48 votes
Accepted

How much of Star Wars did George Lucas actually write?

At the risk of giving an opinion-based answer, your friend is mostly right. Lucas began by writing a synopsis of the story in early 1973, then started working on a rough draft of a script the next ...
  • 11.6k
45 votes
Accepted

Making nature documentaries: scripting then filming or the other way?

This article is a very interesting read on nature documentaries. It seems that yes, generally, a nature documentary does at least some scripting first. For example, on the BBC's documentary series '...
43 votes
Accepted

Are scripts seeded to identify leaks?

Yes Screenrant.com WSJ’s report also contains a few interesting accounts of how recent and upcoming movies were kept under wraps. Each copy of each script for The Hunger Games adaptations has a ...
  • 130k
40 votes

What do abbreviations in movie scripts stand for?

These abbreviations represent the type of scene and the area where it's being filmed. From this glossary and this page from abbreviations used in movie scripts, EXT. => Exterior INT. => ...
  • 57.3k
30 votes
Accepted

What did Ray Nadeem's boss mean by "You're buried in debt and that makes you a recruitment target"?

It means that a person who has a large amount of debt is more susceptible to being bribed (a "recruitment target"). Hattley (Nadeem's boss) was saying that this is the reason why she is ...
16 votes

Making nature documentaries: scripting then filming or the other way?

Well there is only so much you can plan ahead. Just look at David Attenborough's experience with baby gorillas. There is a youtube video of him and the crew thinking back to that time. I think it ...
  • 260
14 votes

Why is Gangs of New York considered an original screenplay?

Because it was "inspired" by it, not "based" on it. Herbert Asbury's book (as you've mentioned in your quote) is non-fiction. It was about the real and historic Gangs of New York. Now the movie was ...
  • 31.9k
12 votes
Accepted

Definitive explanation of the line, “…picking your feet in Poughkeepsie.” from “The French Connection.”

From IMDB trivia section for the film re the DVD commentary: The scene where Doyle and Russo chase down the dealer near the beginning and Gene Hackman shouts out his famous question "Did you ever ...
  • 67.2k
9 votes
Accepted

Breaking Bad script and actual episode are totally similar, is that usual?

In terms of dialogue and visual direction, it's all planned out, though actors may change lines slightly. In one interview, creator Vince Gilligan addresses it partially: Q: What was the first ...
  • 6,103
8 votes

Why is Gangs of New York considered an original screenplay?

Julia Turner at Slate had the same question back in February 2003: Jay Cocks, a longtime Scorsese collaborator and one of film's three credited writers, told Explainer that most of the script was ...
  • 46.3k
8 votes
Accepted

Original script details of Flesh and Blood

Translated from a Dutch website: The original story was written by both Soeteman and Verhoeven shortly after the finishing of the series called 'Floris, which was made in 1969. It was originally ...
7 votes
Accepted

How are intertitles (title cards) denoted in silent movie scripts?

In these three examples, you can find different ways of doing it. It is denoted with "Spoken Title", "Sub-title" or just "Title" instead of the number of the shot/scene. Here are examples from the ...
  • 5,138
7 votes
Accepted

Repeating same line at the start of the movie and at the end

This is a form of a bookend. Matching scenes at the beginning and end of a story, often to show how things have changed through the course of the series, or to demonstrate that they haven't ...
  • 4,154
6 votes
Accepted

Did Mork and Mindy scripts really mark the gaps for Robin Williams's ad-libs?

Did any Mork and Mindy production script ever explicitly mark the places where Robin Williams was supposed to improvise? No, this did not happen. During the time of Mork and Mindy being a major hit, ...
  • 13.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Is this what the screenwriter intended?

No spy worth his weight in bullets would begin a mission without a thorough briefing. But ”Mission: Impossible 2,” the $90 million spy thriller starring Tom Cruise, started filming without a finished ...
5 votes

Breaking Bad script and actual episode are totally similar, is that usual?

It highly depends on the director. Some directors (mainly the ones who were actors themselves once upon a time) allow the actors to play out a scene a little here and there. These types of directors ...
  • 1,629
5 votes

How do the movies shoot with character in multiple mirrors?

In the photo you included, one possible way is this: Hang the 12 mall mirrors on the wall. Place the camera where it will be in the shot. Have a "stand-in" stand right where the actor will be. (A "...
  • 23.3k
5 votes
Accepted

How is narrative affected by cinema turnover schedules?

As a former screenwriter, I'm well aware of standard Hollywood story structure. Essentially, the story is broken into 8 sections of nearly-equal length, with sections 1 and 8 typically being a little ...
  • 23.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Changes in the Back To The Future screenplay?

The screenplay was very much in flux during the filming, which is reflected in the official novelization by George Gipe which differs significantly from the released movie in numerous places. Ryan ...
  • 46.3k
4 votes

Role of Karma in Movies

Starting with your definition of Karma or Justice: the good guy that beats the villan and gets the girl and the bad guys who learn their lessons one way or another in the end And your first ...
  • 27.4k
3 votes

Three Days of the Condor - communications protocols. Script vs movie adaptation

I suspect the scriptwriters wanted to make it clear to viewers that Redford's character was getting suspicious that they might be after him. The slow zoom on the abandoned phone swinging from its cord ...
3 votes
Accepted

Why were certain changes made from the stage to movie version of "Sound of Music?'

Almost all movies derived from stage musicals will add at least one original song, the objective being to make it eligible for an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. In recent memory, ...
3 votes

Is this what the screenwriter intended?

According to this interview with Robert Towne he had a rather good working relationship with Tom Cruise (they already worked together before, on the first Mission Impossible and Days of Thunder). ...
  • 50k
2 votes

Why was this lined changed in No Country for Old Men?

Changing it to electric chair makes it more historically accurate; based on when the movie is set, Bell could have sent someone to the chair early in his career. When Chiguhr makes the gas station ...
  • 6,554
2 votes

Question about dialogue in F/X (1986)

It is a joke: While the actor Bryan Brown is Australian, the character that he is playing - Roland Tyler is presumably not* (indeed, he couldn't be deported from his home country). What's more, the ...
  • 10.5k
2 votes
Accepted

What do the two German ladies discuss in The Darjeeling Limited?

According to the IMDb: What are the German ladies arguing about? Something about that they should have two set of keys for each. The other answers "That's quite easy." The scene then ...
  • 3,742
1 vote

Has the prevalence of original film scripts changed?

There are an unknown amount of original scripts that have been bought by studios that have not been greenlit, only the studios themselves know how many. The reason for them basically sitting on ...
  • 645
1 vote

Why was this lined changed in No Country for Old Men?

You pose an EXCELLENT question. The reason Sheriff Ed Bell tells a lie in the very first line of the novel is the author's way of letting you know that he's an "unreliable narrator", i.e., you can't ...
1 vote
Accepted

Why doesn't John Truby write screenplays?

From your question, the core piece is: In this day and age when studios are willing to bet millions on single project and getting them reviewed by advertising agencies for crying out loud, it makes ...
  • 8,674

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible