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The Art of Screenwriting: The Wachowskis

Lana and Lilly Wachowski, the brilliant filmmakers behind The Matrix, are some of the most influential screenwriters and filmmakers of all time. When people bring up originality in films, it’s practically impossible to address the matter without discussing The Matrix.

No matter your expertise in screenwriting, learning pros like the Wachowskis are essential to developing your writing ability with screenwriting. It's simply impossible to achieve your fullest potential without going off the advice and practice from professional screenwriters and filmmakers.

With this in mind, the Wachowskis are a prime example of writers and filmmakers to learn from. Lana and Lilly Wachowski first met with critical acclaim in 1996 with their film, Bound. The film was nominated for numerous awards and won a number of them as well.

However, it wasn’t until 1999, when the two met their full potential with The Matrix. No matter your interest in filmmaking and screenwriting, practically everyone has seen the perfection in The Matrix. It's complicated, but is an easily told story that embodies everything a screenwriter can learn from.

The influence of the Wachowskis is undeniable, thus the reason we’re going to take a quick at the art of screenwriting involving Lana and Lilly Wachowski. No matter your expertise with writing, it’s always a good idea to learn from the best. Let’s get started!

Photo credit: The Film Stage

Meanings Can Shift

When you discuss films like The Matrix, the story's meaning and understanding can change as it goes on. The notion of purpose is especially the case when talking about science fiction films. Regardless of the genre or not, revealing the true meaning of a film can shift as it goes on.

Most writers will tell you a script needs to have a consistent motif or understanding throughout its entire story. However, this is opposite as the whole when discussing multi-layered scripts. For the most part, it's essential to have multiple meanings throughout a script.

Not to mention the reveal importance tied to a shifted meaning. Surprising the audience with a change in meaning is excellent for a script. However, it needs to be done in a way that isn't laughable. In Wachowskis' case, look at The Matrix for a perfect example of a beautifully told story that changes meaning as it goes on.

Plan Visuals

Whether you're a beginner or an expert in scriptwriting, visuals are an essential essence tied to great scripts. A film can't be told correctly without a script that discusses the visuals related to the script.

For example, in The Matrix, the infamous red and blue pill is iconic for people who haven't seen the film. The visual representation of the red and blue pill was created in the script, not directly in the film's shot.

Thus, why it’s so crucial for scripts to highlight the necessity of visual representation. A script can’t properly thrive without the needed visual details in it. Of course, you don’t want to oversaturate your visuals, but the Wachowskis realize the importance of visuals in a script.

All of their scripts paint a clear picture of what you can expect in the film. That’s part of the reason their films are so entirely unique. Their appearance, characters, and storytelling is an understanding of what the script is trying to convey. A prime example of this is in V for Vendetta, where the script clearly highlights the dismal story overtone throughout the script.


Lana and Lilly Wachowski write their scripts as a representation of passion. Most characters in their scripts are filled with passion, whether it's right or wrong. The notion of passion can be understood in your script since people are more likely to understand their motives if they appear passionate about it.

Think of it like a basketball game, and the players are barely trying. Of course, no one is going to believe they care about the game or want to succeed. If you have a script with characters who aren’t clear about what they want and need, then your script isn’t appealing to most viewers.

Combination of Motifs

If you’re a fan of Lana and Lilly Wachowski, you understand how most of their films are a blend of motifs. Whether it’s the action-driven tendency of The Matrix tied with philosophical interpretation, or the revolutionary ideas of V for Vendetta, combining essential doctrines revolving around your script is a great idea. If Lana and Lilly Wachowski do it, why don't you?

Best Films:

● The Matrix (1999)

● Bound (1996)

● Cloud Atlas (2012)

● V for Vendetta (2005)


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