- More Specs & The City articles from Brad Johnson
- Screenwriting the Dan O’Bannon WayStructure and Breaking In: An Interview with Syd Field
- Why You Should Write a Short Film Screenplay
- Balls of Steel Goes Into the Writing Room and Behind the Lines with DR
Tools to Help:
Brad Johnson is a screenwriter promoting the mantra “Read scripts, watch movies, and write pages.”
is coming slowly INTO VIEW… Behind its barred front wall is a second barrier of stout nylon net… Sparse, bolted-down furniture, many soft cover books and papers. On the walls, extraordinarily detailed, skillful drawings, mostly European cityscapes, in charcoal or crayon.
HANNIBAL LECTER is lounging on his bunk, in white pajamas, reading an Italian Vogue. He turns, considers her… A face so long out of the sun, it seems almost leached – except for the glittering eyes, and the wet red mouth. He rises smoothly, crossing to stand before her; the gracious host. His voice is cultured, soft.
Lecter doesn’t even say a word, but the way he is described – and the way he moves within this moment – reinforces everything the audience has already been told about the madman. Lecter is a man of outer sophistication masking an inner beast within that is always searching for a weakness to exploit so he can strike. And that’s the lesson to take away. A character’s introduction, when done effectively, should reveal, not just their physical appearance (though that can be important as well), but should also illuminate their defining characteristic.