3 min read

#011 - Three ways to watch a movie (intentionally)

The best way you're going to learn about screenwriting, about writing television, plays is by watching movies, watching television, watching plays. And mostly reading screenplays, reading teleplays, reading plays.

Pick your favourite five movies, find the screenplays for those movies, sit and watch the movie with the screenplay on your lap. See exactly how what's there on the screen, what it looked like when it was on the page.

You know people who loves cars, they take apart cars. They started by opening the hood of a car, getting underneath the car and just taking everything apart, and laying it on the floor. Do that.

— Aaron Sorkin, Screenwriter

One of the things that I learned from taking legendary screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's Masterclass was this advice on taking apart your favourite movies.

The advice holds true for editors too, especially given how integral a mastery of story structure, character development and pacing is to the finished edit.

It is the third and final re-write as they say.

So here are three ways to watch a movie intentionally, learning how to 'get underneath it and take it apart'.

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