Movie rules, also known as “screenwriting rules,” are guidelines that writers use to craft compelling and effective stories for film. While these rules are not set in stone and can be broken by experienced and talented writers, they are a good starting point for those new to the craft.
One of the most important rules in screenwriting is the three-act structure. This structure, which is often attributed to screenwriter Syd Field, divides the story into three parts: the setup, the confrontation, and the resolution. The setup introduces the characters, the setting, and the problem that the story will focus on. The confrontation is where the protagonist struggles to overcome the problem and the stakes are raised. The resolution is where the problem is resolved and the story concludes.
Another important rule is the idea of “show, don’t tell.” This means that the writer should show the audience what is happening through actions and dialogue, rather than telling them through narration. This allows the audience to experience the story and form their own interpretations, rather than being told what to think.
The rule of “economy of dialogue” is another important aspect of screenwriting. This means that dialogue should be used sparingly and only when it is necessary to advance the story or reveal character. Excessive dialogue can slow down the pacing of a story and make it feel tedious.
The use of subplots is also an important aspect of screenwriting. Subplots can be used to add depth to a story and to show the audience different facets of the characters. However, it is important to ensure that the subplots are connected to the main plot and that they do not detract from the main story.
Another important rule is the concept of “character arc.” This refers to the transformation that a character goes through over the course of the story. The character arc should be evident and should be in line with the main theme of the story.
The use of symbolism and motifs is another important aspect of screenwriting. These elements can be used to add depth and meaning to a story. However, it is important to use them sparingly and in a way that is not too heavy-handed.
The rule of “three-point lighting” is also an important aspect of screenwriting. This refers to the use of three lights in a scene: a key light, a fill light, and a back light. The key light is the main source of light and is used to illuminate the subject. The fill light is used to fill in shadows and to add depth to the scene. The back light is used to separate the subject from the background and to add dimension to the scene.
Lastly, the rule of “dramatic irony” is also an important aspect of screenwriting. This refers to a situation where the audience knows something that the characters do not. This creates a sense of tension and suspense, as the audience is waiting for the characters to catch up.
In conclusion, movie rules are a set of guidelines that writers use to craft compelling and effective stories for film. While these rules are not set in stone and can be broken by experienced and talented writers, they are a good starting point for those new to the craft. They include the three-act structure, the idea of “show, don’t tell,” the rule of “economy of dialogue,” the use of subplots, the concept of “character arc,” the use of symbolism and motifs, the rule of “three-point lighting” and the rule of “dramatic irony.”
It’s worth noting that following these rules too closely can lead to formulaic stories, and the best screenplays often break these rules in creative ways. However, understanding these conventions can give a