How To Read A Screenplay

A 7 part series on ways you can dig into and analyze scripts.

In this series, I have laid out one approach to reading and analyzing screenplays. This is not intended to train you to be a script reader, but rather to provide a set of tools for writers to dig deep into a screenplay and study its structure, characters, themes, style, and so forth.

As I say, every writer is different and has different needs, either personally or per project. If you resonate with any ideas here, feel free to use. If not, feel free to lose.

Gene Tierney on the set of “Sundown” (1941). Note: You don’t have to dress like this to read scripts.

Reading scripts is a key part of immersing oneself in the world of cinema, something we all should be doing.

Remember: It’s more than just writing a screenplay. It’s about learning to think like a screenwriter.

For Part 1: The First Pass, go here.

For Part 2: The Scene-By-Scene Breakdown, go here.

For Part 3: Plotline Points and Sequences, go here.

For Part 4: Subplots, Relationships and Character Functions, go here.

For Part 5: Metamorphosis, go here.

For Part 6: Themes, go here.

For Part 7: Style and Language, go here.

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