How to write a car scene
[This extract of a full length script is used to illustrate an educational point. Please don’t sue me, I can take it out if it prevents anyone from making millions.]
This is the first article of my new category, How to write, where I will put scenes from scripts I read that helped me understand screenwriting techniques better.
Today’s scene comes from the script Imagine by Dan Fogelman.
What I’ve learned from that scene:
a) Every scene is an opportunity to reveal something about your hero. Here Fogelman takes the opportunity of a car description to tell us more about Danny, making us forget we are actually reading a scene about a guy who drives a car.
b) Specific scene headings: Fogelman never uses EXT. STREET – DAY but instead writes specific locations and pairs them with actions. The combination makes the scene visual and the reading effortless. He directs the reader’s POV without once using shots terms.
Note: when the car pulls into the underground parking, Fogelman doesn’t name his next scene INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING although that’s where the hero goes, so that’s what you would expect. Instead, he takes us back into INT. CAR so we automatically visualize the scene from inside the car and not from the parking, looking at the car.
That said, the director might very well go for an establishing of the car entering the parking garage, but while reading, we see Fogelman’s movie.
Hopefully you enjoyed this masterless non-class. More to come. If you have scripts scenes you use as references and you would like to share, contact me!