Menu

Category: Craft

Welcome to our archives, containing blogs, guides and eBooks exclusive to Industrial Scripts.

Want us to email you a giant pack of epic free resources? Just click the button below!

arrow
Riverdale - teenage characters
All Articles

OPINION: Crafting Convincing Teenage Characters

A major problem with crafting convincing children and teenage characters is that as we grow up it’s too easy to forget what it’s like to be young. Whether a project is aimed at children, teens, adults, or a range of ages, badly written young people stand out. The result is that

Read More »
Manchester by the Sea, flashbacks
All Articles

OPINION: Flashbacks and the (Rare) Stories that Need Them

One of the major exceptions to the oft-repeated “show, don’t tell” screenwriting rule is the equally common received wisdom that screenplays should avoid using flashbacks. The criticisms are familiar from scores of screenwriting books. They weaken the dramatic tension, breaking up the momentum of the story to show the audience things

Read More »
Ricky Baker, Hunt for the Wilderpeople
All Articles

Character Reveal: Ricky Baker (Hunt For The Wilderpeople)

In this series we look at scenes and moments where a film or TV show has revealed a great deal of character information in a short amount of screen time. In this instalment, we focus on Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) from the coming of age film HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE.

Read More »
godfather part 2 featured
All Articles

The Genius, Multi-Conflict Opening of THE GODFATHER PART 2

There are, broadly speaking, two ways to convey conflict: implicitly and explicitly. The former involves illustrating some kind of dissonance through setting, silence, the way one character looks at another. The latter involves someone saying ‘I hate you’, punching, or a deliberate explosion. THE GODFATHER PART 2 is rich in

Read More »
John McClane Die Hard
All Articles

GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS: John McClane

In this series we look at scenes and moments where a film or TV show has revealed a great deal of character information in a compressed amount of screen time. In this instalment we focus on John McClane (Bruce Willis) from DIE HARD. DIE HARD is the quintessential, archetypal modern action

Read More »
Boogie Nights
All Articles

10 Screenwriting Lessons We Can Learn from…BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997)

Like much of Paul Thomas Anderson’s work, the BOOGIE NIGHTS screenplay has an odd structure, divergent POV and a hefty length, yet every page of it is full of worthwhile lessons for screenwriters. Here are ten: Conflict doesn’t need to be constant Conflict is often billed as screenwriting currency: you’re

Read More »
write omnisciently featured
All Articles

Should Screenwriters Write “Omnisciently”?

To write omnisciently as a screenwriter often entails, for better or worse, including elements that may never show up onscreen: jokes in descriptions or insights into characters’ thoughts and histories that only a reader will ever truly experience and appreciate. This statement is unlikely to surprise anyone sentient, but film

Read More »
screenwriting lessons featured
All Articles

10 Screenwriting Lessons From ANGEL HEART (1987)

ANGEL HEART Alan Parker’s ANGEL HEART is an odd blend of genres, taking noir, psychological thriller and horror to a three-way shotgun wedding. The screenwriting lessons it can teach us are similarly diverse. The basic plot is this: a private detective named Harry Angel is hired by the mysterious Louis

Read More »
thriller screenplays primer
All Articles

10 Thriller Screenplays You Should Read

Thriller Screenplay Power As a genre, ‘thriller’ tends to gently caress several others, namely horror, sci-fi, and drama. As such, thriller screenplays provide a goldmine of various narrative and structural techniques. These may well be films you’ve seen; it’s just that some of them might not have left you desperate

Read More »
second act subplot listen up philip
All Articles

Why Screenwriters Should Consider a Second Act Subplot

While first and third acts pose their own challenges, it’s in the weeds of the second act that many scripts (and movies for that matter) go astray. Introducing a second act subplot can be a strong solution, if executed well. The Challenge of the Second Act Alexander Mackendrick, the director

Read More »
Annie Wilkes in Misery
All Articles

GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS: Annie Wilkes

In this series we look at scenes and moments where a film or TV show has revealed a great deal of character information in a short amount of screen time. This installment focuses on Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) from MISERY. MISERY saw legendary screenwriter William Goldman adapting a Stephen King

Read More »
screenwriting contests scripts
All Articles

10 Script Notes You May Choose to Ignore…

Whilst advocating the deflection of script notes may be a strange thing for a dedicated script consultancy to do, the truth is that there is a great deal of bad advice handed out by script consultants at the murkier end of the industry (read also: “11 Reasons for the High

