Execution Of Your Screenplay


Pitching your screenplay is an essential part of a screenwriter’s job. Once you pitch the overall concept to investors, producers, talent and crew, they want to know how your story will be executed.

WHAT IS EXECUTION?

This refers to the plot mechanics. How is the story told? What is included thematically and what is left out. Think of the execution as how your intended audience will experience the film. Your film’s concept and genre will often inform the execution style of the script.

HIGH CONCEPT EXECUTION

High concept stories are easy to visualize because they are more dependent on the big idea rather than their execution. The overall story is  less important to the success of the story than the core concept. Consider THE PURGE, the 2013 horror film in which a highly regulated and controlled society is allowed to purge its aggression via a 12-hour legal uncontrolled crime spree. The concept brought movie goers to the theaters, but its patchy execution dictated its success.

LOW CONCEPT EXECUTION

Low concept scripts are often referred to as low budget, character driven movies in which the execution of the concept will determine how it’s received by audiences. Festival films often fall into this category. They tend to be dramas. Consider THE DANISH GIRL, the 2015 transgender drama. It could be written as a turgid, worthy drama, an rigid, inspiring story of metamorphosis or an uplifting tale of living your authentic life. The concept is secondary to the way the story is told.

GROUNDED EXECUTION

This is a relatively new term used in screenwriting circles. It’s a hybrid between high concept and low concept in many respects. A grounded film is firm rooted in reality, although the fantasy elements are vital. The ideas need to be big enough to be called high concept, but the characters must also be well drawn out. Think of it as HIGH CONCEPT DRAMA. The 2012 sci-fi film LOOPER is a good example of grounded execution.

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