Throwing out standards

This weeks reading in Me And You And Memento And Fargo presents and discusses the differences in conventional screenplay writing and independent (experimental) screen writing. Murphy seems to present standards and practices of making a commercially viable script as rules one needs to know in order to break. Murphy along with director Gus Van Sant seem to support the abandonment of traditional screenplays as a method of gaining more freedom in the shooting process. Improvisation becomes the key to director such as Gus Van Sant as he crafts organic conversations on set rather than in print. A traditional film, as most of us know, is a confluence of images and words. And, traditionally speaking, these images are constructed in writing form first than materialized on screen through the directors eye. Likewise, dialogue is imagined first in the writer mind than performed through the directors vision. Murphy highlights the transformation writing must go through to reach the screen as he discusses the possible ways a films author could and should go about constructing narrative. It is this transformation of words to images that most interests me about Murphy’s book. Is writing the best tool to use in the construction of a world dominated entirely by images? If screenplays are becoming old hat, or without substance could it be because writing is not inertly compatible with the creation of images? Murphy and Gus both support bending the rules of traditional screenplay writing in order to create something unique and compelling. Is this a simple admission that to create a compelling film (not story) one may need a general outline documented in writing form but a far more comprehensive idea of images and relationships that can only be communicated using other images ect…?

Leave a Reply