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VOA常速英语2007年-Author Blake Snyder Tells How to Write a Screen

时间:2007-11-30 02:45来源:互联网 提供网友:asangni   字体: [ ]
By Mike O'Sullivan
Los Angeles
19 November 2007

The current strike by Hollywood writers highlights the role of the screenplay as the foundation of a movie. Movies tell a story, and Blake Snyder, the author of books on screenwriting, says they often tell the same story again and again. The writer spoke1 with VOA's Mike O'Sullivan about his recent book, Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies.

This is the second book Snyder has written for aspiring2 authors of screenplays. Each has been called Save the Cat, which refers to a crucial point in the plot.

"It's a classic moment in lots of movies," said Blake Snyder. "You see it when we meet the hero of the movie for the first time, and the hero does something nice, like save a cat, that makes us like him and want to go on the journey with him."

Snyder says a journey can take different forms, but there are just a few basic stories.

He calls one Monster in the House. An evil force terrorizes a small community, and he says the force is often unleashed3 by a human sin or failing. Jaws4, the tale of great white shark that terrorizes the coastal5 town of Amity6, fits into the category.

"It will attack and devour7 anything. It is as if God created the devil and gave him jaws!"

Snyder says the evil in this film was unleashed by the greed of city leaders.

"It's the sin of greed that brings the monster, Jaws, the shark, into Amity," he said. "They want to keep the beaches open, regardless of the danger."

He says Alien, a tale of an extraterrestrial monster, also fits into the category. Fear and greed expose the spaceship crew to an alien parasite8.

Snyder says Fatal Attraction, a cautionary tale about the dangers of adultery, has a similar theme. The film stars Michael Douglas as a philandering9 husband, and Glenn Close as the crazed woman who stalks him.

FILM CLIP - GLENN CLOSE: "I guess you thought you'd get away with it. Well, you can't.

SNYDER: "Michael Douglas commits the sin of infidelity, brings the monster, Glenn Close, to his home, a monster with a perm. It's the same basic story template."

There are superhero stories in both films and classic literature. The best, says Snyder, involve a transformation10 as the hero finds an authentic11 identity or mission.

"We love to hear about his story, Moses and Joan of Arc and Spider-Man," said Snyder. "Someone has come to save us, and very often we're not necessarily grateful for them to be here."

He says the best heroes are flawed, but are guided by faith in their mission, and in movies they triumph. Evil characters generally rely on themselves, and their pride leads to their downfall.

Snyder is one of many in Hollywood who write or co-write screenplays. Some will make it to the screen, and even those that do not can be profitable. Snyder has sold a screenplay to Steven Spielberg and others to Disney.

He says Hollywood screenplays like his often describe a journey, a theme that goes back as far as the ancient Greek story of Jason in search of the Golden Fleece.

"It's about a trip," he said. "Jason has been assigned to go get the Golden Fleece, so he gets together a team of guys and off they go on these many adventures. At the end of the journey, there's a twist. It wasn't really about the Golden Fleece. It was about how Jason became a leader of men."

War films such as Saving Private Ryan or The Dirty Dozen follow this pattern. So does the heist film Ocean's Eleven and the fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.

There are films that describe friendship that follow predictable plot lines, stories of fools who triumph, and of detectives who get too close to the evil they are pursuing.

Snyder says film-goers are like children who love to hear the same stories again and again, as long as the stories are told in a new and fresh way.


1 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
2 aspiring 3y2zps     
  • Aspiring musicians need hours of practice every day. 想当音乐家就要每天练许多小时。
  • He came from an aspiring working-class background. 他出身于有抱负的工人阶级家庭。 来自辞典例句
3 unleashed unleashed     
v.把(感情、力量等)释放出来,发泄( unleash的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The government's proposals unleashed a storm of protest in the press. 政府的提案引发了新闻界的抗议浪潮。
  • The full force of his rage was unleashed against me. 他把所有的怒气都发泄在我身上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 jaws cq9zZq     
  • The antelope could not escape the crocodile's gaping jaws. 那只羚羊无法从鱷鱼张开的大口中逃脱。
  • The scored jaws of a vise help it bite the work. 台钳上有刻痕的虎钳牙帮助它紧咬住工件。
5 coastal WWiyh     
  • The ocean waves are slowly eating away the coastal rocks.大海的波浪慢慢地侵蚀着岸边的岩石。
  • This country will fortify the coastal areas.该国将加强沿海地区的防御。
6 amity lwqzz     
  • He lives in amity with his neighbours.他和他的邻居相处得很和睦。
  • They parted in amity.他们很友好地分别了。
7 devour hlezt     
  • Larger fish devour the smaller ones.大鱼吃小鱼。
  • Beauty is but a flower which wrinkle will devour.美只不过是一朵,终会被皱纹所吞噬。
8 parasite U4lzN     
  • The lazy man was a parasite on his family.那懒汉是家里的寄生虫。
  • I don't want to be a parasite.I must earn my own way in life.我不想做寄生虫,我要自己养活自己。
9 philandering edfce6f87f4dbdc24c027438b4a5944b     
v.调戏,玩弄女性( philander的现在分词 )
  • And all because of a bit of minor philandering. 何况这只是区区一桩风流韵事所引起的呢。 来自飘(部分)
  • My after-school job means tailing philandering spouses or investigating false injury claims. 我的课余工作差不多就是跟踪外遇者或调查诈骗保险金。 来自电影对白
10 transformation SnFwO     
  • Going to college brought about a dramatic transformation in her outlook.上大学使她的观念发生了巨大的变化。
  • He was struggling to make the transformation from single man to responsible husband.他正在努力使自己由单身汉变为可靠的丈夫。
11 authentic ZuZzs     
  • This is an authentic news report. We can depend on it. 这是篇可靠的新闻报道, 我们相信它。
  • Autumn is also the authentic season of renewal. 秋天才是真正的除旧布新的季节。
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