This week's Answer:
The Perfect Moment
Sometimes my money, Charles. That is, when I use a dollar bill as a bookmarker (or scriptmarker,
as it were). I
guess you could say that, at that time, I actually have
money in my own script. Truthfully, I have discovered that, after reading and
evaluating so many screenplays, one has a tendency to
develop a personal technique, an approach, if you will.
(And I hope you will.)
Iíll tell you what usually happens when Iím
handed a screenplay.
(If itís a messenger, I talk about the weather
very rapidly so that heíll forget about the tip.)
The first thing I find myself doing (after
searching for any possible dollar bills) is flipping
through it and scanning the dialogue.
Itís the first telltale signifier whether the
script will be well written.
Iíll go to various pages and just take in a few
lines here and there.
If the dialogue seems to be flowing and
intriguing even out of context, then there is a
very good chance that the script will appeal to me and, in
my opinion (which is the only opinion Iíve got), has
me, a script (and a film) works when the author has
ďcraftily craftedĒ a story that absorbs me emotionally
(whether it be a romantic comedy, thriller, biopic,
whatever genre) and gives me a perfectly-timed catharsis.
(Yes, I actually like to cry in movies and while I
read. It can be a problem, though. Many a screenwriter has called, complaining of how wrinkled
and watermarked their script is after I get through with
you and me, I never let on that Iím that sensitive and
merely mention that there must have been a local shower
and a wannabe screenwriter-postman got a little curious.)
It takes skill to choreograph
everything to that Perfect Moment.
We all know it.
My first Perfect Moment happened, I believe, when
Old Yeller had to be shot.
The floodgates opened; it was tragically euphoric;
and Iíve been searching for that moment again all my
a lot like pubescent sexual exploration to me.
Ergo, I became a script consultant.
It was either that or a raving sex addict.) That Perfect Moment usually comes in the third act (It
normally depends upon enough story building and character
have found that that moment is enhanced when there is an
emotional release and resolution (external and/or
internal) for the protagonist (and, very importantly, us)
while, at the same time, there is comparable thematic
that moment, everything comes together. Itís the end of the main characterís rainbow. (Everybody
in Hollywood calls it his or her arc, but I think it
should have lots of colors.
Which works quite well when you recall that a
characterís persona needs a lot of colors.
Maybe Iíll coin a new phrase, ďcharacter
rainbow,Ē for Variety and Hollywood Reporter!
But theyíll have to pay me excessively for my
demand that they send me scripts with dollar bills in