Writing within Genre When you write a spec screenplay, strategize to work within a recognizable genre paradigm. Within film, a paradigm is a typical model formed by pre established audience expectations.
Gideon Sarantinos has been involved in the screenwriting world for nearly 20 years. If a writer wants to write a horror screenplay, where should they even start?
Writers should understand why audiences enjoy horror movies. These tenets rule the genre, so make sure your story fits into one or more of them.
Does your idea fit another genre? If so, is horror the predominant one? These will help you define the expression of your idea. It can be argued that your antagonist the one inducing the fear is more important than your protagonist when writing horror.
Forcing us to face our fears is what makes horror so appealing. Then ensure the antagonist presents those fears when your main character is most vulnerable. If they are afraid of the dark, have them locked in a dungeon with no natural light.
There is a shonky lamp that burns out when the protagonist is feeling trapped, lonely, hungry, thirsty and ready to die.
Put your main character through the wringer and never let them off easily. If they escape their ordeal, make sure they truly earned it. Foreplay normally belongs to a different genre of film, but things that go bump in the night will always jolt your audience. It is an effective fright tool, but it has been overused.
But if you do consider its execution. The protagonist senses impending danger. The audience feels the dread. Then something goes bump. The protagonist feels safe again and goes back to bed.
Then we see the monster under the bed. See the range of emotions the audience goes through in this scenario. There are no real pros and cons of any stylistic device. Just use them effectively and uniquely for maximum emotional impact.
The story progression should present those fears and escalate them. For instance, if your hero nearly drowned as a kid, have them stranded at sea in a leaky boat. Manifest their fear of water in any way possible. Personally I think the overall concept is the most important aspect of your horror story.
The scary moments help. These are your water cooler or trailer moments. Dialogue is rarely memorable in horror movies.
Should humor be incorporated in the horror genre? This is a matter of personal preference. Personally, I think humor is counter-intuitive to fear. It detracts from the horror.
Consider The Visit, M. Sure, the moments of levity provided a brief respite from the dramatic tension, but overall they were a distraction for me.
Then you can look at the British horror hit, Shaun Of The Dead, which used comedy in its dramatic core and zombie horror in its style. The box office numbers are testament to its success.International Screenplay for a Horror Film. Final Deadline: The TV ONE SCREENPLAY COMPETITION is meant to encourage and promote the production of creative, contemporary, engaging and relatable screenplays that can be turned into original movies for television.
Movie Skits 'Scripts For Comedy Skits' Writing Contest. Final Deadline. A horror movie has certain rules. If you break too many the audience will be disappointed. This is a very short, no fluff, blueprint of how to write a horror script. Nov 16, · SCREENWRITING STAFFING: If a writer wants to write a horror screenplay, where should they even start?
J. Gideon Sarantinos: Writers should understand why audiences enjoy horror movies. They explore our fears of the unknown, fear of danger or death, fear of change and fear of what we don’t understand or can’t control.
A horror script should be uncanny page-turner for the reader.
There should be tangible shifts from one act to the next, and, whether you opt for a slow burn or peaks and troughs, there should be a steady increase in tension until the climax. Entering Screenplay Contests, Screenwriter Blogs, Screenwriting How-To Articles About Joshua Corin Joshua Corin has written critically acclaimed novels (most recently AMERICAN LIES), comic books (most recently SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL), and videos (most recently WHY THANOS CHANGED).
If you want to enter all the screenplay contests, go for it (though this can get expensive), but I recommend that you focus on taking fewer, higher-quality shots by entering the top screenwriting contests to which industry executives pay attention.
Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Supernatural Horror. S upernatural Horror is perhaps the most writer-friendly of all Horror sub-genres because its effectiveness really does live on the page, rather than being hostage to practical or CGI effects (even though we should love those too!). Unlike other Horror sub-genres (Slasher, Urbanoia, Body Horror, Cannibal) Supernatural Horror . Shortly after the Script Pipeline screenwriting contest, Evan landed an assignment with Warner Bros. to rewrite an adaptation of He-Man, which led to the sale of SWATH. Evan co-wrote an adaptation of the young adult novel Divergent for Summit Entertainment . by: Henrik Holmberg A horror movie has certain rules. If you break too many the audience will be disappointed. This is a very short, no fluff, blueprint of how to write a horror script.