The truth behind writing movie scripts, or any script for that matter, is that a screenwriter conveys a metaphor of life itself in his or her story. Scriptwriting, in itself, is not life, even though writers might obscure the lines between fiction and reality. Just take a look at any Star Trek or Star Wars Convention: you’ll see ample evidence that fans have blatantly taken the movie life to a new level. That is the power of cinema, and cinematic writings. Therefore, it is imperative that you learn how to use metaphor to communicate your storyline.
What is metaphor anyway? Metaphor, defined by Encyclopedia Britannica, is a parable that suggests a connection between two opposite things, as differentiated from a simile, a specific contrast indicated by the words “like” or “as.”
In a movie script a metaphor is using imagery or sound to create a deeper meaning. A movie without metaphor lacks the depth it requires to touch the inner part of a human being. Using metaphor creatively cannot only create a soul to your movie script, but it can also spark significant change within viewers. Some examples of metaphor within a movie could be something like a flag, symbolizing patriotism, or a rose symbolizing love and romance. These are more common examples of metaphor and could be considered cliché. Thus, it is vital, as a writer, to create unique metaphors on the subjects of life itself.
For instance, if you were to implement a sound within your script “like the ticking of a clock,” it could represent that time is running out. Every time you implement the sound metaphor within your screenplay, you can induce a feeling of suspense within your audience. The beauty of metaphor is that it can be anchored psychologically within the audience: every time they hear the ticking of a clock outside of the cinema, they’ll be reminded of the movie.
You can use more than one metaphor in your story to create an even more impacting piece of cinematic work. By understanding how to implement metaphor you can also influence dialogue, action, and the progression of story. Metaphor can be used to induce suspense, or romance, or any feeling that you wish to implement. This is precisely why metaphor is so important.
Also remember not to blatantly place metaphor for the sake of using metaphor. You will need to think on how to add this technique to your writing to make it something significant. But you do have creative freedom, so the sky is the limit. You can take almost any object and add meaning to it; it just takes some time to perfect the skill. Once you have effectively applied metaphor to your writing, you can create “trekkies” of your own. The entire movie of the Matrix is a metaphor of the systematic society we live in today; we know life might be an illusion of what is really going on. So within your screenplay find certain objects or sounds that will amplify the meaning of each scene. Trust me, your writing will come alive!