Friday, July 29, 2011

Do not forget to return your 3D glasses | David Bordwell

On average, if you were an exhibitor playing the film, you made more money if you showed it in 2D. A lot more. Even not being able to charge $3 extra.

Richard Gelfond, the boss of IMAX, reckons customers have become picky. "People used to see something just because it was in 3D," he says. Now they ask how much pleasure the glasses will add. The explosive "Transformers 3″ did well in 3D; perhaps the 2D version was not sufficiently headache-inducing. The key to three-dimensional projects, then, is to put out hugely popular films with extraordinary special effects. Easy.

Do not forget to return your 3D glasses

Friday, July 22, 2011

Screenwriting: The Dirty Little Secret

So I was going to write today summing up the differences between writing novels and doing film work as a career. Instead I ended up writing mostly about the one difference that ultimately drove me to novels. I didn't even want to write about it because I find the whole idea so repellant, and just wrong, but it's something a lot of people aren't aware of about the process and reality of film writing and it's something that novelists contemplating screen work need to know.

Well, what is the difference? Really?

In terms of the creative process – not all that much, really. A story is a story. There are many different ways to tell it. The format is different. Some emphases are different (screenwriting is very visual, novel writing is generally much more internal..). But dramatic structure, characters, dialogue, theme, subplots, action, pacing, business, sensory detail, the world of the story… the major building blocks are all there in both. Even, to some degree, voice. Much more noticeable in a novel but undeniably there in any good script as well, and, I would argue, just as crucial. Every script I've ever written could be a novel. With my scripts, I've had to leave out more of the story than I actually knew about it, going in. With my novels, I'm having to discover and work in more of the story than I actually knew about it, going in. But the story, in every case, is still the story.

But which should you do, novels or screenplays?

Well, the question is, what do you WANT?

No one can decide that for you.

If you find yourself going around saying "I just want to get PAID to write" (and I hear that constantly from aspiring writers) – then you probably want to think about screen or TV writing. Or technical writing, or journalism, or speechwriting, or nonfiction, or advertising (because, notice, that sentence doesn't specify what KIND of writing you want to get paid for. When you make these kinds of life-altering wishes, you must be SPECIFIC.)

But odds are, if you've got the talent, and the drive (and that's an enormous if), you can probably make more money in film or TV than in novels. I have no statistics to back me up about that, it's completely and totally anecdotal. But I suspect the cold hard steel of truth in this quotation (if someone can provide the author, I'd be grateful): "You can't make a living writing books – but you can make a killing." This isn't true of Hollywood. You can make a living, and you can make a killing.

What you do have to realize up front, though, is that there's a lot of discrimination in film and television – racism, sexism and ageism. If you're a woman, a person of any color except white, or over 40, your chances of working in the business are greatly reduced. And there isstatistical proof of that - I was on the board of the WGA and I've seen the figures, and they're not pretty, and they're not getting better.

(Television writing in particular is a young person's game. As I've said here before, producers and executives want writers in their 20's and early 30's who are willing to kill themselves doing the round the clock, non-stop work that TV writing is).

And if you do decide to go for the money in Hollywood, what you give up is creative power. What you give up is unique voice. What you give up is copyright. What you far too often give up is your soul.

Oh, right, I'm exaggerating.

No, really, I'm not.

I love film. I do. I love the form, I love the power of it. A great movie makes me want to drop to my knees in gratitude. When a movie actually hits that groove, it's transcendent. But there are so many stupid, unnecessary complications ingrained in the business. I have seen so many great scripts mutilated, stripped of all power and individuality, ground into meaningless pablum… and I'm not even talking about my own, I really thank whatever gods are out there that the some of the scripts I've written HAVEN'T been made – I'm talking about the scripts of other writers I know, and writers I don't know. When I think of all the brilliant movies that could have been made simply by shooting an even fair approximation of the original scripts, I just want to kill myself.

There are exceptions, of course – good movies do get made, and the exceptions are what keep passionate writers working. Sometimes miracles happen.

But less and less. I think - for two basic reasons. 

One - the increasing vertical integration and corporatization of Hollywood. Novelists worry about, for example, Walmart's increasing influence over what books get ordered, bought and sold, right? Well, that kind of thing has been happening in Hollywood for years, and it's not pretty.

Two - is rewriting.

