The Scene

"The structural unity of the parts is such that, if any one of them is displaced or removed, the whole will be disjointed and disturbed. For a thing whose presence or absence makes no visible difference is not an organic part of the whole." - Aristotle 

A SCENE is a unit of action that takes place in one location at one time. And in a screenplay, a scene must push the story forward and/or reveal character. If it does neither, kill it!

Scene Questionnaire

The importance of asking questions to develop character and explore story is often quite helpful, but question asking should never be limited to people and plot alone. The scene is just as important and essential to movie making. After all,…


Scene: Essential Elements

We can analyze a scene and make sure we are including essential elements by asking a number of questions:
1. Is it clear whose scene it is, and what he or she wants?
2. What is the conflict of the scene? Is it with one or more of the characters, with the circumstances or the surroundings of the scene, or is the conflict within the character?
3. Where and when does the scene take place? Could another time or location serve to heighten the impact?
4. What characters are present at the beginning, which ones enter during the scene, and who is there at the end?
5. Is any new character introduced? If so, does the introduction give the audience a glimpse into the nature of the character and make the character memorable enough?
6. Where were the characters before the scene started, and where are they going after it ends?
7. Has time been eclipsed since the last scene? If so, is it clear to the audience that time has passed and how much time has passed?
8. Do the actions of the characters fit their ‘through lines’?
9. Are the actions of the characters clear and motivated? Do they reveal character and/or move the story forward?
10. Is there any use of dramatic irony?
11. Is there unity of action?
12. Is the scene thematically related to the rest of the story?
13. Are the obstacles difficult enough? Are they too difficult?
14. Are the events plausible? Must disbelief be suspended? Do tese events obey the “rules” of previously suspended disbelief?
15. Does the audience know what might go right or wrong within the sene?
16. Does the dialogue reflect character? Is it natural? Forced?
17. Are the inner lives of the characters revealed through action, dialogue, and reaction?
18. Are any elements of the future used? Should they be used? Does the scene bring the action of the story too much to a standstill? Or does it propel the story forward?
19. Are there visual and audio clues and suggestions?
20. Does the scene belong in the story being told?
We can analyze a scene and make sure we are including essential elements by asking a number of questions:1. Is it clear whose scene it is, and what he or she wants?…


Eight Scene Questions

A scene is a complete unit in of itself, with a beginning, middle, and end. And a feature is just a whole bunch of scenes put together to tell a larger story. So therefore scenes are the many essential parts put together in the right way to complete the whole.…


Types of Scenes

The screenwriter uses lots of different kinds of scenes to accomplish very specific parts of the overall story. Sometimes the main purpose of a particular scene is to establish setting, or deliver exposition, or reveal important information. …


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