Tuesday, 4 October 2011
That Special Scene
A famous screenwriter and director is quoted in John Brady’s The Craft of the Screenwriter saying that at heart of any movie is a single scene, a scene that is the reason for the whole story. Maybe I watch too many movies but still…do you have a favourite novel? A book where the climax is that one revealing, crucial scene, a scene that resonates, reverberates with the author’s intent? Scenes without which there is no story, no meaning, no reason to read any further? What are they? What makes them compelling? I think it was Paul Schrader, who wrote Taxi Driver, who said the above but it may have been Robert Towne who wrote Chinatown. Anyway, screenwriters have to reveal character, push the plot forward with very spare dialogue. Not much back-story allowed. As I drive to the finale of my current novel I find myself almost longing for the discipline of screenwriting some days. I must be looking for that extra special scene.