Screenwriting

Night of the Naked Dead!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

David Goyer on not writing enough detail in his scripts

David Goyer, writer of Batman Begins, The Unborn, Man of Steel, and Dark City, to name a few of his writing works, shared how he reinvented himself to write an eerie horror script, The Unborn. In this article featured in Volume 16 Number 1 of Creative Screenwriting,  Goyer speaks of not writing enough detail in his scripts that ticked off a director.

According to David Goyer, he wrote an unnamed script that Guillermo Del Toro directed. In Goyer's ambiguous description, he wrote along the lines of, 'He looks like a living nightmare.' This provoked Guillermo to respond with, "This is bullshit. What does this mean?" (pg. 73).

Nevertheless, David Goyer learned from writing minimal description in his screenplays. He realized this lack of description could frustrate some directors, even when he, himself, was tasked to direct his own script, The Unborn. In the middle of his directing duties, David would question the motive of the writer and ask what is wrong with this screenwriter.

Interestingly, David remembered he wrote the screenplay and experienced a dose of vague descriptions that may have confused past directors. David shared that he would work on improving his descriptions and this action could provide a better foundation to keep directors in the loop.

Remember, movie scripts are intended to convey detailed action. Vague descriptions and/or questionable similes and metaphors can confuse directors. Explain action in detail to avoid run-ins with directors.


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