Tuesday, July 31, 2007


If, on a movie script you get feedback saying it is Episodic then that isn't generally a good thing. In a couple of the scripts I've been sent that I've so far read I've noticed that trait in what were otherwise well written pieces.

In life things happen one after another. In movies they happen BECAUSE of each other. Call it narrative drive or story engine or whatever.

In these particular scripts there were scenes where X happened and characters reacted. Then Y happened and characters reacted. But X and Y weren't connected nor advanced the story individually.

No matter how well written these scenes were you were left wondering why they were actually in the script. Yes they perhaps gave more insight or flesh on the bones of a character. But good structure would have been to construct the scene so that if that was the intention then it came about in a scene that was a direct consequence of story and leads on to another consequence of the same story.

Of course some scripts are more Episodic than others by the nature of the piece. Kevin Smith movies tend to be Episodic more than story driven. But the scripts I'm talking about were action thrillers.

In this genre, pace is vital. Pace will be helped by a strong narrative drive. X leads to Y leads to Z.

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