle of the river and at the finish line. Are you getting the visual of this analogy? The EXPOSITION will be your first solid pillar as you start out on this journey. The exposition is the section where you introduce your audience to your central character. It is in this section that you create scenes that will best describe your character’s life, their quirks, maybe even elements of their lives, such as job, family, a friend or a neighbor. But make sure that you use all these elements to strengthen your position of your character. To act as vehicles in fleshing out your character. This is not the place to develop the character of the butcher down the street where your protagonist occasionally gets his fine cuts. In “Pretty Woman,” the writer, J.F. Lawton, decided to voice his statement in the beginning as one character crosses Hollywood Blvd asking “What is your dream?” That’s perfect. We (the audience) don’t know yet how significant that statement is, but it will make perfect sense throughout the movie when we realize that Julia Robert’s character has a dream – to go to college and be successful. Her problem is that she’s poor and a prostitute. Enter Richard Gere’s character and he really doesn’t have a dream. As a matter of fact he doesn’t do much except make money of other people’s misfortune. He buys bankrupt corporations and sells their assets piece by piece. Failed relationships, afraid of heights (which will pay off later when he has to climb up the stairs to win her over again) and needless to say he’s a flawed character.
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UCLA Extension - Screenwriting 1 L. Saber My point is that within the first act of the movie we get the lives of these people and understand how screwed up their lives are. Although they have screwed up lives, everything is normal to them – nothing out of the ordinary until they meat each other and turn each other’s worlds upside down. Seeing Julia Robert’s character struggle to pay the rent, walking the
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This note was uploaded on 12/23/2011 for the course EXTEN SCNWRT at UCLA.

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Online_Lecture_Screenwriting_1_Week_3 - UCLA Extension -...

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