Screenwriting – Take Two

The Next Step

This week, I want you to watch a movie with a pen and paper nearby. First, check out the helpful Paradigm Worksheets at Syd Field’s website. (He is one of the most respected screenwriting teachers in the industry, by the way.)

Since these worksheets point to the movie, The Shawshank Redemption, pop that one in after popping your popcorn. You’re not allowed to sit back and relax though; active viewing is required. 

The idea here is to follow along with the notes on The Paradigm in Motion chart on the website while making sense of them in your mind.

Take other notes though, too. Write down the protagonist and antagonist; jot down their main goals. Pay attention to what happens during the first thirty minutes of the movie. The protagonist has a goal and is working towards it, but then something happens that flips the action into another direction for the middle of the movie.

After working through all of that, Plot Point 2 spins the movie around into the climax, and then into resolution mode.

Two of the best things you can do to learn screenwriting is not only to actively watch movies, but also to read the scripts of the movies you watch. The next best thing is to start writing. Writing details about other movies is a great start to get your old brain fired up.

Until next time, take five.

1 comment for “Screenwriting – Take Two

  1. Amy
    December 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    This is a great idea. Should we share our notes here?

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