Question about writing action scenes?
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    Default Question about writing action scenes?

    I wrote a screenplay, and it's a suspense thriller, with the action scenes left to write. I am 71 pages so far without the action scenes, which is pretty normal as it seems in a lot of thrillers, the action takes up about quarter of the runtime.

    However, I'm pretty lost on what to write for action scenes, since it's microbudget and it's all been done before it seems. There is only so much chases, fights, hide and seek scenarios, and shootouts/stand offs that can be done and I feel I am not bringing anything new or different to the table.

    So I got writers block on how to do the action scenes, especially since a lot can change in pre-production, once the time comes, so I am wondering how do you know what to write for action scenes to complete the story, or how to decide what should happen, action wise?

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    Last edited by ironpony; 12-13-2017 at 08:51 PM.

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    Super Moderator   Question about writing action scenes? Question about writing action scenes? Question about writing action scenes? Question about writing action scenes? mara's Avatar
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    Impossible questions to answer without reading the script.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    Well the script isn't finished yet cause it has gaps where action scenes should be and just need to fill them in. I just don't know how other movies decide on their action scenes. For example, in The Silence of the Lambs


    SPOILER FROM MOVIE

    how did they decide that Hannibal Lecter should escape prison the way he did for an action/suspense scene?

    They could have chosen several different ways to escape yet, they settled on that way. Or later on in the movie, how did they decide that the final action scene will be in a pitch black basement with the villain wearing night vision goggles. Again, several things they could have done, but they chose that one.

    That's what I mean when having trouble choosing cause it feels like I wouldn't be bringing anything new to the table.


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    Pro Member   Question about writing action scenes? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
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    Your action scenes will depend on the story. You just dont throw in a car chase or fight scene. Your story will dictate what action you have to film. Is either your protagonist or antagonist a skilled fighter? Does the story involve a character that would use or need a gun? These are questions you have to answer. Also filming a car chase is pretty much out of the question for a microbudget film. To avoid a trip in front of a judge, you'll need permits. This means road closures, police presence, insurance and the professional stunt drivers the insurance will require. In other words, about $20,000.


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    Yeah for sure. I mean originally I had a chase involving a fire truck cause some of the equipment on board the truck is used to propel the action, but that will probably be out. I can definitely re-write it, just not sure what...

    Like for example, there is a scene, where a kidnapped character is rescued by police. The kidnappers get away, and one of them is caught.

    Now that could go different ways. Is the chase on foot, is it a shootout, etc. Not sure what it would be.

    Or later the same kidnapped woman who was rescued has been placed in a motel for protection by the police and the kidnappers who got away, want to come after her to stop her from talking. So when they come after her and break into the motel, does it lead to a footchase, a shoot out, etc. Should the action stay in the motel room, or should we move to a different location, etc.

    Not sure, cause I feel I have seen all this before and not much knew can be offered.

    You say the story dictates it, but it feels like from my scenarios, that several things can happen and not sure what to choose.

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-14-2017 at 10:13 AM.

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    Pro Member   Question about writing action scenes? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
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    A foot chase can lead to a shoot out so why not do both? For the motel room, thats a choke point with only one exit for escape. That can be used to your advantage for action in a confined space. This means many breakable props. Always fun.


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    Yeah I guess. Not sure if I want to even set it in a motel cause a motel might not be okay with that, but it makes logical sense for the police to put the character in a motel, instead of a house probably.

    I can have the shootout as long as none of the characters get hit, cause I want them to all be able to make it to the climax for the story to go the way I want.


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