Read More »
minor characters arc
All Articles

10 Minor Characters Who Still Have a Great ARC

One facet of screenwriting which causes writers enormous headaches is conveying a lot with a little. Studying great minor characters is one way of learning this kind of efficiency. Minor Characters To Finer Characters The best minor characters can be just as rich as main characters. Ideally they should feel like they

Read More »
Jim Donovan in Bridge of Spies
All Articles

GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS: Jim Donovan (BRIDGE OF SPIES)

In this series we look at scenes and moments where a film or TV show has revealed a great deal of character information in a short amount of screen time. In this installment, we focus on how BRIDGE OF SPIES introduces Jim Donovan (Tom Hanks). Steven Spielberg directs, from a screenplay

Read More »
unresolved plot thread inception totem
All Articles

Unresolved Plot Threads: Magic or Madness?

Endings are crucial. The feeling an ending gives an audience is the feeling they leave the cinema with. It’s the feeling that will colour their perception of their whole experience and the whole film. How do unresolved plot threads make an audience feel? Often, creating a satisfying ending means tying

Read More »
screenwriting commandments
All Articles

10 Commandments of the Accountable Screenwriter (Download)

There are two kinds of rugby player”, the legendary Scottish coach Jim Telfer told his players, “there are the honest ones, and there’s the rest. The honest player gets up in the morning and looks himself in the mirror and sets his standard, sets his stall out, and says: “I’m going

Read More »
low stakes in The Big Lebowski
All Articles

10 Films That Make You Invested in The Protagonist’s Goal

In 9/10 cases the protagonist is the driving force of a successful film narrative. We invest in their story because we identify with their goal and become invested in it; but some goals are more easily conveyed than others. Convincing an audience to root for a character fighting an evil

Read More »
Kate Mercer (Charlotte Rampling) in 45 Years
All Articles

GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS: Kate Mercer

In this series we look at scenes and moments where a film or TV show has revealed a great deal of character information in a compressed amount of screen time. Writer-director Andrew Haigh followed up his acclaimed film WEEKEND and HBO show LOOKING with 45 YEARS, which he adapted from a short

Read More »
Anachronisms in the Alex Cox film Walker
All Articles

OPINION: Screenplay Anachronisms Can Bring the Past to Life

Films that are set in the past are often judged for their authenticity. The “goofs” section of IMDb is overrun with anachronisms: this porcelain wasn’t made until six years later; or this character shouldn’t have shaved underarms. However, anachronisms can actually be useful for bringing the past to life. It’s hard for an audience

Read More »
25 Francis Ford Coppola Quotes
All Articles

25 Francis Ford Coppola Quotes For Writers & Filmmakers

Francis Ford Coppola Francis Ford Coppola is one of the greatest writer-directors to come out of the so-called “New Hollywood” wave of filmmaking, having made THE GODFATHER, THE GODFATHER PART II, THE CONVERSATION, and APOCALYPSE NOW all before reaching the age of 40. Nowadays, largely satisfied with his Hollywood filmography,

Read More »
avoid cliche
All Articles

How to Write “Mythically” but Avoid Cliche – PDF Guide

Writing mythically with cliché is relatively easy: watch a couple of films, read a couple of books then regurgitate the obvious stuff: quasi-religious story world, the quest, the mentor, initiation, testing, the final battle, rebirth etc. Writing mythically without cliché, by contrast, is not easy at all… In the 3rd

Read More »
James Cameron Quotes
All Articles

20 Great James Cameron Quotes on Storytelling

20 Great James Cameron Quotes on Storytelling With a filmography that boasts the likes of THE TERMINATOR, ALIENS, and THE ABYSS, James Cameron is undoubtedly one of the finest genre filmmakers and storytellers the film industry has ever seen. “There are many talented people who haven’t fulfilled their dreams because

Read More »
no country
All Articles

10 Almost-Great Screenplays

An almost-great screenplay can be more frustrating than a really bad one. The potential is strong and the execution is almost there, but something went wrong at the final hurdle. Of course, it’s easy to pick out flaws in retrospect or to credit (or blame) the writer for something that

Read More »
inciting incidents the goonies
All Articles

15 Genius Inciting Incidents by Screenwriters

15 Genius Inciting Incidents by Screenwriters You’ve created a fully developed character or series of characters and are now pondering their motivation through the narrative you’ve started to develop. Inciting incidents come in all shapes and sizes, so you should try to think of something clever, inspirational or at least interesting

