Alan Moore on Screenwriting

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Alan Moore, genius, writer and wizard is in the news again. What he wanted to talk about was his new movie, The Show, starring Tom Burke as “a man of many talents, passports, and identities, arrives in Northampton – a strange and haunted town in the heart of England, as dangerous as he is. On a mission to locate a stolen artefact for his menacing client, Fletcher finds himself entangled in a twilight world populated with vampires, sleeping beauties, Voodoo gangsters, noir private eyes, and masked avengers.”

The Show

This looks amazing and I’d have about 800 things to ask him about it. However, all anybody wants to as Alan Moore about is his opinion on superhero movies and his relationship with the big comic book IP factories. Unsurprisingly, his distaste for the industry that treated him so poorly hasn’t diminished one jot, and there’s your headline. Not how gloriously bonkers The Show looks.

So instead, why not read this article, where Alan talks about what he learnt about screenwriting.

On Responsibility

I was starting to see the difference between writing for screen and writing for comics. Paper characters do not exist, and though I treat all of them with respect, even the fictional ones, I sometimes do horrible things to them, safe in the knowledge they’re only lines on paper. But I didn’t want to be in the Alfred Hitchcock position, if you know what I mean?

On Film as a Collaborative Medium

As a writer, I’ve learned an awful lot from doing this film. The way that films work is completely different from the way that books work, and that’s different from the way that comics work. Although they all involve writing, they all involve completely different processes. With a book, there is no more to the story than what I put down on the page. With a comic book […] I know pretty much what this book’s going to look like. With a film, that’s different. I write my screenplay and that’s like a floor plan. The film will be built upon by the actors, by the director, by the set designer, by all of these people who will all be bringing themselves to it, bringing what they’ve got to offer. […] If it fits, then we want to use it.

On Choosing The Right Medium

Initially, when someone said, “Can you expand the JIMMY’S END idea into a feature film?” I said, “No, not really, because the whole pay-off of it was written as a short story, and once you have that pay-off, you can’t have anywhere else to go with it.”

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