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Classical Storytelling and Contemporary Screenwriting by Brian Price

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Thirty-ThreePages

Putting It All Together (Part 3)

“The poet should endeavor to combine all poetic elements; or failing that, the greatest number and those the most important.”

(Poetics, Part XVIII)

Now that we’ve discussed all the various components required to translate a story beat into words on a page, the description, dialogue, and formatting, let’s look at an actual scene to see how all these elements come together.

Here’s the opening scene of an early draft of Spider-Man, written by one of my all-time favorite screenwriters, David Koepp. And even though it changed quite a bit before the final Shooting Script, it provides an excellent example of Aristotle’s precepts.

EXT. A BACK ALLEY—DAY

The screen is filled by the face of PETER ...

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