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Vale's Technique of Screen and Television Writing by Eugene Vale

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9

Transition of Action

Future, Present, Past

Grammatically, every verb can be conjugated in the fundamental tenses: past, present, future. I killed, I kill, I shall kill. A noun, however, is not bound to time. “House” or “dog” or “anger” cannot be conjugated.

A verb represents action. Therefore action can be conjugated in the three time dimensions.

Dramatically speaking, past, present and future exist together in the motion picture story.

This is a fundamental realization. It would seem that because the happenings are shown in actual execution we are only concerned with the present. This is a false impression. Past and future form a very important part of the story.

A person can say in the picture: “I committed a murder.” Or he can be shown in ...

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