Thursday, September 13, 2012

TODAY'S NUGGET: Say Anything (1989) - How To Have More Icing

[Quick Summary: A recent high school grad romances the valedictorian for one last carefree summer.]

Darn you, Cameron Crowe!

How do you make such a talky script like Say Anything work (because it really does)?!

Here are 4 things that I saw that worked:

1 - There's very little narrative (sometimes 1-2 lines per page).  The reader is allowed to imagine most of the details.

2 - The essentials are very specific.  Each character's motive, flaws, and purpose are unambiguous.

ex. Lloyd is optimistic and undeterred in pursuing Diane, despite the fact she's out of his league.

3 - The dialogue is realistic, conflicted, and funny, but mostly conflicted.

ex. LLOYD: "I wanna get hurt!"

4 - The conflict is familiar, and never false for the character

ex. Lloyd wants to date Diane (familiar).  Dating her never stops being important to him (never false).

WHAT I'VE LEARNED:  Scripts could probably handle a lot more dialogue (the icing) if the structure (the cake) is set up right to handle it.

Say Anything (1989)
Written & Directed by Cameron Crowe

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