Writing A Great Script Fast In A Nutshell

Step 11 Part One of Two - Plot, Theme, Character.. . .Next Step 12



Step 11 Part Two of Two - Creating Themes. . .Next Step 12


Step 11: Theme

Choose a one word theme for your story then explain how you are going to make it original and specific (desire leads to suffering):

Themes from Feature Films to study and get ideas:

• Alien: Fear of the unknown.
• Alien 2: The strength of motherhood.
• American Beauty: Desire leads to suffering.
• Antz: Think for yourself
• Apocalypse Now: There is a fine line between insanity and sanity.
• Bad Lieutenant: Redemption of a lost corrupt man.
• Brazil: Consequences of individuality in a totalitarian dictatorship.
• Boogie Nights: Self-delusion.
• Buckaroo Bonzai: Superhero with a pure heart can see evil.
• Casablanca: Loss of love for some greater cause.
• Citizen Kane: Exploration of personality; who was Kane?
• Clockwork Orange: Violence is a cost of individuality and non-individuals have a loss of soul.
• Dangerous Liaisons: Courtship as combat.
• Dr. Strangelove: Exploration of systems and their crushing of individuals.
• Evil Dead 2: Triumph of hero.
• Fargo: Treasure the little things in life.
• Fatal Attraction: Cost of deception.
• The Graduate: Alienation of 60’s youth.
• Magnolia: Forgiveness in Los Angeles.
• Memento: How humans construct and deconstruct reality.
• Princess Mononoke (2D): Everything is alive and connected in our environment.
• Pulp Fiction: Seeking out redemption in underworld with emphasis on loyalty.
• Requiem For a Dream: Addiction to dreams.
• Run Lola Run: Exploration of how the power of love can change fate.
• Shrek (3D): Seeing inner beauty. When you can love someone else you can love yourself.
• Star Wars: A hero coming of age taking on lost father’s path.
• Terminator: Man being destroyed by their own machines.
• The Bad And The Beautiful: Creativity and corruption.
• The Big Chill: Warmth of friendship against cold world.
• The Blair Witch: Arrogance of youth lacking respect for themselves, surroundings, and subject.
• The Celebration (DV): Dark secrets destroy families.
• The Cruise (DV): The beauty of Manhattan.
• Lord Of The Rings (1): Even the smallest person can change the world. Pure heart needed to wield great power.
• The Matrix: Rise of superman against the system of the future.
• The Piano: The need for creative expression.
• The Remains Of The Day: Individual vs. place within class society. Class society destroying individual.
• The Usual Suspects: Construction and reconstruction of memory and identity.
• There’s Something About Mary: Love is more important than beauty. Struggles with perfection.
• Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead: Honor among thieves.
• Trainspotting: Conflict between life and death urges.
• Toy Story (3D): Being the most favorite toy.
• Waking Life (DV): Exploration of lucid dreaming state. What is real verses what is illusion.
• Wallstreet: Greed leads to corruption.
• Wizard of OZ: The importance of home and family
• You Can Count On Me: Loves evokes love

Theme Symbolic Image Description in Script

Treasure the little things in life
Character eating fresh pie savoring every bite.
Alienation of youth Young character looking out of place at grownup party.
Desire leads to suffering Character getting beat up trying to get what he wants.
Exploration of character Searching for meaning of last word uttered on deathbed.
The blurry line between sanity and insanity Show all the characters acting crazy but functional.
Violence as cost of individuality Hip, artsy, unique criminal characters.
Cost of deception Pet cat found hanging on clothesline by antagonist.
Power of love can change fate Character screaming so loud that he wins game of chance to save lover.
War changes people Main characters all experience extreme changes as result of war. Some characters die, some become very scarred and others get very resourceful.

One Word Theme for your story:

How is your theme original and specific?

List 3 ways to show story events being controlled by the theme in your story:






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