Roll film.

You’ve just rolled out a hundred page screenplay. Now what? Go out there and start shooting!

But you don’t really believe that. Can you tell me why you don’t believe it?

Because everything in a movie communicates something.

You knew this when you started writing your screenplay; this is why you wrote your screenplay: you had something to say. From this point on, you have to tell the story with pictures. Film is not just words and actions, film is literally a series or pictures. What you want to tell your audience determines what kind of picture you create.

This is confusing, right? The words tell the story, right?

Only very little of it. The words reveal the tip of the iceberg; they hint at what lies below. In order for your audience to understand the iceberg below the surface, you must first understand the iceberg itself. If the screenplay you are trying to film is one you’ve written, then you shouldn’t have too much trouble. If not, then you will have to read the screenplay to determine not only its core ideal, but the ideas behind each scene.

Communication. How do we communicate the story’s idea? We communicate the story’s idea by evoking emotional responses to particular ideas, words, and action from the audience by means of acting, camera angles, lighting, costumes, sound, music, and even set design. The emotional effects of each of these fields must be considered before shooting, and must be planned to achieve that effect which will direct the audience to the film’s ultimate conclusion. Otherwise, the movie will seem incoherent and meaningless.

Remember, film is visual.