by Michael Chasin
Movies on DVDs often contain extras.
These extras are usually self-serving marketing tools—such as showing an action star training with experts.
More insightful—especially on anniversary DVDs—are direct interviews and commentaries, customarily voiced over the film.
The common thread of these interviews and commentaries is their interpretation of—the screenplay.
That is, how they applied their artistry to the written words.
As director—why shots were selected, actors framed, and visions created—in translating the screenplay.
As cinematographer—why lighting and focal lengths were used—visually presenting the words on the page.
As production designer—why look of the interiors and exteriors were created—as visual statements on the theme of the script—and cores of the characters.
As costume designer—why the wardrobe was used (or created) to represent the script’s characters and emotional states.
As composer—why a musical motif was created for each character—supporting the emotion in that part of the script.
And of course the actors—how they interpreted their characters—as written on the page.
What all this helps us to remember is that the production of a film is a collective of creative artists—all starting at the same point—the screenplay.
It is only from a screenplay—from which their interpretations can begin.
So be sure your screenplay is rich and detailed enough—for your colleague artisans—to interpret.
Photos: telegraph.co.uk, bang2write.com