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Articles by Jeff Bollow:
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Available Only through FAST:
- How to Guarantee Completion

Past Newsletter Tips:
- Write Garbage
- Promises
- Motion Pictures
- Low-Budget HC
- All Drama
- First Impressions






Newsletter Tip (Dec 03):
Motion Pictures

by Jeff Bollow


This Newsletter's tip is a quick one: They don't call them MOTION pictures for nothing. Film is a dynamic visual medium, and the eye is instinctively drawn to motion.

When writing for the screen, be sure to add motion to your screenplay. Not by describing camera movements (bad screenwriter!), but by giving your words a sense of action.

The most straightforward way to do this is by using specific nouns and action verbs. For example "The house is sitting on top of the hill" is a static, boring, dull sentence. There's no motion in that. No action. No sense of movement.

Try "The mansion looms atop Deadman's Hill." House is generic; mansion is specific. Is sitting is static; looms is dynamic. The hill has no character -- until it's Deadman's.

The sharper the picture you create in the mind of the reader, the more dynamic their experience will be. Don't let your pictures stand still!

Keep on writing!

Jeff Bollow

Jeff Bollow, founder of, is an award-winning filmmaker, acclaimed screenwriting teacher, creator of FAST Screenplay, co-founder of New Zealand's Big Mountain Short Film Festival, and author of two best-selling books.

This article is copyright © 2003 by Jeff Bollow, and may not be reprinted without permission. You are free to link to this page, provided it is not within a frame on an external site.







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