What are the differences between techniques used in written plays and in movies?I want only the techniques in general not related to any specific work.

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kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In a written play some of the techniques are clarifying the beginning, middle and end. Then the playwright must construct an arc of action--the action that moves the characters from the beginning to the end of the play.  In addition, the writer must create character arcs, which means each character must change from the beginning to the end of the play. These arcs I speak of, refer to how the action develops. For example, a character wants or desires something then there are roadblocks in the way that prevent him or her from getting what they want. Then that character still wants that person or thing, so they try another way to get it. These character's desires must be wholly communicated through that arc of action. The writer must create a mood and a sense of time and place--all through dialog. Unlike a novelist or short story writer, the playwright has to do it all through dialog.

In a movie, flashbacks can be created. In addition, narration such as the thoughts in a character's head can be conveyed. The backstory of a scene can be communicated in many ways through a movie that cannot happen in a play.

In a play, any backstory must be related through the dialog, by one character talking to or confronting another character.

In a movie, the visuals convey most of the story--the scene, how the characters dress and behave, how the scenes change and the daytime and nighttime. So many aspects are given that the audience's imagination is not needed so much. In a play, the audience must imagine a lot, to get involved in the play. In order to identify with the characters and to care about the characters, the audience must use their imagination.