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What about Screenplay examples?

Updated on December 30, 2015

Should we use the examples of screenplays?

As in every art and science to observe the work that others do is always a good way to learn for evaluating and improve the own job. Therefore, studying examples of screenplays is a way to peek into other's work for comparison against ours, and so we can enrich our learning, polishing the technique, and even correct or avoid mistakes, and getting clues to write scripts correctly and with original ideas. However, it is also important to remember that sometimes if the example is not adequate or if not checked carefully, use this learning tool may be more detrimental than beneficial.

What kind of screenplay should we use as examples?

There is no written rule about the kind of screenplays which may be appropriate and which not. A guide might be to check those screenplays that we already know they have had any success in the film industry. Obviously, we will have to be aware with that may be possible that we are unable to get this kind of screenplays on one hand. On the contrary, the trade approach may be, not the best and not the only one to judge the quality of a screenplay. Specifically for newbies in the film industry, knowing what has proved attractive or appealing to a producer, director or executive in a screenplay to take it to the screen can be a valuable learning. In another case, the people with little experience for reviewing a screenplay example should get the advice of someone with authority on the subject to recommend the revision of particular samples. Surely, the internet is full of examples of movie scripts available to the highest bidder. However, a lot of them do not have the quality required to take them into account for reading, much less as examples.

How to study an example of a screenplay?

The way of revising a screenplay sample preparation depends on the interest, style, and expertise of each, however, there are some elements that should emphasize in this activity: 1) Is the story comprehensible from start to end or shows incomprehensible, obscure, ambiguous and confusing parts? Which parts are they? Can you identify the weak points? 2) Are the different characters well integrated into the whole work? Are there characters whose participation is out of place or decreased, or conversely more predominant than what is required? 3) The actions and dialogue are consistent with history in general and with the participation of each character? 4) the number of scenes and their structure favors the pace of the whole work or otherwise affects its rhythm? 4) The location and epoch are the most appropriate for the story and characters? 5) What elements would you add? What would you suppress? What would you change? Some people use an example of a screenplay to check out how the author has followed all the indications of a standard format; this is perhaps the least of the elements of genuine interest that should motivate the review, especially considering that there is software available for doing the job automatically.

What not to do with an example of a screenplay?

It is advisable not to begin to criticize without reading and understanding the whole work. It sometimes happens that appears later that we thought the author had not included, and it was clear that was required. Similarly, it is also advisable to avoid getting too excited about every single detail without having the "big picture", in other words, the full pace of the work, because an author too perfectionist can elaborate too much on details that produce a hard, incomplete or unbalanced work. Do not try to copy patterns or structures from the dialogue, the relationship between the characters, the location, and time, or individual characters with actions, and so on. Each work is different and what worked for a splendidly original screenplay can be a disaster for another if you insert a type of pattern that is discordant with the style of a particular writer. As mentioned above, don't waste too much time in revising the screenplay format. And of course, for any reason don't copy any sentence literally despite marvelous adaptation you can glimpse to your work.

The Godfather Screenplay

A great example to learn from it
A great example to learn from it | Source

Using screenplay examples

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Script to Screen Film Examples

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: Thanks!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Interesting look into screenplays.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I like Cameron for simple structure, character development and female protagonists.


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