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November 14, 2009


Hugh Hancock

What makes film/TV special (heretical, I know, that I don't believe there's that much difference) is that a) it's a primarily visual medium composed of moving images and b) it's possible to move the point of view of the audience. As someone who started in theatre and had to retrain himself to film, I'm always keenly aware of those differences whilst writing and directing.

It's been a while since I saw Casablanca, but a) I'm not sure it would work as a play (too many scene changes, and reliance on close-ups, for starters), and b) it was written before film writing and direction had really thoroughly differentiated itself from theatre, although it was one of the major stepping stones in that. (IMO).

For a real example of the difference between film and theatre, look at Baz Luhrman's adaption of Romeo and Juliet, or indeed Moulin Rouge. You just couldn't do that in the theatre - no ability to cut, no visual effects, no moving cameras, no close-ups.

One thing I found very interesting whilst I was retraining - take a play script, say something by Arthur Millar, and a film or TV script. Even better, take a script for a play by Aaron Sorkin and a script from the West Wing. They're written in very different ways to accomodate the different technologies available.


Where is this Chris Hecker talk you allude to but do not describe? I am LOST AND CONFUSED.

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