Screenwriting : Keeping a road movie interesting & drawing people in by Evelien And Dorien Twins

Evelien And Dorien Twins

Keeping a road movie interesting & drawing people in

Road movies are a different kind of writing because they often have scenes of characters just having deep (and longer) conversations than your regular stylistically modeled and often fast-paced short segments of dialogue. What are some of your main tips to keep a road movie entertaining and/or what is it that really keeps you drawn into a road movie?

Bill Costantini

The E-Twins are back from working on The Human Centipede Part 6: The Centipede Takes Manhattan! Heh-heh.... While I think the dialogues can be pretty introspective and insightful, the action on the road (and the supporting characters) can keep the story moving forward and keeps things entertaining, and can provide the situations and tests for the characters objectives, beliefs, morals, etc. Some of my faves include Apocalypse Now, Midnight Run, Mad Max, Duel, Easy Rider, We're the Millers, Wild At Heart, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Zombieland, Deliverance, O Brother Where Art Thou, The Blues Brothers, Thelma and Louise, Little Miss Sunshine, The Sure Thing, It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Rain Man, Sideways, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Me Myself and Irene, and, of course....we're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful The Wizard of Oz. Good topic, E-Twins - tell Dieter I said du bist ein sehr kranker mann! Viel gluck! RIP, Garry Marshall (November 13, 1934 - July 19, 2016)

Dan MaxXx

Some point in the road movie, a sidekick character comes for the ride, with opposite personality and goals of the main characters Some examples: Han Solo (Star Wars) Carrie the Bride (Smoky and the Bandit)

Evelien And Dorien Twins

haha, Bill. We decided not to take the Human Centipede job (which is a nice little pseudonym for the project we turned down, not being about human centipedes) We think roadmovies are generally quite interesting to watch but difficult to get the tone & feel right, so taking people's takes on them to see where they stand.

Bill Costantini

E-Twins....30 days across Europe , and I guarantee you'll get at least 10 movies across all genres to write...horror and musicals included. I'm out in front now in the psychedelic-colored mini-motor home ....let's hit the road!

Matt Hurd

One of my favorite drama "road movies" is The End Of The Tour (Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg). About 80% of the film is the two main actors sitting in a car together, just talking. Fundamentally, it's a movie about the two men (both writers) trying to understand each other, and themselves. Specific to your original question, I think what kept me drawn in, besides the excellent writing, was the fact that both Segel and Eisenberg's characters had very strong, layered goals and opinions that developed and were exposed in really interesting ways throughout the film.

Jenny Masterton

I actually don't think they're any different to any other journey story.

William Martell

In a Road Movie the people they encounter along the way are dealing with the same thematic problems as the protagonist and (just like in any other screenplay) those supporting characters offer potential solutions or pathways for the protagonist.

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

I wrote a buddy road picture last year that dealt with facing past trauma while harnessing the power to heal. My protagonist faced challenges, obstacles and several antagonists. And lots of action to keep the road from becoming boring. A good new road picture is The Fundamentals of Caring on Netflix. classic journey of discovery, healing and overcoming obstacles.

Bill Costantini

Seeing Phillip's name made me think of a couple other great road movies: Fandango, and Five Easy Pieces. Day One of Road Trip with E-Twins....a smashing time....beautiful countrysides....constables were nice....food was good....lawyers are called "barristers" in the U.K.....and don't ever try to take a monolith from Stonehenge.

William Martell

I wrote an article for Script Mag (back when it was an actual magazine) on Problem Protagonists that used FIVE EASY PIECES and BOUND FOR GLORY as examples... and the protag in FIVE has trouble with authority figures, is on a road trip to visit his dying father (authority!) so he takes along his crazy waitress girlfriend (anarchy!) and along the way on that road trip the big scene is all about what can and can not be ordered at a roadside diner due to the rules (authority!). In both films, the people they meet along the way are designed to bring their conflicts exploding to the surface. There's an expanded version of that article as a chapter in my Protagonist Blue Book (ebook version).

Bill Costantini

William....thanks for the great insights. Another favorite of mine, and another great Jack NIcholson road movie, besides Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, and (kind of a road movie) As Good As It Gets, is The Last Detail.

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Bill C: I love Five Easy Pieces. Very gritty and entertaining.

Other topics in Screenwriting:

register for stage 32 Register / Log In