Friday, March 25, 2011

TODAY'S NUGGET: #90 WGA Script of All Time - Sideways (2004)

[Quick Summary: Depressed school teacher-writer and his woman-obsessed best friend drive through California wine country for one last hurrah before the latter's wedding day.]

Holy crap, this script was a definite first.

It was the first script that I didn't see the words on the page, but as a series of moving images, like a picture book. When I finished and blinked, I wondered where the film went.

Then I blinked. I had been reading?

What this script does better than any I've seen is that it trusts the reader to fill in the details.

ex. "The boys turn to see Phyllis now dolled up in thick make-up and a PANTSUIT. Her eyebrows are painted & cock-eyed. Overall she looks much worse than before."

I love how the script gives you exactly what you need to know, & lets you imagine the rest.

You only need to know Phyllis has changed clothes, but not the actual color, shape, etc.

You need to know she's overdone her face, but only that it's "much worse than before."

The writers don't micro-manage, & actually draw the audience in as a co-conspirator.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: These writers are specific about the universal, & thus leaves the details alone.

No wonder I know Phyllis - I've met her type many times before.

Sideways (2004)
by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor

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