Saturday, November 15, 2008

Grammar of film

Shooting stops on the set while the scene is being rewritten by the author/scriptwriter.


Sven: Dunno why you employed him to adapt his own book into a screenplay. Haven’t you always said, “Writers write books. Screenplay writers pick it up from there and prune the foliage?”

Ingmar: I know, but he’s a friend. And he asked.

Sven: Lots of fine descriptive sentences but too long. Plenty of clever dialogue, but again too long.

Ingmar: He knows the grammar of writing. But he doesn’t know the grammar of film. His sentences don’t translate into scenes and his paragraphs don’t translate into sequences. That’s why I’ve called in a rewriter.



A metaphorical way to approach the differences of the grammar of writing and the grammar of film is to deconstruct as follows:

One letter is a metaphor for a frame.

One word is a metaphor for a shot.

One sentence is a metaphor for a scene.

A paragraph consisting of sentences is a metaphor for a sequence of scenes.


No comments: