An excerpt from my script review for Bright which will be available 01/01/18:
4.) Dialogue and Description
In typical Landis fashion, the description was entertaining.
However, there are parts to emulate, and parts to avoid because we’re NOT Max Landis.
Right on the cover:
For JRR Tolkien and David Ayer, who bring worlds to life.
Chances are you’re not the same level writer as Mr. Landis, so referencing a director specifically won’t do you any good.
Avoid shit like this because you’ll more than likely come across as an amateur instead of a witty writer setting a clever tone.
Alvins, still shirtless in his sweatpants, heads out into the
house; the way we follow is loose, a little shaky. Feels
real, almost like a doc.
More stuff to avoid.
Unless utterly crucial to the story, we don’t need to know Alvins is still shirtless.
Same with this “shaky doc” style of viewing.
As writers, our job is to unfold the story in a way that entertains clearly. It’s up to the director to deliver the style of the visuals.
(Again, Landis can get away with it because of who he is.)
Still on page 2:
Entering the kitchen he sees SHERRI, early 30s, at the sink,
looking through the dishes. She’s pretty; maybe not as hot
as she used to be. She has that air of entitlement; things
should’ve been easier for her.
At least, according to Sherri.
Now THIS is good. That last part delivers exactly what an actor needs to capture the essence of Sherri. She’s a bitch, and the actor, along with us as the reader, know how she’s to be viewed in the story.
Your typical low income neighborhood police station; lobby,
booking, bullpen, you’ve seen it before, if you’re lucky in a
movie, unlucky: real life.
Another cleverly worded visual.
Gibson raises Alvins’ gun and shoots the elderly couple dead.
This person is not a police officer. There’s blood in the
air…and the animals have come out to hunt.
Fantastic. Similar to Sherri, we now have a good idea of the type of character Gibson is, and we should be afraid for Alvins and Jakoby as she tracks them. Nothing good will come of that interaction.
As stated in my other reviews of Landis projects, he’s creative in his action and description in a way I truly appreciate and think other writers should consider adapting to their own writing.
It makes for a quick and interesting read, and a smart way to entice readers to mentally digest your entire script, because they’re constantly looking for reasons to skip to the white space.
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