We may like to fondly imagine that the good films we see are made by creative artistic types who just want to share their dreams and visions with us, and would even do it only for the love of it. Well, if we were so foolish, Michael Hauge’s Writing Screenplays That Sell (2011) gives the lie to that, as the screenwriting class I’ve been attending makes clear. What are films about? It’s about the money, stupid.
The Hollywood movie needs essential ingredients in order to get the movie-goer to consume the product. But some ingredients — five in particular, Hauge suggests — are essential for both artistic and commercial success. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether you want to make a film that makes money or wins critical acclaim, certain criteria will decide whether it rises to the surface or sinks without trace: “no movie,” he tells us, “can succeed without these five qualities.” Continue reading “Screenplay concepts”