Screenwriting : Hello friends, I have a question and I need your experience in writing. by Dunya K. Ibrahim

Dunya K. Ibrahim

Hello friends, I have a question and I need your experience in writing.

I need to write scenes for a mysterious character. We can see his hand, his shadow, but not his face. His face will appear for the first time on-screen at the end of the film.

How should I describe this character in the first scenes? I thought about calling him A MAN, and mention his name when his face appears for the first time, but should I mention his age and so on?

Right now I don't remember a movie with a similar scene. If someone remembers a movie that contains similar scenes, please write its name for me, so I can google its script, hoping I can find it.


Dan MaxXx

The Writer of "Arrival" on page 1 describes a major character as "Man, out of focus..." something like that. Simple.

Noel Thompson

The SHADOWED MAN (40), his face obscured. Dialogue lines would be "Shadowed Man". It makes it more fun to read versus just MAN.

Dunya K. Ibrahim

Thanks Dan MaxXx, I found the script and I download it.

Dunya K. Ibrahim

Yeah, it seems better. Thank you for the advice Noel Thompson

Dan MaxXx

There's also The Usual Suspects. I think on page 1 or 2, the mysterious bad guy is described in close-up details like "A man's hand flicks a cigarette lighter."

Dunya K. Ibrahim

Are we allowed to do that? actually, I wrote it using close up and things like that, but I thought that would be annoying to the director. so I start searching for other ideas to write the scene. Dan MaxXx .

Karen "Kay" Ross

Consider reading the original Halloween for reference

John Ellis

I'm going to go in a different direction than the rest of the posters. It's not our job to be mysterious to the reader, but to be clear. It's not our job to be stylistic for the director, but to be contextual.

Give the character a name and use it whenever we see him. In the action, say something like "Only his hand is seen." The reader will get it.

For The Usual Suspects, Singer (director) and McQuarrie (writer) were long-time creative partners, so of course the script was written that way.

Shawn Levy and the director (Villeneuve) worked closely with the writer of Arrival (Heisserer), so of course there's, again, a lot of creative additions in the script.

For us, however, as struggling newbies trying to sell a script, writing that kind of direction and action into an indie script will only make it more difficult to sell. Be clear. Be contextual. Let the people who buy the script decide how to shoot it.

Just IMO. :)

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services Coordinator

I give my mysterious characters a moniker, and then you should just be describing what we see on screen. It doesn't matter what you do as long as it's clear. And definitely don't give away the reveal early on in the script. Ruins the fun for the reader.

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