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Connecting to Purpose

Only Connect

A screenwriter’s purpose is to connect.

“Only connect,” E.M. Forster tells us in Howard’s End. He meant it as a rule to live by. I see it as a rule to write by. The best screenplays—long or short— are written by those who know how to connect—to themselves (their unique vision, material, process), to what drama is, and, most important, to others.

“You must never forget the umbilical cord is to real life, real people,” Oliver Stone says in Linda Seger and Edward Jay Whetmore’s From Script to Screen.

“I think of the medium as a people-to-people medium,” Frank Capra says in Eric Sherman’s Directing the Film, “not cameraman-to-people, not directors-to-people, not writers-to-people, but people-to-people.”

“You know,” ...

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