Read More »
The Insider Interviews: Michael Kuhn
All Articles

The Insider Interviews: Michael Kuhn

THE INSIDER INTERVIEWS: MICHAEL KUHN The Insider Interviews series started in 2010 as a set of recorded interviews, featuring the likes of Tom Hiddleston, Gareth Unwin, who produced THE KING’S SPEECH, Ben Wheatley and Hossein Amini, the Oscar-nominated writer of DRIVE and THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY. You can watch these here. The Insider Interviews now exist as live monthly events in central

Read More »
Great Ingmar Bergman Quotes
All Articles

20 Great Ingmar Bergman Quotes on Storytelling

One of the most influential auteurs of all time, Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born in Sweden and worked as a director, producer and writer across and theatre and screen. He directed over sixty films and documentaries, most of which he also wrote, and directed 170 plays. His most well-known films

Read More »
mid film plot twist john doe surrenders
All Articles

10 Classic Mid-Film Plot Twists by Screenwriters

10 Great Mid-Film Plot Twists by Screenwriters Too often when watching a film, especially for those of us who have seen many of them, you can read where the story is going and predict what is going to happen onscreen prematurely. However, those screenwriters in pursuit of something that will

Read More »
Ned, supporting character, Groundhog Day
All Articles

OPINION: Support Your Supporting Characters

While it’s true that the star system is not what it once was, actors can still have tremendous power. Many actors have their own production companies, partly as a route for finding interesting material off the beaten path of Hollywood. Look down Plan B Entertainment’s list of projects and imagine how many would have been

Read More »
Charlize Theron in Young Adult
All Articles

GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS: Young Adult

In this series we look at scenes and moments where a film or TV show has revealed a great deal of character information in a short amount of screen time. Screenwriter Diabo Cody and director Jason Reitman first collaborated on the smash hit JUNO. In 2011 they re-teamed for the indie dramedy

Read More »
taken liam neeson 750 x 400
All Articles

In Screenwriting terms, what is ‘tracking’?

In screenwriting terms, ‘tracking’ refers to being able to follow or ‘track’ the logic of a premise smoothly. The moment the audience starts to think that the story does not make sense – that the logic of the premise being presented to them doesn’t “track” – their oh-so-fragile suspension of

Read More »
Secondary Characters in THE BIG LEBOWSKI
All Articles

10 Classic Secondary Characters in THE BIG LEBOWSKI

The Coen Brothers‘ ability to create amazing, ultra-memorable secondary characters with only a few lines of writing  is something that all screenwriters can learn from. Consider the giant sea of utterly forgettable characters you’ve seen on-screen in your lifetime. Characters that had pages and pages and pages devoted to them,

Read More »
Tallahassee has a drink in Zombieland
All Articles

GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS: Tallahassee

In this series we look at scenes and moments where a film or TV show has revealed a great deal of character information in a short amount of screen time. ZOMBIELAND began life as a TV pilot by writing partners Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (later behind DEADPOOL). Even in its

Read More »
John Ford - Storytelling Quotes
All Articles

15 Classic John Ford Quotes about Storytelling

The legendary director John Ford enjoyed a remarkably long and successful career, working on over 140 films and winning four Academy Awards for Best Director. His most well known films include: STAGECOACH, THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE and THE GRAPES OF WRATH. Ford is noted for the precision of

Read More »
goodfellas
All Articles

10 Moments Where Problem Upon Problem Hits the Protagonist

Conflict is essential in every great story. The amount and complexity of the situation can obviously vary greatly depending on the scope, settings and characters involved. In some cases, loading problem upon problem on your character(s) is important in that it shows what they are made of or it shows

Read More »
Art of Misdirection
Craft

OPINION: The Art of Misdirection

** SPOILER ALERT: this article reveals key plot points from THE WITCH and THE PRESTIGE ** Holed up alone and away from the world, it can be too easy for screenwriters to forget that films are made for audiences. It’s important to consider what the audience is thinking at each point in

Read More »
Jay Cavendish in Slow West
All Articles

GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS: Jay Cavendish

Genius Character Reveals: Jay Cavendish In this series we look at scenes and moments where a film or TV show has revealed a great deal of character information in a compressed period of screen time. It seems improbable: a Western from a Scottish writer-director, produced and shot in the UK and

Read More »
Slings and Arrows, Geoffrey Tennant, Genius Character Reveals, Character Intro, Hamlet
All Articles

GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS: Geoffrey Tennant

Genius Character Reveals Welcome to the first of our new series: GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS. In this series we’ll look at scenes and moments where the film or TV screenwriter/director has revealed a great deal of character information in a compressed amount of screen time. As a courtly bow in the

