14 June 2011

A new kind of script

Movies always belonged to one man — the director — and early movie-makers like Griffith and Chaplin knew it. Then along came talking pictures. Words are something else again, and they frightened the boys who didn’t know many, so they brought out good writers like Faulkner and Fitzgerald. But such people can’t and don’t take, or even understand, fiddling and mangling, and so they were lost or went away. Right then and there it should have been obvious that a new method had to be found…Why not a new kind of script? A kind of outline of action, the sequences in order, the characters loosely defined, the end in view. Beyond that — and that, of course, is a great deal — you would write only the first few lines of each scene, leaving the rest to be improvised, going loose with what is there, or throwing it out if something better came along…That’s the kind of script I’d like to try someday.
- Lillian Helman 


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