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February 27, 2011

The Oscars - Script To Screen

It seems that every body loves movies. We love to watch them, we love to talk about them, and some of us even like to...

...analyze them and look at where they came from and how they came into being.

One thing that most of us forgets is that every movie started with writing a script. In other words, it's all about the words. Getting the ideas and the vision down on paper (or computer screen) is the first tangible step in the creation of a film.

I, like most people, don't get to see as many movies as I'd like. But even if I, or any of us, don't see a certain film, that film still seeps all over the place in terms of quotes from the film, references to certain characters or even cult status for some films - usually many years after the film was released.

"The King's Speech" (reviewed here a few months ago) "True Grit" "The Black Swan" and "Toy Story 3" are only a few of the award winning films this year. These would be fun to watch as a group - especially if you can track down the script on one of the many websites available.

To see the Oscar presentations, and links to all the nominated films, click here - http://oscar.go.com/.

It might be fun - and even educational - to go back and forth between the printed script and the finished film.

I've taught film analysis classes - and would like to again - it is a fun way to explore roles and situations that most us could never come up with on our own. The journey from script to screen can teach us a lot about how the same words can be interpreted very differently.

"True Grit" for example, was originally done back in the early 1960s. It might be a good class project to compare the two versions. Some questions to ask might be; why are the characters so different? How are audience expectations different now? How would you portray that character? How would that movie be different five years ago? Or five years from now?

Whatever you do, enjoy the film - and keep learning.

Send us any links or other resources that you think any teachers, students or even just normal people might find interesting or useful. Let us all know about words that make you crazy, aspects of language and expression you find challenging, and be sure to let us know what it is about English and language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, USA and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA, USA). Morf is currently a radio host (http://www.tacoma.fm/) a newspaper columnist and a teacher of English at the college level.

Posted by mmorf at February 27, 2011 09:19 PM


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