An excerpt from my script review for Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga which will be available 07/06/20:
4.) Dialogue and Description
Let’s get the bad out of the way first.
Huge blocks of description.
And then goes back into the song. Sigrit is almost in
tears. But she marshals on. As the song comes to a close
and the track is at its most symphonic Lars makes one
last attempt to throw himself into the song. For a moment
it feels right even though it doesn’t look right. He’s
not in costume. But as he steps away from the piano, a
pair of angle wings descends down towards him. He
recovers his poise enough to let the wings come to him
and he slips into them easily enough. As Lars and Sigrit
hit the last note of their song both of them are lifted
off of the stage on wires. It’s almost beautiful but Lars
quickly falls out of his back-pack like straps and then
is just hanging in the air, holding onto his angel wings,
like an idiot.
I’m only going to copy/paste this one (out of many), but even IF you have a star on your title page and attached, it’s simple common courtesy to break images up for your reader.
The general “rule” is no more than five lines per entry of action/description, but realistically anything that’s a new image onscreen should be broken up into a new line.
Remember the term “mentally digestible”. For those new to these reviews that means you’re creating a simplified manner of reading that allows your reader to visualize what’s happening in his or her mind.
Constantly writing intimidating blocks of description like this and people may not just pass over your text, they could pass over your script entirely deeming it unreadable.
You’re writing a script, not a novel.
Without being racists… they should sort
of look like their country of origin.
Never ever use this phrase in your script!
Writing that statement makes you sound more like the drunk ass uncle at Thanksgiving than someone professionals will want to work with.
Now onto the dialogue.
Let’s get the “bad” out of the way first.
I was a child/Alone in the world/Darkness
was everywhere./ Each day I prayed/
someone would come/ Someone would save me
from this world/ I knew that couldn’t
be…/ I knew it wasn’t me!
For me, these sort of lyric entries in dialogue don’t add much.
Music is more than just the lyrics, and Eurovision (the actual contest) is more pageantry than concert.
If you’re writing a story where the lyrics are essential to the plot, by all means include them. However if you’re just using them as filler, it’s fine to just describe the gist of the song and the feeling it should invoke letting the production folks handle the rest later.
In other words, understand that this project got made because Will Ferrell was attached, not because the overwhelmingly inspiring or funny lyrics of the songs within.
Next, around page 70, Lars meets up with some Americans, and then delivers this preachy criticisms about how we treat Europe.
I get it. Our international street cred isn’t high right now…but do you really not see how that looks being delivered by an American actor pretending to be an Icelandic stereotype?
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