Saturday, October 25, 2008

Seriously? Supers are NOT that super

Can someone please explain to me why so many writers today feel compelled to start their scripts with supers to set up their story? And why they feel it necessary or even a good idea to specifiy that it's written over black. As if that makes this lame cop out dramatic somehow. Yes, it worked in Star Wars, for example, as a way to give you all the back story. But they did it in a cool way with the scrolling thing and then jumped right into the action.

Maybe I'll give you that in some stories you need to let the audience know right away the politics, relationships or social situation and a super is the most expedient way to do it. However, far too often I'm reading supers that are ridiculously unnecessary - quotes from poets, for instance. Or setting the date. People come to movies to watch the action unfold, not read it! If your script is set in the future and the only way people are going to know that is from the date supered on screen before hand, you are in big trouble already.


Anonymous said...


I completely agree with you.

I often meet so many aspiring screenwriters who are "brain washed"

If you read the scripts by top screenwriters in LA. You will find they tell a story and take you inside a story. They don't use the word like SUPER or other distracting words.

"Super" is a gimmick.

I get so upset when I meet aspiring screewriters who get brain washed by Screenwriting textbooks....

Thanks for posting this Marla.

Mike Zealey said...

Yep I agree - people use quotes from heavy-weight geniuses to open their script so they can somehow associate themselves with that person and give their story an immediate sense of importance, intelligence and gravitas. A cheap trick really.