Short screenplay writing advice from BFI's screen online site offered guidance through six questions

Candice Russell
Mind Map by Candice Russell, updated more than 1 year ago
Candice Russell
Created by Candice Russell about 5 years ago


Resource from BFI short screenplay writing

Resource summary

Short screenplay writing advice from BFI's screen online site offered guidance through six questions
1 Who is the protagonist?
1.1 The protagonist is the central character that will also be associated with the heart and progression of the narrative.
1.2 The protagonist may dominate the narrative
1.2.1 Example: 23 minute short: Springing Lenin, directed by Andrie Nekrasov, (1992)
1.3 The protagonist may not be the person telling the story
1.3.1 Example, 24 minute short: Zinky Boys Go Underground, written by Adsid Tantimedh and directed by Paul Tickell (1999)
2 What is the style of the film?
2.1 When considering the style of a film the tone is also an important and partnering aspect
2.1.1 The tone of a production will engage with the emotions of an audience Example short - The Curious, - Technical elements of camera worked in a way to highlight the powerlessness of the central characters to evoke audience emotions Example short - Zinky Boys Go Underground, the natural conveyed tone of the narrator allows the audience to engage with the characters threatening and vicious world Zinky Boys Go Underground (1999) The Curious (1994) Springing Lenin (1992) Deep Down (2002)
2.1.2 Tone of a production is captured in the performance, direction and cinematography
2.2 The style of a film will provide a vitally visual and coherent narrative
3 What is the active question, which is the basis of the action in film?
3.1 The Protagonist's want, need or desire
3.1.1 An incident that will form the basis of the film's climax and or its narrative action
3.2 What is the audience being asked to follow or be interested in?
3.2.1 Example short - The Curious written by Robert Smith and directed by Stephen Brown (1994) The audience is enticed to share the protagonist's curiosity about the strange young woman at the window
3.2.2 Example short - Deep Down directed by Christin Cockerton (2002) The audience is enticed to share a woman's obsession with her mother's dress
4 Who or what opposes the protagonist?
4.1 The creation of an antagonist or an opposing situation
4.1.1 This is critical to develop an engaging storyline
5 From whose point of view is the audience being shown the story?
5.1 Consideration of the narration or the narrators is vitally central to the short format
5.1.1 There is a need to address the scale of exposion The background information Character motivation Example Shorts -Springing Lenin and The Curious both leave their audience to draw on their own conclusions, as they are completely left in an omnipotent position. Example Short - Zinky Boys go Underground is in fact narrated by an observing character and not the protagonist
6 What is it about? Or, what is the theme?
6.1 The theme sometimes cannot be instantly recognisable , as it may be underlying.
6.1.1 An underlying theme will unite all the characters and project a central emotional core
6.2 Finding the theme is critical to expose a film's dramatic unity that will effectively evoke an audiences emotions
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