What’s it all about?

Another gem from Jane Espenson’s blog.

Is there conflict in your spec script? Yes, of course there is. You might even have a scene of two people disagreeing, arguing, maybe even screaming and throwing punches. Great stuff. But here’s a little trick to make that scene even better:

Imagine that at some point in the scene, you are required to give one of the characters this line:

Fightin’ Guy
Oh my God. Is that what this is really about?

Don’t actually give them the line, just imagine that they had to say it. What would the “that” be?

Read the whole article.

Of course, it’s not just for arguments, try ‘this isn’t really about who can cook the best chili, is it?’.

Which brings me back to the other point about Atomic Spaghetti.  Scenes shouldn’t be about spaghetti, they should be about people (possibly cooking and/or eating spaghetti), and especially the relationships between people.  Another hallmark of an Atomic Spaghetti scene is the lack of a developed relationship between characters.

One of my favourite exercises  is ‘do an activity while talking about something different’ from Truth in Comedy.  For example, fixing a car while talking about the Korean War.  It gives scenes so much more depth, and so much more room for forging connections.

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