Wednesday, January 6, 2010

BOOK CLUB: Action-Idea (Introduction)

[DISCLAIMER: I have not been asked, nor paid, to read or comment on this book.]

In the Introduction of Aristotle's Poetics For Screenwriters, the author writes that Aristotle's Poetics focuses so much on action because it is the essential idea, and it is what makes a story possible.

The author then discusses his tool, Action-Idea. When someone hears your Action-Idea, they can see the whole film. To me, it seems like this is basically the same thing as a logline.

However, I am intrigued by looking at loglines as action-ideas. Boiling it down, I was struck that I could leave out nouns, pronouns, objects -- but the VERB is essential.

When I pitch an idea, I'm pitching the verb, i.e., the action.

ex. This is a story about robbing.
ex. This is a story about swimming.
ex. This is a story about dying.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: The next time I get lost in my script, I will focus on the logline verb to point me to where I'm headed.

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