And I don't mean rewriting as in "Writing is rewriting." I don't mean, rewriting your own work. I mean, rewriting other writers.

Rewriting is a concept that is alien to most novelists. After all – when JT Ellison turns ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS in to Mira, Mira doesn't turn around and say, "Great story, has potential, we like it… but we don't love it. Let's get Lee Child in to do a pass to beef up the male characters, maybe bring in some international intrigue to help with foreign markets. Actually, female protagonists don't do well in the foreign markets so let's also have him switch the genders of the characters." And JT is fired off her own book (her agent will deliver this news to her, because her editor (producers) and publishers (studio/executives) certainly won't take the trouble to do it themselves. Then after Mr. Child has done his rewrite, the conversation might go like this: "International serial killer books are just not doing well right now, but medical thrillers are off the charts. Let's make the detective a doctor and get Tess Gerritsen to do a pass. Oh, and also, 80% of books this year were bought by women so let's make this doctor female." So Mr. Child is fired, and Ms. Gerritsen is hired. And after Ms. Gerritsen has transformed this police thriller cum international serial spy actioner into a sexy medical thriller, the conversation might go something like this: "Stephenie Meyers' fourth book has been #1 on the NYT bestseller list for a year and a half now, and Stephenie has a window. Let's get her in to revision this puppy as a teenage vampire story, and get this – the vampire is in med school! You know, a protégé. Um, prodigy."

So Ms. Gerritsen is fired, and....

Repeat two dozen times until the final version, whatever the hell that is, is slapped up on screen, or in this hypothetical, print - or (as in the vast majority of cases) until everyone is so sick of trying to make the story "work" that they just shelve it. And no, I'm not kidding.

I wish I were.

Now, I love all the authors I've mentioned above. But I love them for their unique voices. I don't want to read their half-assed attempts at trying to "fix" someone else's writing, which in all likelihood wasn't even broken to begin with.

Can you imagine? Barry Eisler being hired to layer some martial arts into the Irish tragedies of Ken Bruen…. Dennis Lehane being hired to pump up the urban reality in Neil Gaiman's mythic fantasies… Heather Graham to weave a paranormal subplot into PD James' psychological mysteries…

You have to understand this, though. That's the main money that's out there to be made in screenwriting – rewriting other writers' work, to studio specifications.

And then there's another factor. I said before that only three writers (or writing teams) are allowed to be credited on a movie. But if three dozen writers have done a draft, or two or three, on this movie, who decides who gets credit? And how?

Well, that's a huge subject, but basically, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has the sole power to determine credits. Studios may submit who THEY would like to see credited on the movie (guess who they'd prefer – the brand new writer who wrote the original script or the multimillion dollar writer they hired to replace her?) but the WGA has that call, through a process called credit arbitration, in which writers submit their own drafts of the script and their arguments about why they should receive credit, and a panel of writer/arbiters reads all the drafts and makes the determination whose names go on the movie.

There's a movie coming out this month that I wrote on that my name will not be on, because I wasn't awarded final credit in the arbitration. It happens to all of us screenwriters, all the time. But that's not the part that bothers me. I was paid well to do the job, and it wasn't my original script, and it was not a case of rewriting an original writer.

But here's the really troubling thing. Back end compensation for writers, a huge part of the money you potentially receive for writing a movie, is completely tied to final credit. No final credit, no back end money. So a lot of the rewriting that gets done has NOTHING to do with what would be good for the story, but has to do with deliberate shifts in character and plot that will change the script enough for the rewriter to get credit. Writers go through and change all the names of characters, change characters' professions, change locations, combine characters – and that's just for starters.

(I won't even go see a movie if I see more than two writers listed on the poster, because I know all too well the kind of mess that signifies.)

So screenwriters are not just in constant competition with each other for jobs – they're often engaged in battles over credit. 

I myself couldn't do it. I think it degrades writers - both the rewriter and the writer being rewritten. I think it dilutes or outright destroys the original and unique power of the story. I think it's the prime factor in the reality that feature writers have no power in Hollywood.

And I think it's a major reason that movies are so bad, these days.

It's something to think about.

So what am I saying? I guess my advice is, if you just want to make money, be an investment banker. Yeah, right.

Actually I have no idea how to make money. I've done okay, but real money? I don't have a clue. Real estate? The stock market? Well, surely you've noticed. Truly, I'm not the one to ask. That's not the point.

