karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,

It's all about the craft

I don't mean boats or ships, or even space ships. I'm talking about the craft of writing. Sadly, a lot of folks in the US don't read books, but they're still exposed to writing, both good and bad. When you see a movie or sit down in front of the TV, chances are good you're listening to something someone wrote. With a few exceptions (e.g., un-reality shows), TVs and movies have script writers. Even if someone else lays out the plot, the writers put the characters' words on paper.

But the guy leaning back in his sofa with the remote in his hand, and the woman slipping off her shoes as she stares up at the movie screen probably don't even think about the writers. They just let themselves get immersed in the story as it's interpreted by the director and the actors. Because unlike novels, movies and TV are very much corroborative story telling. They just work better when all the collaborators know what they're doing.

I just finished watching the premiere of The Big Bang Theory. One reason I love that show is the writing. The actors are all good, but the dialog sparkles! It's nice to see a show where the writers' contribution is so strong and so obvious.

Of course, there are plenty of examples of the reverse. Take for example Stars Wars: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace. That movie started with a cast of well established characters, an already hooked audience, and a workable plot, but the writing stank! Listening to that dialog was worse than coming home from a vacation, not knowing the power was out for a week, and opening the fridge

Of course, I love writing books because then I don't have to collaborate, but I do like watching shows where people are good at collaboration.

So, what's your favorite example of a movie or TV show where the writing stands out, in a good way or a bad one?

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Tags: scripts, writers, writing

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