Who is the most common character who appears in
almost every screenplay? We never see them in the movie and they never
should have been in the screenplay?


Okay, for the first two years of the Taos Screenplay ContestI've read apx. 400 scripts each year. I wanna know, who is this recurring character called, CAMERA? He seems to move in, move out, sweep up and down from the sky, etc..

Sure, there are plenty of Hollywood screenplays that have been made which have this CAMERA character in it. But, they were made despite the misuse of CAMERA DIRECTIONS within the script. They were made because somebody was wired into the studio or some producer had a big star or director attached.

But, when you're coming from the place of an unknown, unpublished, virginal writer, forget about camera directions. When you make reference to the CAMERA in your script, you're breaking (I believe) a cardinal rule of story-telling, you're shattering your reader's "suspension of disbelief". In effect you're reminding the reader that he's not in the story. Instead, you're making him think about what's going on behind the CAMERA. You're forcing the reader out of the story fantasy and into the technical world of filmmaking. So, when you start giving CAMERA directions in your script stop it. Get up, go get a cup of coffee and think of a literary way of describing what you want your reader to imagine.

Another reason you don't want to give CAMERA DIRECTIONS is you're spoiling the fun for the Director of Photography and the Director who want to take your inspiring story and add their creative juices to it. After-all, filmmaking is a collaborative process.

--Jeff Jackson

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