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London video production company screen writing
London video production companies such as Nostairway Creative know that it is vital to follow certain rules in screenwriting. Screenwriting is an important aspect of a production because it drives the film forward.

What does screen writing do in London video production companies?

Screen writing creates a purpose for the production. Think about when you watch something captivating. You consider a variety of aspects and evokes questions. For example, Broadchurch is a TV show that has amazing screen writing. Broadchurch is a British crime drama that follows dual storylines that all connect to the same boy who was killed. The storylines aren’t just short clips of characters, the clips follow everything from their everyday lives to strange behaviour. All aspects of these characters evoke the audience to choose which person committed the murder, why? how? Who’s an accomplice?

Click here to watch the trailer for Broadchurch 


Rules for screenwriting

Everything has to connect – connecting everything in screen writing is essential in TV and Film. For example, if a character was wearing a black t-shirt in the first scene and then in the fifth scene he is wearing a red t-shirt, then by the sixth scene he wasn’t wearing a t-shirt, that would confuse the audience. Whether its costume, set, props, location consistency has to be maintained for the message to be portrayed clearly. London video production companies such as Nostairway creative are very skilled at making sure consistency in their film making is key. This is a classic example of a continuity mistake.

Click here to learn about continuity in film making

Dramatic order is the most important thing – chronological, logical and psychological order doesn’t really matter. In video production the driving force is dramatic order/dramatic structure. It is all about getting the audience hooked. Once this happens, the audience will figure it out.

For example, I got hooked pretty much straight away whilst watching the 2016 film Split because at the start of the film three girls were kidnapped. I was very curious about the film because of the sudden abduction. The main protagonist (played by James McAvoy) has dissociative identity disorder. I immediately started to figure out what illness the characters have because his body chemistry changes each time he enters the room where the girls are trapped. Around thirty minutes in, I had figured out that the characters had more than five different personalities. Once I was immersed in the film, the order didn’t matter to me.  

Click here to watch the trailer for Split

Dramatic structure is basically a plan for how the film is going to pan out. The plot structure is a three act structure:

First act – starts with exposition. This is where the world of the story is established to the audience – location and setting. The main characters world is also established in the first act. An incident for the main action of the film will happen and will slowly unravel for act two.

Second act – this act defines the problem and ascends into the rising action. The main character will start to raise the stakes for their journey. For example, the character will start to reveal the danger they will face. In act two there will be a midpoint where the audience will see that the character will be deeply absorbed in the mission they have embarked on. At the end of act two, there will be a turning point that will stop the action in its tracks. For example, the character may get wounded and will have to find get medical attention or patch themselves up. This will stop the action and portray the character as weak, as if they are failing. The term for this is sometimes called “dark night of the soul”.

Third act – starts off with a pre-climax. This is all events leading up to the climax where the main protagonist has to either conquer or die. The main protagonist has got back on track at this point and is ready to face their enemy which will lead to us into climax. For example, the character may hold their enemy captive and possibly torture them which could lead to death. After the climax, the film will descend into the finale where normal life comes back into play

The main character is the audience – London video production companies always have to consider an important aspect in film, evoking emotion from the audience. Achieving any response is what makes a great director because the audience is waiting for something to spark curiosity and emotion.

For example, Friday the 13th is classic horror. This film is set in a camp site called Crystal Lake. This place is rumoured to be cursed and several mass murders have taken place here. If we think about character logic, you might ask why do people go camping there? Why would they put themselves in danger? Before the killer slashes his victims, they go wondering in the dark forest where people have died before. Prior to the slashing, the film pauses to give the audience a moment to catch up with wants happened so far. You might ask why did they go wondering in a dark forest? Why didn’t they just leave when that one character said this is a bad idea?

A person who doesn’t understand that the audience are the most important characters would have chosen location that isn’t cursed, that won’t put the characters in danger, that wouldn’t let the characters walk through a dark forest and would have got the characters to turn back which would result in no film being created. “Everything that a good director does is based on the audience, not based on the characters” – Dr ken Atchity.

The 3-minute rule – Dr Connie Shears talks about how the audience should have a break from tension every three minutes to minimise something known as saccade – rapid eye movements. “The audience needs interactive breaks so that there is a release and then a reengagement in the tension and conflict” – Dr Connie Shears. I notice that certain movies push the boundaries with this rule. For example, in the film King Kong the scene between the ape and the three V-rex dinosaurs was nearly seven minutes. The tension was present throughout this scene.

Click here to watch the fighting scene in King Kong

The script format – this is one of the most basic rules when it comes to screen writing. Script format originates from the birth of cinema and theatre. There are six aspects to a screen writing script:

  1. The heading for the scene
  2. Action (sets the scene)
  3. Character names
  4. Parentheticals
  5. Dialogue for the characters
  6. Transitions

These elements are essential for screen writing. A script has all of the action, direction, plot, dialogue, it is basically the whole story.