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photography and film – facts, ideas, values

FILM SCREENPLAY Is it a great one?





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What makes a great screenplay?


John Yorke, Guardian,15 March 2013


From Casablanca to The Killing – the elements of a great script are essentially the same. John Yorke – who is responsible for some of the most popular recent British TV dramas – reveals how and why the best screenwriting works


Also by John Yorke:


Into The Woods: A Five Act Journey Into Story


This is lovely long piece which doesn’t mention Chinatown By Robert Townes. But lo, a commenter does. And COTA has posted a version at Screenplay: Chinatown [1977] It’s one of my favourite films, which I repeat ad nauseam. Best silly man joke in film too : note in that shot how the people line up one behind the other.



October 22, 2013 Posted by | film, Film script/screenplay | , , | Leave a comment

Screenplay: Chinatown [1977]



Screenplays for you includes Robert Towne’s Chinatown.

As when scripts were put up in Moleskine Modality, note it is not clear from the site whether these are the originals or transcribed from movies.

I came here from a comment Townes made (sorry, can’t find it again, just a few scribbled notes) about  the symbolism of the title. One of the nubs being about how J.J. ( Jake) Giddes (Jack Nicholson) doesn’t ever know whether he is helping or hindering a situation.

In the wiki:Chinatown, it says “Chinatown can symbolically mean here an alien place beyond J.J. Giddes understanding or control.”



July 20, 2008 Posted by | film [its techniques], screenplay | , , | 1 Comment