Introducing characters in screenplays – learn from “The Thing”

the thing screenplay character buildingBill Lancaster’s screenplay for “The Thing” is a great read for a  number of reasons – one that struck me immediately, though, is the quiet brilliance of the first page. As a method for introducing a cast of characters, it’s at the same time somewhat unconventional and widely applicable. Unconventional because it presents the characters all at once as a list, rather than in-line as they appear (as the usual convention would have it) – but widely applicable because the characters are built so fully in so few words. If you haven’t read it, click the image to enlarge it. Continue reading

Trance: a film about a guy who forgot where he put a painting

Trance, film poster, review. Everyone loves Danny Boyle. He wooed the world with a slew of excellent films and won over any stragglers with his Olympics opening ceremony. So everyone is almost obliged to love his latest film, Trance. When I first saw the trailer it seemed like an unlikely model for success. A film about a guy who forgets where a painting is. Well, Boyle’s a man who made a film about a man stuck under a rock seem interesting, so anything was possible. On the merits of his earlier work, I spent the whole of Trance trying to like it. But I didn’t. For one simple reason: there’s nothing in it worth caring about. Continue reading