“This is not a science or a formula; it is a tool designed to capture lightning in a bottle so you have access to that lightning whenever you need it in your actual drafting process.” — James V. Hart
When you break down the cinematic experience, the one single constant that is ever-present, no matter what the genre, is emotion. Movies make us laugh when we want to laugh, cry when we want to cry, scream when we want to be thrilled, etc. It has been that way since the days of silent film.
Beyond that, we want to see the characters on that big screen go through an emotional journey of their own. Great screenplays have great emotional conflict. Those elements drive the story and character arcs forward.
But how do screenwriters ensure that they are giving their characters and stories enough emotion and conflict?
Almost twenty-five years ago, screenwriter James V. Hart collaborated with Francis Ford Coppola on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This is where Hart was introduced to the concepts that would eventually evolve into The HartChart…
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