Dialogue is one of the most challenging skills a writer has to develop. Producing words that sound natural and – above all – human, takes real talent and hard work. As discussed previously when analysing The Assassination of Jesse James, people rarely say what they actually mean, necessitating the writer to imbue dialogue with subtexts and subterfuge.
Anticipation was huge for this three day seminar series so it was no surprise the queue snaked around the block and competition for the best seats was strong.
This week sees Robert McKee deliver his brilliant Story seminar series in Melbourne before bringing the three day screenwriting-fest to Sydney for what is apparently his last visit to Australia. If you are a screenwriter – amateur or otherwise – you will most likely have come across McKee in your readings. Yet the chance to participate in the fuill three day seminar is a chance not to be missed.
If you’re telling a story, there comes a time when you have to explain to the audience what’s going on. Exposition is unavoidable, but if your characters merely start telling the story to each other, the script will feel false. People just don’t talk like that.
I am completely incapable of watching a movie like a normal person. Years of learning structure and writing scripts in the hope of becoming the next William Goldman have distorted my brain into an analytical, critical mess, completely unable to switch off the deconstruction of even the most banal flick.