Peter Langmead's Blog
Film Director, Screenwriter, Composer, Steadicam operator, Social Documentary Photographer. My latest film is The Borderline, released on December 4, 2019.
Writing Film Scripts 5: Starting to Write
So, what have we got in the first four chapters of Pride and Prejudice? Chapters one and two, the beginning and end of three, and four are inside the Bennett’s house, which we will call INT. BENNET’S HOUSE - DAY for now. There is dancing at the INT. ASSEMBLY – NIGHT in chapter three. In chapter four, Jane and Elizabeth discuss Mr Bingley and his sisters, and dancing at the Assembly, and we also hear backstory through Jane Austen’s clever device of extending Jane Bennett’s monologue, so, the Assembly is more important than one-and-a-half pages in chapter three.
First, social events were clearly important in those days anyway; second, they were relatively more important for meeting eligible men and women; third, they were breeding grounds for all social discourse, news and gossip; fourth they are potential highlights in the film. You needed to have thought about the relative importance of the Assembly in the context of scenes and note dancing is a highpoint, lots of movement and music.
I hope you really did try to write those scenes yourself because, now, find the same material in Pride and Prejudice (2005), Joe Wright’s film, and write the scenes as you see them, complete with scene headings, action statements and dialogue. In dialogue, you can put comments in parentheses, (looks at Lizzy), short, lower case, no punctuation.
I am going to use one of these later, but, other than contemporary writers, there is a rich vein of comics that have led to productions of Batman, The Avengers and so on. The concept of storyboards evolved in Walt Disney studios in the 1930s, around the same time as the popular acceptance of comics in the US and UK. (Comics evolved earlier in Japan, as did cartoons in UK, in the 18th century). It is easy to see the connection between comics and storyboards, so their extension to films is unsurprising; but they still need scripts.
Unscripted programming is produced by radio and television stations around the world. They have strong formats and expensive presenters; they are fast and often live, and lively, productions. Some presenters are brilliant, and audiences get F-bombs and a raft of contentious, uninformed, unqualified and populist nonsense from politicians and activists alike. Great! But they do not need scripts per se.
There is no reason why your version should be like Joe Wright’s, but why are they different? And what about colour, music, sound, dress, dancing? You guide that too. You can find the original script to Pride and Prejudice (2005) here; so, you can now compare your version with the film version and the script from the Deborah Moggach. You might like to read about Deborah. Is she you?
P.S. Please have a look at my website here, for all sorts of interesting things about my film productions, operas and books on social photography. Remember, if there is no spit on the lens, you are not close enough - I do not know who said that but it is true. Write to me if you have a question.
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