The point is, if you just want to make money writing – go to hell. Really. I absolutely believe authors should make a good living. But books and films and television and games are too precious a resource to be left in the hands of people who are only doing it for the money. These are dreams we're dealing with, here. As writers, we dream for other people. And if you're not passionate about your writing, your OWN writing, the dreams you dream, I have nothing to say to you.

In terms of working for Hollywood, though, in the present climate, this is what I will say, and this is just completely my own opinion.

I can't remember the last time I saw a new movie that enthralled me as much as some recent television: DEADWOOD, THE WIRE, ROME, and my current obsession, MAD MEN. (I was not a SOPRANOS junkie but yes, I understand, it was brilliant, too.) I believe that great television is happening right now, and if you want to work in moving pictures, that's probably the place to go. The writer has power in television – the screenwriter does not have power in features. And HBO, in particular, has vision. I think it shows. And I believe television writing is a more honest and effective writing process because - at least - it's collaborative up front. (But Guyot will certainly have his opinions on that, and I'll leave it to him.)

Otherwise, if you care about what you do, and what you are putting out into the world, I hope you'll keep writing novels.

No matter what – be very specific about what you are aspiring to. If your dream is to make a great movie, make sure you understand what that takes and consider how you might be able to do it in the present corporate climate. Can you do it as an independent, instead? Can you do it as a TV series? Can you do it as a novel? If this for some reason was your one shot, how could you bring your story to fruition and die satisfied with the result? 

Know what you're getting into – and go for it.

Good luck.
Part One of this series (The Job) is here.

Part Two of this series (The Craft) is here.

Debrief yourself | Jurgen Wolff

When you come to the end of a project it's tempting to rush on to the next one.

Instead, take time to debrief yourself. Ask:

What went right?

How can you apply that to your next projects?

What went wrong?

What did you learn that will help you avoid this next time?

Who helped?

How can you enlist their help again?

Who got in the way?

How can you help them to be more helpful or work around them next time?

Jot these down rather than just thinking about them. At the start of each new project, review your notes from the past several projects. It's funny how much we forget—and how much time and trouble we can save ourselves when we remember.

Debrief yourself | Jurgen Wolff

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beyond Bollywood | Vancouver Sun


Indian filmmaking is more than just song and dance


When people think of Indian cinema, what generally rushes to mind is the glitz and glamour of Bollywood: fantastic sets, exotic locales, melodrama and the compulsory song and dance routines. Yet there is a vast repertoire of Indian films that do not fit this mould.

Estimates show that the number of regional films -made in any one of the 22 official languages of the country -easily outnumber the number of films made in Hindi. Much of this regional cinema is still very commercial with big production houses and a large following, but is often more rooted in its context than the escapist fare churned out by Bollywood.

Bollywood mainstream represents only a tiny slice of social reality in India, says Chinmoy Banerjee, president of the Vancouver based South Asian Film Education Society and a retired Simon Fraser University film professor. It speaks primarily to the upper middle class that has benefited from the economic liberalization of the country and promotes certain social norms and values, he says.

Beyond Bollywood | Vancouver Sun

Monday, July 4, 2011

Top 10 Film Character Introductions | The Script Lab - Noelle Buffam

You've heard the phrase a million times; "You never get a second chance at a first impression". Although you probably rolled your eyes at your mother when she uttered this cliché, these words of wisdom still ring true... especially in screenwriting.

In screenwriting, character introductions are extremely important. The moment a character is introduced carries the ability to invoke some of the most powerful emotions in the world: joy, anger, fear, and envy. Not only can this moment inspire an intense audience reaction, but it can also offer a unique opportunity for insight and explanation.

We can learn about a character in many different ways. We can learn by what they do and what they say. We can also learn by what other characters say about them and how they react to those characters. The best character introductions in film not only use these means, but they do it in a concise and creative way.

This list is complied of some of the most creative and complex character introductions in film. The fact that the characters on this list are all recognizable serves as an example of the importance of the character introduction. If done correctly, the character introduction can begin the transformation of a character into an icon.

10. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl(2003)

The music swells as the great Captain Jack Sparrow sails into Port Royal. It's a dramatic and heroic moment... until the shot reveals his sad, sinking boat. Jack jumps off the mast just before it becomes fully submerged underwater and swaggers past the dockhand.

