NYWIFT Blog

Notes from a Screenreader: Meaningful Images

image

Photo via Go Into the Story.

A script is a story that will be told with images. It feels like that goes without saying, but spec scripts are so often crushed under the weight of their own dialogue that it bears repeating.

Meaningful images are revealing, memorable, interesting to read, and space saving. To rewrite for visuals, consider:

  • Location. If it isn’t already, make the landscape integral to the story. Good settings provide natural obstacles, conflicts, and subtext. A textureless or interchangeable backdrop is usually a missed opportunity.
  • The Mute Button. Static talking scenes have their place, but most of them are completely unnecessary. Hit the mute button on your talking scenes and design a visual expression of the same idea for amazing results. Show actions rather than conversations about actions.
  • A Bowl of Green Apples. Still-life descriptions bog down the read. The difference between a trivial image and a meaningful one comes down to story. Does that bowl of green apples on the counter ever amount to anything? Description is best used for revealing details, preferably active ones. If your character arranges those green apples five times in that bowl while the baby cries upstairs, that is a revealing, meaningful bowl of green apples.

— ANNIE LABARBA (@annelabarba)

Annie is a screenwriter, story consultant, and reader for major screenplay competitions.

PUBLISHED BY

nywift

nywift New York Women in Film & Television supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media.

View all posts by nywift

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

*

Related Posts

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Colleen Hughes

Welcome to NYWIFT, Colleen Hughes! As an intimacy director and coordinator, Colleen brings a trauma-informed and human-first approach to scenes of simulated sex, nudity, and hyperexposure. Through her collaboration with trusted colleagues, she is at the vanguard of a movement to bring increased agency and transparency to the entertainment industry. She has collaborated with artists from around the globe, including Maya Hawke on the official music video for “Thérèse,” with over 5 million views on YouTube (also available on Apple Music); Samantha Shay at Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in Germany; and immersive work with Virgin Atlantic’s cruise line in the Mediterranean, and Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More in NYC. Colleen is part of a team of thought leaders in the field of consent and intimacy work. As Director of Core Training at Intimacy Directors and Coordinators (IDC), Colleen led the development of the company’s groundbreaking Consent-Forward Artist training program. She is currently working on a book entitled A Volunteer from the Audience: Consent Work in Interactive Performance that examines the role of agency in immersive performance.

READ MORE

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Ise White

Places everyone. Roll camera. Action…Time to welcome our new NYWIFT member, Ise White! Ise is a New York based director and writer who has directed commercials and narrative work spanning action and drama for film and TV. She grew up traveling the world and is trained in the indigenous martial arts of Silat, Wing Chun and Kali. Ise worked for FLOTUS Michelle Obama, became one of the top luxury fashion editors in the world, and has choreographed fight scenes. Read our full interview with Ise below to learn more about her career pivots, guiding principles, and inspiring volunteer work.

READ MORE

Inside Look: NYWIFT’s Tammy Reese & LaKisa Renee Exclusive “Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire” Cast Interviews

The AMC Immortal Universe continues! The much-awaited season 2 of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire is set to premiere on May 12th on AMC Networks. The anticipation reaches a fever pitch among fans. To offer a glimpse into the world of this thrilling hit series, NYWIFT Members Tammy Reese & LaKisa Renee recently graced the red carpet premiere at The McKittrick Hotel in New York City, securing exclusive interviews with the cast and producers.

READ MORE

Meet the new NYWIFT Member: Jennifer Buzzelli

Welcome to NYWIFT, Jennifer Buzzelli! Jennifer Buzzelli is a New York-based producer, international distributor and co-producer. With involvement in the film industry since the 90s, she is the founder of production house Jimmy B Media. Read more to discover her experience in leading film distribution and about her most recent project, producing the upcoming documentary, Long Live the Tyrant.

READ MORE
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
css.php