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Words are a screenwriter's last resort


ARCTIC (2018 - Dir: Joe Penna) illustrates the obvious: that when it comes to screenplays, the less said the better. There is almost no dialogue in this film, and I found it to be compelling and engaging. It's watchability is, of course, a product of Mads Mikkelsen's ... whatever it is that Mads has, because I sure as hell can't put my finger on it; and for sure Joe Penna did a good job of letting the landscape breathe as surely as a character itself. These qualities aside, I think so much of the strength of this film lies in its silence - a silence that the Arctic embodies and somehow amplifies.


While some dialogue is usually necessary in screenplays, that necessity is film genre specific. More is almost always less. Experiment with using fewer words to express more meaning in your screenplay. See if you can do without words. Use a gesture instead. I think you'll find the results interesting.


Happy screenwriting.

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