The mere image of his arrival on his sinking boat is enough of an analogy to understand Jack Sparrow. He is a pirate that could be a great Captain, if only he had the means. If contemplated, his entrance could be considered sad - he salutes his dead comrades and then returns to bailing water out of his ratty boat.

Instead of coaxing pity out of the audience, this backdrop allows Jack to show the audience style, attitude, charm, and impeccable timing. This introduction relies on the character's personality to turn a depressing situation into a glamorized entrance that leaves the audience wishing that they were Captain Jack Sparrow.


The skeletal remains of four pirates, still clad in buccaneer rags, hang from gallows erected on a rocky promontory. There is a fifth, unoccupied gallows, bearing a sign: PIRATES - YE BE WARNED.

The top of a billowing sail passes regally in front of them. On the landward face of the sail, apparently high in the rigging, is a man for whom the term 'swashbuckling rogue' was coined: Captain JACK SPARROW.

He gazes keen-eyed at the display as they pass. Raises a tankard in salute. Suddenly, something below catches his attention. He jumps from the rigging --

-- and that's when we see that his ship is not an imposing three-master, but just a small fishing dory with a single sail, plowing through the water -- the Jolly Mon.

9. Patrick Bateman in American Psycho (2000)

It's an introduction that demonstrates the perfect amount of show and tell. Patrick Bateman is introduced by a voice-over along with a montage of his morning routine. Immediately, the audience recognizes him as a narcissist. We are taken on a tour of his posh penthouse as he explains how taking care of your physical self is important. He explains that he wears a face mask to reduce "puffiness" and can complete 1,000 crunches a day. He continues to explain every beauty product he uses in specific detail.

This character introduction works so well because the voice-over is paired with poignant images of him. A haunting shot at the beginning of the scene consists of Patrick looking at his reflection in a Les Miserables poster. The last image shows Patrick pulling off the face mask as he stares intensely at his reflection. These images make the chilling declaration, "I simply am not there" completely believable to the audience. There is no doubt that by the end of his introduction, the audience knows Patrick Bateman a psychopath by definition.


My name is Patrick Bateman. I am twenty-six years old. I live in the American Garden Buildings on West Eighty-First Street, on the eleventh floor Tom Cruise lives in the penthouse.

Bateman stares into the mirror. The masque has dried, giving his face a strange distorted look as if it has been wrapped in plastic. He begins slowly peeling the gel masque off his face.

There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping you and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.         

8. The Dude in The Big Lebowski (1998)

We meet The Dude in a grocery store late at night as he checks the expiration dates on milk cartons. Everything about him embodies a comical laziness - from his appearance to the fact that he writes a check for $0.69. But what is most admirable about this scene is not The Dude's Bermuda shorts and milk mustache, but rather the use of the voice-over.

Though it is commonly referred to as an "easy-out" in screenwriting, the Coen Brothers show us how to do voice-over right – to compliment a scene instead of using it simply as exposition tool. The moment The Dude writes out the minuscule check is paired with the V.O.: "The Dude was certainly that--quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County". The voice-over is perfectly suited to the scene, adding narration only to enhance the humor, without being obtrusive. The voice-over ends with "I lost m'train of thought here. But--aw hell, I done innerduced him enough". Yes, indeed.


It is late, the supermarket all but deserted. We are tracking in on a fortyish man in Bermuda shorts and sunglasses at the dairy case. He is the Dude. His rumpled look and relaxed manner suggest a man in whom casualness runs deep.

7. Ben Braddock in The Graduate (1967)

It's the simplicity and brevity that makes this character introduction unforgettable. Mrs. Robinson delivers only eleven lines of dialogue, and although these lines seem like unsubstantial small talk, her presence is commanding from the first moment her silhouette is seen in the doorway, maintaining power in the scene by her actions and attitude.

She makes herself comfortable in Ben's room even though she's not welcome. She leaves her used match on Ben's bedspread, tosses her cigarette carelessly in the trashcan, and even mocks Ben by saying, "Oh - I forgot. The track star doesn't smoke." And when Ben is reluctant to drive her home, she takes control by throwing the car keys across the room, forcing Ben to retrieve them from his fish tank.

