Screenwriting 5 – Compelling Story

I just watched the Youtube video below.

This features Daniel Calvisi, author of “STORY MAPS: How to write a GREAT screenplay,” and Steve Lam, ¬†a writer of

First off, the two writers collegially share their experience of watching “Interstellar” on a slide projector IMAX (instead of on a digital projector IMAX). They make funny remarks about the “lint worms” and spotty sound quality then delve into a more serious discussion about the script of the movie.

The first thing discussed is what writers most often like to discuss–plot holes. In Interstellar there is a massive logic jump that is made just to give the audience a pleasing ending (there’s a list of plot holes here). Cooper, the main character, crosses a wormhole and travels into the future in the first half of the movie. In the second half, he tries to get back. In order to get back there has to be a jump in logic.

A lot of critics, realists, and scientists have qualms with this movie. They don’t like that the script has to rely on loose science posing as realism just to tell a story.

Daniel, a script critic himself, takes this into consideration but talks about a real astronaut that posted a review on-line about Interstellar. The astronaut basically said that the science is not the focal point. The film is about family, separation, dreams, and loss. The film is about story, it is not a science documentary.

Daniel and Steve also go on to dive deeper into Interstellar’s huge theme about human purpose. They remark that¬†Christopher Nolan’s writing is so widely accepted to be international blockbusters but so engrossing that each moviegoer comes out of the movie theatre changed.

This makes me wonder: how am I making my script accessible to the wider audience? How can I do that? And am I writing a story that compels the human heart and mind?

Can these two things be reconciled? What do you think?


Featured Image: Interstellar (2014)


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