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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"What'd you all order a dead guy for?"
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October 11 2006

Getting Some Action. Jane Espenson blogs about the difference between writing action scenes for "Buffy" and recently for "Battlestar Galactica".

I so totally can't tell what's worthy of posting and what isn't. Just breezed right past this yesterday (though it's yet another great blog entry from JE).

It strikes me that writing action for screen is possibly easier than prose action writing ? With screen the fact that actual humans will perform the action (well usually) dictates a lot of the pace and feel whereas with prose the words themselves (and the act of reading) can slow things down (Stephen King wrote once that he consciously uses shorter words to ramp up action scenes so that cos the words are read more quickly readers can feel the pace quicken, like metre in poetry).

Either way, it strikes me as being pretty difficult (i'm not surprised a lot of writers don't look forward to them).
With you on that, saje. I missed this earlier, and, so not good, 'cause, JaneEsp!! If you link to this entry, then check her previous day's blog, which kinda begins the ideas she discusses in this one, you learn a lot. Now if I just had that confidence she talks about. . . . But I'm getting better. I actually wrote something with Spike fighting that described a few moves. Strictly Amateur Night at the Dixie (Ditzy??) Bar and Grill, but still.

I love her blog. I also enjoy the lunch info, including the jalapeņo poppers. I wonder if she'd be willing to adopt me, even though I'm eons older than she. . . .
Yes the day before's entry is all about writing Buffy action sequences. Good stuff. Has JE gotten into how she writes the other action sequences, the smoochie parts? I'm sometimes bad about getting there and miss chunks. I try to catch-up later, but I am not always successful.
Thanks both but that's actually the one I was talking about (time difference and all). Guess I should've heeded the old Slashdot refrain and RTFA ;).

Far as I recall she hasn't talked specifically about smoochy action yet newcj. I bet she takes requests though ;).

(i'd be interested to see how much detail she writes, is it 'Angel kisses Buffy passionately' or 'Angel leans in from his left, gently but firmly grasping the knape of Buffy's neck then softly but with increasing passion kisses her on the lips' ?)
Saje! You've done this before! Fanfic much?

Personally, I find those kinds of action sequences much easier to write--to say nothing of much more fun!
I wonder who wrote the Xander/Harmony fight? 'Cos that was awesome!

Also it must be easier when writing for a movie, where you have the time and the budget to film a long and complex action scene exactly the way you want. On a TV show, with TV budgets and TV deadlines, it must often come down to "What fight can we shoot in two hours with this set and three breakable chairs?" Of course, on a movie the pressure is to write a spectacular, long and complex action scene...
I seem to recall an interview with either Jeff Pruitt or Mike Massa--whomever said that he storyboarded most action sequences himself from usually bare-bones script indications, then submitted them to producer/director/writer for approval of both action and budget required.
Whedonesque needs a new tagline:
"It's a moebius strip of self-bolstering rationalization!"

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