A film is a compilation of sequences. A sequence is a compilation of scenes. A scene is a compilation of shots. Generally, we start writing by having a one line or with a vague idea. We then try to arrive at a story which has this one line as the base. Next comes the script writing process. In script writing, we go about portraying our story visually. Scenes turn into sequences and as a writer what we aim is sequences travelling through twists and turns, all the while keeping the audience on toes finally giving a classic finish.
Now There is nothing like a rule to follow in films and you can have n number of sequences as long as it justifies the purpose of the movie. So it looks like it is all easy to express our ideas through a script format. It looks all the more simple, isn’t it. But then a simple question props us in our minds. Why creators take so much of time to do a film? I mean like for example why Director Mysskin takes two long years to finish a project. In one of his interviews I came to know that he takes one long year to get done with a script.
There could be many reasons but I think this will be one of the crucial aspect for the procrastination in scripting. It’s the nuances we deal in scripting. Adding multiple dimensions in scripting adds a new layer to the film. Out of many dimensions I would like to illustrate the importance of scene writing in scripts. Since we tend give more attention towards introduction, interval block and the climax, What we really miss out are the scenes that build up the screenplay. So let us see some different aspects you must look into while creating scenes.
Each scene must drive your story forward.
You must be familiar with the introduction of Vikram’s character in Vikram Vedha. We all think that it’s just the character establishment. But the answer is no, the opening scene forms the crux of the story which later helps the character to find out many answers. For example, he deduces that the one who got shot in the encounter was Vedha’s brother. We must clearly understand that Having more number of scenes is not wrong but having unwanted scenes which is nowhere related to story is wrong.
A strong impact in the scene can also be created with location and time.
Sometimes re-imagining a scene with a difference in location can elevate the experience of the reader/viewer. For example, in one of the scenes of Baasha, When he tries to question one of Mark Antony’s men, the scene of interrogation could have happened in a dark room, but it happens in a tunnel, which further elevates Baasha.
Time sets the mood that you wish to give to your viewer. A simple scene with a boy alone in house in the day, could imply loneliness. The same boy at home all alone in the night, can imply more than just loneliness.
Learn Creative Transitions
When you have more scenes, which has less duration, transitions could do wonders in your film. The best example is Sherlock TV Series. Learn more about how to use transitions here and watch this video. Transitions can give a rhythm which makes the watch extremly interesting and enduring.
Each scene must be unpredictable.
People are always curious. Whether it is a thriller or even if it is love, we cannot afford to give what audience expect.
A scene from 8 thottakal would help us understand the unpredictability factor. Out of three criminals (Ms Baskar being the head), one of his team member insisted Baskar to give his share. Baskar refused to do it and he convinced the other one to stay calm and asked a day permission. At first the sub-ordinate got convinced but as Baskar was about to leave, the sub-ordinate jumps back and confronts Baskar, puts up a fight and takes his share.
But as he steps outside, a voice comes from Baskar immediately followed by a gun shot. Bang!!!
The creator’s major idea of thought would be to make one of the criminal die in this scene. But it was not forceful, apart from staying true to each of the characters, And as audience we understand why he dies, but we did not expect it, did we?
These are some of the importance aspects to be known while writing a scene. Giving more importance towards scene writing will lead to an awesome screenplay.