THE FOOTBALL GAME – AS A SCREENPLAY
by Michael Chasin
Football—is passionately watched week after week—season after season.
Why—when it is formulaic, rigidly structured, and brimming with confining rules?
Amazingly—or perhaps purposefully—the football formula is strikingly similar to the dramatic formula—of a screenplay.
They share a:
- Set-up act & 1st quarter—where in both it is learned who to root for—who against—what works—and what doesn’t
- Conflict act & 2nd quarter—where obstacles—and the opposition—grow
- Separating mid-point & half-time—where the story changes direction—as does the literal direction of a team’s goal
- Stronger conflict act & 3rd quarter—leading to the all-is-lost moment—and the opposition’s almost insurmountable lead
- Resolution act & 4th quarter—where issues—and the game—are decided
They also share dramatic devices, such as:
- Plot points—which twists story—as an interception twists the game
- Surprise—providing unexpected actions—such as the flea-flicker play
- Reversals—as in a set-back for the hero—who is sacked for a loss
- A ticking clock—creating urgency—as battling against diminishing game time
Screenplays create special worlds with unique customs, rules, dress, and language.
Football is a place of specific rules, warrior-like uniforms, and special jargon.
So if you have never written a screenplay—mimic football.
Insert your own unique underdog quarterback hero—against a powerful middle linebacker villain—add story twists of interceptions—and uniquely mix together.
You will have then crafted a compelling football game—and screenplay.