Michael asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 2 months ago

What is the difference between writing a script for a play and for a movie?

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  • 2 months ago
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    Differences in how they will be performed.  When writing for a play, you are limited to what you can make happen on a live stage.  This limits your ability use dozens of different locations.  It limits your ability to do things like car chases, blowing up buildings, etc. You can not use green screens and CGI.  You can not do special effects, etc.  So you have write the script so that it can be done on a stage.

    Also a movie is presented as "one act".  It starts and then runs nonstop for as long as it takes to tell the story.  A play is usually divided into three acts.  It has an intermission (or two.)  So the story has to be structured to all for an intermission break.  A movie does not.

    With a stage play you have to have a way to get people on the stage at the beginning of the play and off the stage at the end (for intermission, etc.)  In a movie you do.  (Why so many of Shakespeare's play end with a wedding dance or a funeral procession as it was his way of getting people off the stage when the play was done.)

    A play usually has a more intimate feel to it.  While a movie has a "blockbuster" feel to it.

    A play has to consider time for people to change costumes, get on and off stage between scenes, etc.  A movie can just cut between two scenes.

    They are two very different things.  That is one reason why so many movies made of stage plays fail.  The scripts and stories were not written for the screen.  Often in an attempt to include all the extras you can do in a movie, the story presented on the stage gets lost.  The intimacy of the theater and spontaneity of the live actors is lost when converted to film.  And why scripts for moves have to be rewritten when you try to turn them into plays.

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