Screenplays are an incredibly important part of filmmaking. They let the actors know what to say, tell the director what happens next, and form the overall structure of the story. Even an adlibbed film will start with a screenplay or detailed outline, but what happens when you are the writer and the director, and your film has little to no dialogue? If the entire movie is in your head, do you really need to write it down?
It turns out, you probably should, even if you think you have it fully formed in your brain. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that director Christopher Nolan considered shooting his war epic, Dunkirk, without a script. Again, here you have a writer and director all rolled into one, as well as a flick compared to silent films due to its minimalism and near lack of dialogue.
The Hollywood Reporter pulled this bit of information from a conversation between Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan that was published with the Dunkirk screenplay, which does, indeed, exist. Here are some of the best takeaways from the conversation between two Nolans. Said Christopher Nolan:
“I got to a point where I understood the scope and movement and the history of what I wanted the film to address, because it’s very simple geography.
I said, ‘I don’t want a script, because I just want to show it,’ it’s almost like I want to just stage it, and film it.”
But cooler heads prevailed, as Nolan’s wife and producing partner Emma Thomas had other ideas:
“Emma looked at me like I was a bit crazy and was like, okay, that’s not really gonna work.”
Thank God for Emma Thomas. I know Nolan can be one of the best, but even he needs a script. The script is not only to keep the best version of Nolan’s ideas intact, but to also provide a template for everyone else. Nolan surely would have figured out a way to explain his vision to his collaborators, but would it have been as effective as a screenplay? I doubt it.
Do you think Nolan could have pulled off Dunkirk without a screenplay? Or are you glad he did things in the classic way? Let us know in the comment section below!
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SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter