Improv for screenwriters – Yes-And The basic rule of improv is “yes and.” If someone offers information, you say “Yes...” and then add some information. For instance: A: “Did you hear about the logger?” B: “Yes and it's crazy that he went mad and killed those 16 people in that diner.” A: “Yes, and I... Continue Reading →
The following is the work of Alex Berg, excerpted from this blog. He talks about using emotions to ground, frame and orient a reader in insane fictional worlds. I think every writer should read this one. "The example I’ve been using for years to demonstrate the benefits of emotional heightening is a fictional scene titled... Continue Reading →
Screenwriting Example UCB Example Opening image The sun rises over a skyscraper in Century City, CA. Initiation “Dad, thanks for taking me to your office!” Ordinary World We meet shy Tom, a guy at an ad agency who wants to move up. Base Reality We establish that we're watching a father show his 10-year-old son... Continue Reading →
"You have to keep the differences between improv and dramatic writing in mind. Improv is about agreeing and moving forward as a team. "Yes, and..." or at the most, "yes, but..." Drama is about conflict. In drama, you need to hear "no" more than "yes".” Quote from a WGA writer that sums up the most... Continue Reading →
Purpose The exercise underscores the fact that plot in and of itself isn't entertaining. Plot is simply the structure that allows a writer to deliver detail. A lot of screenwriters get so excited in the telling of the story that they forget to make that story entertaining to the audience. This improv exercise shows how... Continue Reading →
Improv is the art of making up scenes on the fly by collaborating with one or more people. For a number of reasons, this is harder than it sounds. While pretty much anyone can improvise, not everyone can improvise in interesting ways. This mirrors screenwriting, in than anyone can write: FADE IN: INT. DINER --... Continue Reading →
I'm writing a series of articles on improv for screenwriters. Previously I posted a list of bits on HOW to improv, this Ted talk is more aobut the whys of improv. Bear with me on these, I'm going somewhere with them. My favorite line from the video: "Listening is the willingness to change."
Here's a good series on introductory improv techniques created by Jayne Entwistle for ExpertVillage. There's a youtube playlist of it, but they were uploaded out of order, so I've arranged them in a way that makes them more accessible for beginners. I recommend you check out the full series. This is the first in a... Continue Reading →