Friday, January 20, 2017

Script Analysis: “Arrival” — Part 5: Dialogue

Read the script for the hit science fiction movie and analyze it all this week.

Reading scripts. Absolutely critical to learn the craft of screenwriting. The focus of this bi-weekly series is a deep structural and thematic analysis of each script we read. Our daily schedule:

Monday: Scene-By-Scene Breakdown
Tuesday: Plot
Wednesday: Characters
Thursday: Themes
Friday: Dialogue
Saturday: Takeaways

Today: Dialogue

Screenplay by Eric Heisserer, short story by Ted Chiang.

IMDb plot summary: When 12 mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

Some questions to consider in relation to dialogue in Arrival:

  • What do you consider to be the most memorable lines… and why?
  • Any notable callbacks (a line used once, then used again later in a different context)?
  • How about set-up & payoffs?
  • Any exposition that caught your eye for being handled exceptionally well?

Head to RESPONSES and let me know what dialogue in the script made the most impact on you.

You may download a PDF of the script — free and legal — here.

Major kudos to Ashish Chand for doing this week’s scene-by-scene breakdown.

For Part 1, to read the Scene-By-Scene Breakdown, go here.

For Part 2, to read the Major Plot Points, go here.

For Part 3, to read Characters, go here.

For Part 4, to read Themes, go here.

I am looking for volunteers to read a script and provide a scene-by-scene breakdown for it to be used as part of our weekly series. What do you get out from it? Beyond your name being noted here, my personal thanks, and some creative juju sent your way, hopefully you will learn something about story structure and develop another skill set which is super helpful in learning and practicing the craft.

The latest volunteers:

A Monster Calls / Andrew Turner

Anthropoid / Marija Nielsen

Arrival / Ashish Chand

Captain Fantastic / Despina Karintis

Denial / Gina Gomez

Eye in the Skye / Abhinav Tiwari and Bruce Gordon

Fences / Matt Cowley

The Founder / Eric Rodriguez

Hail, Caesar! / Brianne VanTuyle

Hell or High Water / Andrew Lightfoot

The Invitation / Joni Trumpold Brainerd

Jackie / Karen Dantas

Kubo and the Two Strings / Nikki Syreeta

Loving / Liz Correal

Maggie’s Plan / Monique Mata

Manchester by the Sea / Ashley Lara

Miles Ahead / Alecia Hodges

Moonlight / Ryan Canty

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 / Nikki Leydecker

The Secret Life of Pets / Paul Huffman

Victor Frankenstein / Lisa Gomez

Zootopia / Will King

Italics = Turned in scene-by-scene breakdown

Bold = Have used scene-by-scene breakdown in week-long analysis

Now is YOUR chance to contribute to this most worthy cause and provide an additional resource for the online screenwriting community.

Thanks, all!

Even if you do not participate in the analysis, discussion, or write up a scene-by-scene breakdown, I strongly encourage you to read these scripts.

So seize this opportunity and join in the conversation!

I hope to see you in the RESPONSE section about this week’s script: Arrival.

Onward!

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Script Analysis: “Arrival” — Part 5: Dialogue was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Script Analysis: “Arrival” — Part 5: Dialogue

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