James Napoli

How To Climb Into Your Screenplay (Part 1)

How To Climb Into Your Screenplay (Part 1)

“Before you can write anything,  you have to notice something.” – John Irving Once a film script is written, once it is shot and becomes a movie, that is when critics and bloggers get to dig into the material and come up with the story’s overarching themes, what the characters represent, and what the screenwriter […]

 James Napoli

The Many Faces Of Supporting Characters

The Many Faces Of Supporting Characters

Supporting characters serve a lot of functions in films and TV, and, when approached properly, they enhance and burnish the overall impact of visual storytelling. Let’s take a look at some of the key functions of supporting characters in scripts: Throwing Obstacles in the Protagonist’s Path Let’s get clear from the start: we have to […]

 James Napoli

There Is Nothing Wrong With Melodrama

There Is Nothing Wrong With Melodrama

Melodrama – noun  /ˈmel·əˌdrɑ·mə, -ˌdræm·ə/ A play or style of acting in which the characters behave and show emotion in a more noticeable way than real people usually do. – Cambridge English Dictionary. Teaching screenwriting, as I do, provides an ongoing wonderful lesson in subjectivity. Ask screenwriters where the inciting incident occurs in a screenplay, and a […]

 James Napoli

How Pacing, Style & Tone Shape Your Screenplay

How Pacing, Style & Tone Shape Your Screenplay

Most screenwriters should be aware of the main structural pillars of a screenplay – act breaks, inciting incidents and conclusions. Few consider the less tangible aspects of their screenplays such as style, tone and pacing to the same extent. Let’s take a look at some screenplay examples which illustrate how the interplay of these factors […]

 James Napoli

Villains And Their Functions In Stories

Villains And Their Functions In Stories

“…But when the tragic incident occurs between those who are near or dear to one another—if, for example, a brother kills, or intends to kill, a brother… or any other deed of this kind is done—these are the situations to be looked for by the poet.” Aristotle, Poetics When Aristotle wrote his seminal text on the […]

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