When it comes to movies, there’s one genre that’s bigger – quite literally – than all the rest.
The monster movie.
Though its ranks are legion – from Gorgo to the 50-foot woman, from Jaws to Digby, the biggest dog in the world – it remains dominated by one particular pair of colossi.
The Torville and Dean of citywide carnage, King Kong and Godzilla.
This year looks certain to be a big one – quite literally – for the modern-day monster movie, courtesy of ‘Kong: Skull Island’ and ‘Colossal’, starring Anne Hathaway.
In other words: this shit’s red hot, right now.
Which is why this screenwriting top gun has spent the last week balls-to-keypad deep, adding his own legend to the monster movie pantheon of power.
And – ego-devoid artiste that ScriptDick is – I thought I’d share a few insights about writing for a genre sure to be massive, literally, in 2017.
LESSON 1: THE TEASE
Always hold back the reveal of your monster as long as you can, teasing the audience, letting their anticipation foam over like rabid dogs.
For example, from my script…
The tall grass PARTS under the MACHETE BLOWS of the group’s guides, REVEALING…
SOMETHING… ORANGE and FAMILIAR… yet BIGGER than seems possible.
(stunned) If that’s the carrot… (a beat) then how big is the rabbit?
LESSON 2: THE REVEAL
This is it – the moment your monster is at last shown in all its gargantuan glory.
It’s mission-critical, therefore, that your script communicates the same intensity of shock and awe an audience will feel when they watch the movie…
Chantelle GASPS and TURNS to Peregrine, seeking solace in his granite manliness…
But she finds him AS SHOCKED AS HER by the TITANIC VISION before them.
It’s a RABBIT – a REALLY, REALLY BIG one.
About the SIZE of Godzilla – but remember, a RABBIT.
A BIG RABBIT.
This is THE BIG RABBIT.
LESSON 3: THE RELEVANCE
As escapist as they seem, monster movies have a noble history of social commentary – think the atomic nightmare of ‘50s flicks like ‘Them!’, or the scientific Pandora’s box of ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Honey, I Blew Up the Kid’.
What marks the best screenwriter out from the rest is the surgical ease with which he integrate this real-world comment into his script…
The Big Rabbit raises an ENORMOUS HIND LEG above their HEADS.
Oh my god, we’re going to die!
DR PEREGRINE MASTERS
This is terrible! Like the situation in Syria!
At least we won’t see what Trump does next!
Got any thoughts of your own about writing for monster movies?
Then literally post a comment below!