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The Art of Screenwriting: Wes Anderson

For those of you who are new to screenwriting or have been in the field for quite some time, you likely got into the subject because of your love for a particular screenwriter. Wes Anderson is a writer and director that immediately comes to mind when I think of someone who has inspired future screenwriters.

Anderson’s unparalleled style of telling a story and witty dialogue is what makes such a pioneer when it comes to screenwriting. For those of you who haven’t seen a Wes Anderson film yet, I implore you to check one out.


By the end of the article, we’ll have a list of his best films for you to check out. Nonetheless, let’s discuss Wes Anderson’s art of screenwriting.

Photo credit: qz.com


Authentic Characters


When you watch a Wes Anderson film, you'll immediately be captivated by the characters throughout the story. Even the smallest roles are demonstrated in such a way that makes them authentic.


Authenticity is a huge part of how Anderson portrays his characters. They're relatable, different, and believe in what they're trying to achieve. As an audience, if we don't find in what a character is trying to do, then why should we have any motivation to invest in the story?


Novice screenwriters have a difficult time understanding what authenticity is for a character. Still, if they can study a bit of Wes Anderson, it'll help paint the picture in their head.


B-Plots Aren't Important


One aspect of Anderson's writing style you'll notice right away is non-care for b-plots. From Anderson's perspective, he thinks b-plots are useless, and the main story itself is what should drive everything.

You’ll find in most of Anderson’s work, he doesn’t have a ton of b-plots. Some films might introduce b-plots to add time, but Anderson finds a way to add story to the main story instead.


This is very difficult to do and isn’t even required to do. However, if you can do it successfully like Anderson, then probably have a stronger main story.


Extra Plots Die-Off for The Main Plot


Outside of Anderson's take on b-plots, Anderson's writing style only introduces a new plot so that it can die off for the main plot. This is more common in the mainstream of screenwriting.

Notable screenwriters will typically only introduce b-plots if they add something to the overall story. Either way, your b-plot isn’t what matters. The actual main storyline of your script is what should be focused on first. At least, that’s Anderson’s approach.

Take some time off of writing and don’t even think about it. Focus on the little things and regain your mental health. Meaning you need to be a normal state of happiness for you to properly work. Relax, and once you feel rejuvenated, slowly head back into writing.


Expression


How your screenplay demonstrates expression is an aspect that's difficult to explain. If you look at Anderson's films, then you'll see how his writing is filled with emotion in a way that paints everything directly into your head.

Without even seeing a film from Anderson, you can get an understanding of how his stories

express themselves from just his writing. It’ll help you get a sense of what expression means for your script.


Detail


Like most great screenwriters, Anderson has a profound attention to detail. Even his dialogue between characters might have something exciting happening in the background at the same time.

His description of characters, scene direction, story arcs, and everything in between are filled with details that add to the story of his scripts.

No matter what level you’re at with screenwriting, you have a general understanding of how it’s easy to forget details. We all know how important it is to get your script done and focus on the rest after, but don’t forget about the details! Wes Anderson says so.


Conclusion


We hope you enjoyed our art of screenwriting on Wes Anderson. Whether you’re a fan of Wes Anderson or not, there is a reason his name is brought up so often in the world of screenwriting.

For those of you haven’t seen a Wes Anderson film, here are some of his best films:

● Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

● The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

● Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

● Isle of Dogs (2018)

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