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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Screenwriting Class  ›  What Message Does Your Script(s) Convey? Moderators: George Willson
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  Author    What Message Does Your Script(s) Convey?  (currently 664 views)
henb
Posted: May 17th, 2019, 9:46am Report to Moderator
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I believe movies have the potential to change audience's lives. If or when your screenplays are seen on screen, what lessons do you hope to teach or re-enforce to viewers?


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henb
Posted: May 17th, 2019, 10:01am Report to Moderator
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With the latest script I'm working on, a horror/romance feature titled '$7,000,000', I want audiences to realize:
- Never sell your soul for money.
- It is important to forgive.
- More often than not, you should walk away from an abusive relationship.
- Be true to yourself.


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Demento
Posted: May 17th, 2019, 11:53am Report to Moderator
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I do not think in these terms. The story comes from "somewhere" and I write it down.

That's about it.

Always interesting to see how different people have different approaches, motives.
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henb
Posted: May 17th, 2019, 12:09pm Report to Moderator
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I think your method is shared by most screenwriters, myself included. Though there is always going to be a message to a script, whether intentional or not.


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Dustin
Posted: May 17th, 2019, 12:21pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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There will be a message in every story and every writer will know what that is. I prefer stories that provide edutainment, but I'll write anything if I'm paid. Each story is different. The message doesn't have to be one I agree with.


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Demento
Posted: May 17th, 2019, 1:50pm Report to Moderator
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What I was trying to say is that I start off with an idea, and the story starts flowing in my head. It's like I'm watching a movie and writing it down. Motives, themes, goals, motivations and so on, I don't think about any of these things. And I don't want to think about them. I have a - what happens, happens attitude.

Yet, I agree, some messages will appear as a by-product of the storytelling process. Because, characters have character and they are striving for something. But I didn't put them there consciously, they kinda appeared, much liked the story did.
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FrankM
Posted: May 17th, 2019, 5:09pm Report to Moderator
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A lot of times the writer has a story idea, basically transcribes the movie-in-the-head into something resembling an outline or screenplay, then tinkers with it until a script emerges that kinda sorta makes sense.

Let's call that the first draft.

Unless the writer went into this process specifically to champion a specific point of view, that first draft probably won't have a strong "theme." But at this point, sometimes the writer can see a lesson peeking around the edges. Should he or she revise so that most everything references that lesson, it becomes a "strong theme."

Of course, too strong and it's just preachy.


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henb
Posted: May 17th, 2019, 5:16pm Report to Moderator
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These are the messages from my four completed feature-length scripts:

SPACE FISH - Prejudice and racism are bad, we should strive for equality, don't go against your morals, violence leads to more violence, appreciate those who care for you, crime doesnít pay.

THE HOMELESS CRUSADERS - Donít pretend to be something youíre not, war is Hell, reverse corruption, itís wrong to seek revenge.

UNCOMFORTABLE CREATURES - All creatures deserve a good life free from fear and suffering, donít bully people, protect those in need, be wary of strangers, be kind to others.

MUST ESCAPE FROM THE SLAUGHTERCITY - Murder is an evil act, respect animals and nature, do not conform to a questionable way of life, stay true to what you believe in.

Iím fairly certain there are other themes that I left out and will add once they become clear.



Revision History (8 edits; 1 reasons shown)
henb  -  May 18th, 2019, 4:20am
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eldave1
Posted: May 17th, 2019, 5:51pm Report to Moderator
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I'm pretty sure none of my scripts have "messages". They have themes I guess. Message is a bit strong for me in terms of what I write.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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FrankM
Posted: May 17th, 2019, 9:23pm Report to Moderator
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The theme that's emerging for Who Wants to Be a Princess? is something along the lines of "being someone you're not will not lead to happiness" and there are some bits of "don't judge someone by the color of his skin" lurking in there (though in this children's tale, it's actually "don't judge someone by the color of his clothes"). This will be more clear once the next draft gets posted... at some point.

The closest thing that Timmy has to a theme is that "a billion things have to go right for the city to make it through the day, and that doesn't always happen."

My back-burner script Kord is a bit more intentional with its theming. Elves have the stereotypical advantages and disadvantages of being "feminine," dwarves have the stereotypical advantages and disadvantages of being "masculine," and humans have the stereotypical advantages and disadvantages of being "two-faced political bastards." The message should gel around the concept of there being more than one right way to tackle a problem.

If Glass House has a theme, I haven't figured it out  


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AlsoBen
Posted: May 18th, 2019, 1:32am Report to Moderator
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Although I don't think anything I write has "messages" in the literal sense, it has made me realize that pretty much everything I write can be thematically surmised in the exact same way. Not sure what it says about me.


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Lon
Posted: May 18th, 2019, 8:26pm Report to Moderator
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It's not my aim to change anyone's life, it's my aim to tell an interesting story.  That's not to say my stories don't have themes, or that I don't occasionally explore deeper psychological, emotional, religious and/or political issues.  But my focus is, first and foremost, creating believable characters -- and being primarily a horror/thriller writer, seeing how much hell I can put them through.
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ajr
Posted: May 19th, 2019, 6:05pm Report to Moderator
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Wow, I was really gratified to see this thread, as it touches on something that I espouse in pretty much every review I do here. Which is - why did you write this piece?

I read a lot more - a LOT more - here than I comment on. I open a feature, I get about 15 pages through, and I lose the reason. Every so often I will comment and ask the writer what their intentions were with the piece, but I do that less and less nowadays....

For me - the worst reason to write is because you "have an idea." Ideas are cheap. Execution is key.  Most "ideas" break down in Act II, and act III is a rush to the twist.

I write when I have something to say. I will think of a theme, and I'll figure out a way to illustrate it. From the theme comes plot, characters, and dialogue. The message is not spoon fed on the last few pages, it is sewn throughout the narrative.

This, consequently, is why I write so little. I have a few ideas for features I'm making notes for now, and one day....

AJR


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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Warren
Posted: May 19th, 2019, 6:17pm Report to Moderator
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I'm not trying to change anyone's life, but the overarching themes in my scripts are clear. They focus heavily on abuse, mental health, and suicide. I'd say that more than half of all the scripts I've ever written have had one of these issues as the focus.

Even my comedy scripts use these themes. Trauma Teddy, The Nutcase, and Crazy In Love being a few that spring to mind.


To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

My Website

My IMDb

Shaka Comic Book

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Dustin
Posted: May 20th, 2019, 1:39am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Messge and theme are pretty much the same thing. A theme presents certain messages in the narrative that reinforce it.


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Pale Yellow
Posted: May 20th, 2019, 10:42am Report to Moderator
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One thing I worry about is in 'today's' society of offending everyone for every thing... I worry sometimes I may offend. For example I wrote a short comedy about a fat guy and an AI that is his coach. Will it offend? When I submitted it to the festival, I asked the festival admin.. and he told me this... Dena, it's comedy, it is supposed to offend and you shouldn't have to worry about that with comedy. I still worry though... art should not be thwarted in my opinion though by all of these social norms and parameters. It is stifling IMO.

On the other hand, if someone asks me to write a faith based script.. then that's what I would do.
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JohnI
Posted: May 20th, 2019, 11:31am Report to Moderator
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Only message mine has ďPLEASE BUY ME!!!Ē Lol
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