GITS: Scene Description Spotlight

(500) Days of Summer: How to write a dance sequence without choreographing each movement

African Queen, The: Reminder how the approach to scene description has changed considerably

Alien: More on haiku style

Avatar: Pandora intro creates specific sense of time and place, plus theme

Barton Fink: Simple declarative description to help create an enigmatic ending

Basic Instinct: Opening scene that conveys immediately script is a sexy, thriller

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: Continuous action conveyed in a 293 word sentence

Cast Away: Psychological writing to convey atmosphere

Chinatown: Mood of scene description reflects the personality of Jake Gittes, the story's Protagonist

Dark Knight, The: Cross cutting multiple storylines

Deer Hunter, The: Building tension in a scene to a powerful climax

Ed Wood: Script's opening conveys clearly story drama-mixed-with-comedy tone

Fargo: Grounds humor within characters' actions, not narrative tone of scene description

Gattaca: Using the script's opening to introduce central theme through visuals

Hangover, The: Comedic narrative voice

Inglourious Basterds: Dramatic narrative voice 

Jerry Maguire: Using scene description to convey emotional dynamics of a scene

Lethal Weapon: Shane Black's distinctive narrative voice

Matrix, The: Visual action-writing through use of strong verbs and vivid descriptors

Memento: Use italics to spotlight 'special' scenes or sequences

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Use of "a beat" or "beat" and other options

Pulp Fiction: Using narrative voice 'impressions' and action to distinguish each character

Rachel Getting Married: Restrained description allowing the moment to breathe

Raging Bull: Great descriptors of sports action

Raising Arizona: Use individual paragraphs to 'direct' specific camera shots

Saving Private Ryan: Secondary sluglines to 'direct' the action

Se7en: Blunt visuals that convey mood but avoid melodrama

Shawshank Redemption, The: Contrasting moods of opening scenes

Some Like It Hot: Use paragraphs to specify camera shots

Star Trek: Action narrative voice 

There's Something About Mary: Strong setup for comedic set piece using sluglines to direct action

Titanic: Provides moving finale to Rose and Jack love story by creating sense of transcendent beauty

Unforgiven: Authentic 'western' narrative voice

Up: Set-ups and payoffs

Wall-E: Haiku style

Withnail & I: Chummy style of narrative voice brings reader deeper into story world

Zombieland: Cross-genre script that establishes horror-comedy tone effectively in opening pages