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Film Directing Fundamentals, 2nd Edition by Nicholas Proferes

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Chapter 7

Detective Work on Scripts

Every film begins with a screenplay, ideally a good one. Still, even in very good screenplays the director's investigation may uncover flaws as the screenplay is broken up into its smallest parts, even if the director is also the writer. A more intense focus, a more powerful lens, must be brought to the text now. The essence of every dramatic moment should be discovered and related to a dramatic whole. If we think of the screenplay as a forest and the dramatic moments as trees, we ought to be able to immerse ourselves in the forest, to see every tree in minute detail. At the same time, we should be constantly aware of each tree's specific place in the forest — its job in the film. The first step in this journey ...

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