Screenwriting : Action scene by Bager Kaya

Bager Kaya

Action scene

Hı dear everyone, I almost finished my new mythological short. The last scene is a fight scene but I am not sure how can ı write a fight scene. Do I wonder if some among you can help in this regard?

Gustavo Freitas

Keep it simple and don't be too specific. You don't need to narrate every punch. This should be the fight coordinator's job (or the Director, in a low-bugdet short). I think you should give us the mood, and the main feel, describe some cool / important beats and reveal the outcome.

You could say something like this:

"It is a bloody brawl, with JOHN landing punch after punch in a defenseless BOB. A third PERSON joins in and land a chair at John's head, giving the one second that Bob needed to react. BOB charges on JOHN and they exchange violent strikes, destroying all the bar's furniture in the process."

Dan MaxXx

Read action scripts, steal what you like and add in your own writing style.

Obviously when you shoot on location with crew & actors, everything on the page will be subject to change except the heart/POV of fight scene.

Dan Guardino

You aren't the director. Avoid describing the character every movements. Just paint your scene with very broad strokes and let the reader’s imagination fill in the rest.

Shawn Speake

There are many formulas for fight scenes. I use a basic model.

1. SUSPENSE: are these mofos really getting ready to go at it...

2. START - First move, push, punch, kick, etc.

3. ACTION: Is your fight gritty, lite, or comedic...

4. SURPRISE: Something happens beyond fighter's control. (this is coolest component)

5. FINAL MOVES / DECISIVE STROKE

6. CLIMAX

7. AFTERMATH

Note: Your story's battle before the climax should be longest fight scene.

Hope this helps

Mark Vick

I was having issues with my fight scenes as well. I found this read helpful. Deadpool intro. http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Deadpool.html

Bager Kaya

Thanks evryone for your sharing :) İt's very helpfull .

Ben Johnson Jr.

I recently completed a martial arts action feature. When you're writing that much action it's tough to keep each sequence fresh. I'm no expert, but here are some things I learned. 1. Differentiate between a fight/skirmish and an action sequence that contains multiple stunts, set ups etc. 2. In the sequence you can get away a brief but emotionally compelling synopsis(5-10 lines) of each stage of the sequence. You can preface with: ACTION SEQUENCE TO BE CHOREOGRAPHED 3. In single fight scenes remember even the fight is a scene with a beginning, middle and end, possibly ending differently to the way it began. Escalate! 4. There are different styles of action, they all have a corresponding "feel". Compare the action of The Matrix to John Wick. Same actor different feel to the action. 5. What matters more than specific blows or blocks is the TENSION and EMOTIONAL JOURNEY of the fight - how does it advance the story, reveal the character or enhance the theme. In other words, what is the story purpose of the fight scene? Is it the right vehicle to take the story from where it is to where I want it to go? 6. Leave room for the director and choreographer. Sketch them a picture, point them in the direction you want the fight to go, then get out the way and leave it to the experts. 7. Definitely make a point of reading good action scripts with loads of different fight scenes. It certainly helped me. Well, that's my 5c on the subject. Hope it helps.

Chad Stroman

I've written mine thusly (not exactly but generally):

Good guy stands between two bad guys.

GOOD GUY

So...?

Bad guys attack. Fists fly, kicks land.

Bad Guy 1 kneels doubled over and wheezing and Bad Guy 2 lays sprawled on his back out cold.

GOOD GUY

That's it? Huh.

Well, cleaner, without all the "ands", etc. but the gist is there.

Anthony D Paul

My suggestion is read lots of Tony Gilroy, Shane Black and Derek Kolstad. Derek wrote John Wick.

Alan Taylor

Yes. Leave the production details to those who know, but they need a plan...whatever you do it usually has a dramatic arc of its own. It is a short film so the plot points are yours.

Bager Kaya

I wrote somethig but I left most of thing to choreographer. I just tried to give mood, theme, dramatic situation. İf it's possible, I will be the director.

Chad Stroman

One thing I did forget. If your fight scene ends up with pertinent "after effects", don't forget to make sure those are noted. Like if someone gets shot or has a cut on their face or their arm is broken, etc.

I have a scene in my script where it's not a fight per se but a guy gets slammed against a metal shipping container and has his arm twisted behind his back until is snaps. There was dialogue intertwined with it so I had to describe the action taken because later the character is shown battered/bruised and arm in a sling.

But as others have said, include what makes it exciting and clear what is going on and also any details that are pertinent to any after effects items.

Bager Kaya

Thanks peter.

Tennyson Stead

In general, the rule for fight scenes is the same as with any other part of a screenplay: focus on the action. What are the characters actually doing? Write that. Don’t worry about camera angles, or which parts are in slow motion, or what faces the characters are making. Write what actions these characters are taking to achieve the goals they brought into the scene - which are ultimately the same goals they’ve been trying to achieve throughout the whole movie. Fights are just scenework. Darth Vader wants to enslave the universe, and Luke Skywalker wants to liberate the universe, and now both of these characters are physically in each other’s way. What are they willing to do to achieve their goals? How much do those goals mean to them? The more these characters demand success from themselves, the farther they are willing to go to see their goals realized, the deeper they will dig within themselves and the more inventive your action scene will be.

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