This scene is one of the best examples of an economical character introduction because the short scene not only illustrates many of Mrs. Robinson's character traits, but also plants some of the main themes of the movie: manipulation, lust, and control.


Ben stands with his back against the door. The SOUNDS of the PARTY downstairs and, as Ben walks across the room to a window, the SOUND of the WIND.

Over Ben to pool area and people below. SOUND of the door OPENING. Ben turns. MRS. ROBINSON enters the room.

   Oh. I guess this isn't the bathroom, is it?

It's down the hall.

They stand for a moment, looking at each other.

How are you, Benjamin?

  Fine, thank you. The bathroom is down at the end of the hall.

Mrs. Robinson moves into the room and sits on the edge of the bed.

6. Sundance in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

It's a scene that shows the importance of character reactions. A mustached man, Sundance, plays blackjack with the saloon owner, Macon. Not aware of the identity of Sundance, Macon accuses him of cheating and puts his hands near his guns, relaxed and ready. Butch enters the saloon, doing his best to lighten the mood, trying to get Sundance to forget it and leave, but Sundance won't budge: "I wasn't cheating". Sundance explains to Butch that "if he invites us to stay, then we'll go." Butch does his best to encourage Macon to "ask them to stick around", but Macon stands firm until Butch finally says, "I can't help you, Sundance."

The mere mention of his name changes Macon's mind quickly. He's terrified yet scared to show it. Eventually, with the help of encouragement from Butch, Macon becomes apologetic, and asks them to "stick around".

This scene not only establishes Butch and Sundance's relationship, but it shows the audience that Sundance is a man to be feared. The last part in the character introduction scene includes Macon asking Sundance how good he is with a gun. Sundance responds by shooting Macon's gun belt off of him, without inflicting any injury. With this swift move, Sundance's superiority is secured.


I can't help you, Sundance.

ZOOM TO Macon as the last word echoes. It registers, that word, and now Macon has a secret he tries desperately to keep behind his eyes: The man is terrified.

THE SUNDANCE KID, for that is the name of the Mustached Man. He sits slumped a moment more, his head down. Then he slowly raises his head. His eyes dazzle. He looks dead into Macon's eyes. Still staring, he stands. He too, wears guns.

A brave man doing his best, Macon stands still and dow not look away, yet the panic is slowly starting to seep out.

    I didn't know you were The Sundance Kid when I said you were cheating.

Sundance says nothing. His eyes are on Macon's hands now.

If I draw on you, you'll kill me.

There's that possibility.

5. Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

When Darth Vader made his film debut, he secured his place as one of the greatest villains of all time. His appearance is enough to secure such an honor, but it is his manner that seals his fate in film infamy. The Rebel ship has just seen a laser-gun battle and dead bodies litter the corridor. From the passageway, Darth Vader appears all in black. He immediately commands respect as the Storm Troopers stand at attention. His helmet, cape, and voice make the moment even more dramatic. He strides past the dead bodies and continues on to interrogate a Rebel Officer. He kills the officer with a chilling ease that could make any audience member shudder. His appearance, presence, and actions make him the ultimate image of evil.


The Rebel refuses to speak but eventually cries out as the Dark Lord begins to squeeze the officer's throat, creating a gruesome snapping and choking, until the soldier goes limp. Vader tosses the dead soldier against the wall and turns to his troops.

Commander, tear this ship apart until you've found those plans and bring me the Ambassador. I want her alive!

4. Luke in Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Within the first images of the film, the audience understands the entire psychology of Luke. He is drunk and on the street, destroying parking meters. The last image of the introduction scene shows Luke's face illuminated by police headlights. He sees the officers coming towards him and smiles. He raises his beer to them in a "cheers" signal. In this short time, the audience understands that although he is extremely charismatic and likable, Luke has a self-destructive nature and an inability to conform to authority. Not only does this character introduction explain a character, but it foreshadows Luke's tragic demise.


CLOSEUP of a pipe cutter attached to the meter neck, metal slivers curling out.


as the meter head falls out of FRAME.


as it falls to the ground amidst a forest of meter stands and Luke's hand comes into the FRAME to pick it up and we SEE him in CLOSEUP for the first time. He is cheerful, drunk, wearing a faded GI Field jacket. A bottle opener hangs on a silver chain around his neck.

3. Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979)

In film, anticipation can be an incredible tool. Apocalypse Now demonstrates the power of anticipation. The entire film leads up to the introduction of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, and after almost two hours, the audience finally meets him. Willard arrives at Kurtz's outpost, only to see dead bodies and severed heads against the jungle backdrop. Anticipation is built in every step on the way to Kurtz. Willard travels through the darkness of the Buddhist Temple where Kurtz is located. The Kurtz introduction scene delivers what the anticipation promised as the Colonel, seen "only in darkness and shadow", lectures Willard about war and humanity. Francis Ford Coppola executes this scene to it's fullest with Kutz's delivery, while illustrating the power of anticipation and expectations as keys to character introduction.


Willard, hands tied behind his back, is guided down a long corridor, followed by two Montagnards, both armed

           It smelled like slow death in there. Malaria and nightmares. 
This was the end of the river, all right.

They turn into the main room. the natives indicate for Willard to kneel down on the floor. The CAMERA MOVES, REVEALING KURTZ lying in shadow on a bed. We will SEE him only in darkness and shadow.

2. Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Sunset Blvd. provides a character introduction scene that is completely unique. The character of Norma Desmond is introduced not by what she says or what others say, but by the atmosphere and location. Joe Gillis pulls into Norma's driveway and sees a decrepit, old mansion. It clearly used to be a spectacle of elegance. The setting of the house mirrors Norma's life. She found her height of success in silent pictures, but now she is old and unimportant.

When Gillis sees Desmond for the first time, her appearance is even more eccentric and over the top than her monstrosity of a house. This scene is great because it psychically demonstrates what is happening emotionally. The first images of the house and Norma get to the core of the movie. This scene and the character of Norma is encompassed when Joe says, "You used to be big" and Desmond responds, " I am big. It's the pictures that got small."


It is grandiose and grim. The whole place is one of those abortions of silent-picture days, with bowling alleys in the cellar and a built-in pipe organ, and beams imported from Italy, with California termites at work on them. Portieres are drawn before all the windows, and only thin slits or sunlight find their way in to fight the few electric bulbs, which are always burning.

Norma Desmond stands down the corridor next to a doorway from which emerges a flickering light. She is a little woman. There is a curious style, a great sense of high voltage about her. She is dressed in black house pajamas and black high-heeled pumps. Around her throat there is a leopard-patterned scarf, and wound around her head a turban of the same material. Her skin is very pale, and she is wearing dark glasses.

1. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

It's seems natural that one of the most suspenseful psychological thrillers ever made would contain one of the greatest character introductions in film. When Clarice's boss gives her the assignment of interviewing Lecter, he tells her to "be very careful with Hannibal Lecter...believe me, you don't want Hannibal Lecter inside your head." But hearing this line alone, we can't help it – he's already in our head. We anticipate his physical introduction because of the danger and mystery already surrounding him.

The next time the audience hears of Lector is when Clarice goes to the asylum to visit him. Our anticipation continues as the doctor who runs the facility describes Lecter as "a monster", and goes so far as to show Clarice a picture of a mutilated nurse that Lector attacked. The suspense builds as Clarice proceeds down the corridor alone, her footsteps echoing until... she is verbally assaulted by another one of the inmates.

And when the moment comes where Clarice finally meets Dr. Hannibal Lecter, we see him standing in his cell, waiting – a thick sheet of glass the only thing separating him from her. But as Clarice and Lecter begin to exchange dialogue, it's clear that Lecter is polite, brilliant, but fiendishly complex as he quickly controls the situation by delving into Clarice's past, illustrating her childhood issues.

It is the combination of anticipation, action, and dialogue that creates a suspenseful, unique, and hauntingly unforgettable character introduction.


is coming slowly INTO VIEW... Behind its barred front wall is a second barrier of stout nylon net... Sparse, bolted-down furniture, many soft cover books and papers. On the walls, extraordinarily detailed, skillful drawings, mostly European cityscapes, in charcoal or crayon.

DR. HANNIBAL LECTER is lounging on his bunk, in white pajamas, reading an Italian Vogue. He turns, considers her... A face so long out of the sun, it seems almost leached - except for the glittering eyes, and the wet red mouth. He rises smoothly, crossing to stand before her; the gracious host. His voice is cultured, soft.

Top 10 Film Character Introductions | The Script Lab - Noelle Buffam