How to Write the Screenplay of a Smart Crime Movie
Let's tackle a deceptively difficult but actually as easy as picking your nose kind of genre to write - the intelligent crime film. You know, the nonsense, ultraviolent, morally ambiguous (or so it seems) kind of boom crash bang movies. It IS EASY to write, as I will show you.
- You don't need a plot. Just a large cardboard. Put in five names at the edge of that paper, eg Tina, Charles, Madelyn, Ash, Pookoo. At least one must be African American. Write in the middle of the paper these words: DRUG DEALER, PROSTITUTE, ASSASSIN, BOXER, SEX MANIAC, ROCK STAR, MAFIASO. Close your eyes, and from each name you've written, drag the pencil to the middle and see which lucky bugger gets a certain "character" in the movie.
- Then go watch soap operas like The Bold and the Beautiful. Take note of the complex and intriguing connected relationships between characters and use them on your script. Eg, Tina the Whoore is Ash the Mafioso’s moll who is sleeping with Bruce the boxer who wants to stab Ash to get the drug money that Pookawooka the nigga dope dealer wants (or he'll kill Bruce's dog). Madelyn, hip store girl who wants money to buy a Furbee and is Tina's long lost sister crashes Ray the rock star's party to rescue Tina from a life of sad cheap-bargain bin sales by blasting everybody's head off only to fall in love with Tony the NYPD cop who's more than what he seems (he's a transvestite serial killer)... got that?
- Your characters MUST be weird. Period. They scream cuss words like they are paid a lot for each one they drop. You may make them seem morally ambiguous, ie they can be cold and ruthless, but remember always to spare the family dog.
- WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR PLOT GETS OUT OF HAND? Too complicated? No idea how to untangle the nonsense? Do not worry. A good thing about noir is that you can bluff the critics who will lap up whatever sad nonsensical climax you whip up. Put in five car crashes, several gratuitous sex scenes, some graphic disembowelment (followed by wisecracks like "My ACME dry-cleaning detergent can wash you nigg amuthaforking asshurl sonovabiatch's brains off da hood"). You can practice out your bigotry, prejudices against the minorities or WASPS and you'll be praised for "realism" and wins Best Screenplay. Even better, when things get out of hand (or too long - 2 hours' the limit!) kill everyone in slow-mo in a crossfire in a church while an innocent, hapless girl watches (focus, zoom in on her shocked face - we love the irony of grief amidst slaughter... or something).