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Action sequence (screenplay) how much description is too much? (1 Viewer)

Sock

Senior Member
I am writing an action sequence for my screenplay. I have a very vivid picture of how the action scene would go down, but I do not know how much should actually be included in the screenplay itself. Can anyone help me with this?
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
anything more than 4-5 lines is too much... leave as much to the director as you can, writing only a basic overview of the action and giving only what detail is vital to the plot... most newbies want to direct and have to learn to stick to being 'just' the screenwriter...

let me know what you are describing and i can be more specific...
 

wmd

Senior Member
When George Lucas wrote the screenplay for Star Wars Epsiode Three his action sequence in which obi wan and anakin throwdown went like this...

"They Fight"

Two words.. that was all he wrote... now Mr. Lucas has a lot more say in the filming than most screenwriters, but I just think it is a neat example.
 

Sock

Senior Member
thank you very much, that is a good example. I think I will stick to about four lines like Mia said, but not leave out a lot of what I was imagining. Thank you for the tips guys.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
when you get to be the writer/director, then you can be as spare with words as lucas... till then, you're wise to follow the course of action you describe, sock!

hugs, m
 
J

jamezvincent

HELP

Sock said:
I am writing an action sequence for my screenplay. I have a very vivid picture of how the action scene would go down, but I do not know how much should actually be included in the screenplay itself. Can anyone help me with this?

I've been a writer for many years and have had numerous production companies tell me little is more, but for some of the big guys want a little more detail. If you want to learn how to write action read some of James Camereon's scripts, and any script you can to learn from. Read, read, read. Join a writing group at your local college. It takes time to learn this craft, and anyone who knows this bizz will tell you will a have one chance if you are lucky to present your work, and if it is written and formatted properly, and skillfully written you will be allowed to show them what you got. Being honest.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
just keep in mind that cameron [and other big-name writer/directors] can get away with a lot that a newbie writing a spec can't!
 

Kimba

Senior Member
Depends on the actual action sequence. If it's a fight sequence, my advice would be to let the director sort that out through the fight choreographer. For everything else, I'd just give a very general description on how the scene might play out and leave the action to the stunt coordinator on set.
 
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