CHAPTER ONE of the Screenwriting Essentials Online Tutorial & workbook discuss STORY CONCEPT and idea.
From the very first IMAGE you see on the screen you are telling your audience what to expect in this visual journey they are about to embark upon with you. That first image is the first step on the journey. I always say that writing is about choices and your choices for telling your story start with that very first image. Make sure you're clear about what you're saying.
Every artist faces a similar decision making process whether it’s a oil painter, a photographer or you the screenwriter. Visually speaking, you compose each scene - you choose the location (what does it say) to the viewer? You choose the apparel of each actor (to some extent - what does that say?) You choose the WORDS they speak. What is going on beneath the words that actually come out of the actors mouth? Are they saying ‘I LOVE YOU, I love you... while they shower each other with trash from a nearby garbage can?
Now that doesn’t mean that you become a ‘control freak’ as a writer. You leave many, many choices to the director and the actor and the set designer and the locations manager. BUT, WHEN IT”S IMPORTANT to our understanding of the story or the emotional landscape of the heroine/hero you create concrete details in your cinematic story choices that make that clear.
There is a power and a responsibility in every story choice you make as a writer. With proper planning - you can learn to revel in the choosing - not be frozen in place - unable to act; or stymied with indecision.
I hope this helps. And I do wish you luck with your screenplay. Let me know when you’ve completed your script. I’d love to read your work!