Read More »
scope, stakes, scale, 10 Cloverfield Lane
All Articles

OPINION: Scope, Scale and Stakes

** SPOILER ALERT: this article reveals key plot points from 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE ** Scoped Out 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is an object lesson in the canny use of scale and stakes. It’s also a brilliant example of the use of scope, one of the most effective – but often neglected

Read More »
Empire Magazine Articles For Screenwriters
All Articles

10 Great Empire Magazine Articles For Screenwriters

Empire Magazine has been a staple in the film industry for many years. The magazine, and now the website, is seen as one of the world’s leading authorities on film-related content and news. Here at Industrial Scripts we’ve trawled through the impressive back-catalogue of Empire Magazine Articles to bring you ten

Read More »
V for Vendetta
All Articles

Unheralded Scene: V FOR VENDETTA (2006)

In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and set-pieces. It might be a deleted

Read More »
writing characters
All Articles

Writing Characters That FASCINATE – The Ultimate PDF Guide

The key is writing characters that – crucially – fascinate…   Writing great, multi-dimensional characters is one of the hardest – and most important – facets to successful screenwriting. The Holy Grail of characterization – beyond writing empathetic characters, or entertaining characters, or even original characters – is writing fascinating

Read More »
The Insider Interviews: Bradley Quirk
All Articles

The Insider Interviews: Bradley Quirk

THE INSIDER INTERVIEWS: BRADLEY QUIRK The Insider Interviews series started in 2010 as a set of recorded interviews, featuring the likes of Tom Hiddleston, Gareth Unwin, who produced THE KING’S SPEECH, Ben Wheatley and Hossein Amini, the Oscar-nominated writer of DRIVE and THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY. You can watch these here. The Insider Interviews now exist as live monthly

Read More »
Putting Treatments on the Couch
All Articles

How to Write a Film or TV Treatment

Putting A Film or TV Treatment on the Couch Treatments are misunderstood and undervalued. It’s time to investigate why they’re an invaluable tool in the screenwriter’s toolbox. Imagination can be the writer’s worst enemy. Imagining your story in too many genres rather than choosing one (or maybe two) and consequently

Read More »
Unheralded Scene: THE WOMAN IN BLACK
All Articles

Unheralded Scene: THE WOMAN IN BLACK (2012)

Focus On: THE WOMAN IN BLACK (2012) As a direct contrast to last month’s Unheralded Scene from FALLEN, this month we look at a scene that’s completely without on-screen dialogue. The opening scene of Jane Goldman’s 2012 adaptation of THE WOMAN IN BLACK is an object lesson in creating both an

Read More »
This script reader passed on The Inbetweeners!
All Articles

Check out this Reader who passed on THE INBETWEENERS script!

About THE INBETWEENERS script   Before we get into the cases “for” and “against” both the script reader and their report on THE INBETWEENERS script, let’s just remind ourselves what he/she was reporting on! If you’ve never heard of British TV comedy THE INBETWEENERS, you’re probably either not based in

Read More »
Room Protagonist
All Articles

OPINION: Choosing Your Protagonist

The critical acclaim, awards nominations and profoundly-felt audience reaction to ROOM highlight one of the most powerful tools in the screenwriter’s armoury – your choice of protagonist. Whether you’re writing a feature script or TV pitch or pilot, if you’ve already decided on a protagonist it’s still worth asking yourself:

Read More »
Unheralded Scene: TANGERINE
All Articles

Unheralded Scene: TANGERINE (2015)

In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and set-pieces. It might be a deleted

Read More »
create intrigue in screenplays - the ultimate guide
All Articles

How to Create Intrigue in Screenplays – PDF Guide

How to Create Intrigue – The Screenwriter’s “Golden Goose”   To create intrigue is one of the greatest things a screenwriter can achieve. Be it via an urban rom-com, a micro-budget horror, or an $100m dollar action film, if you can create a sense of intrigue, and get that executive wanting to

Read More »
Ex Machina - Science Fiction Screenplays
All Articles

Writing Science Fiction Screenplays

Writing Science Fiction Screenplays Sci-Fi is one of those odd genres – like the Western – that among script theorists often stimulates more argument about ‘defining your terms’ than it does about structure, plot or theme. It is helpful first to qualify the term ‘genre’, as film theorists and script

Read More »

DOWNLOAD ALL OUR FREE RESOURCES!

Exclusive eBooks on complex areas of screenwriting, free produced screenplays, inspirational materials and more…download ALL our free resources at the link below!

Do your scripts Harness the Power of Myth...while Avoiding Cliché?

Download Our Free 40pg eBook