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Screenwriting - Don't Forget To Write In The Weather

By Author: Ronald Bell
Total Articles: 35

I am not sure about you but I generally don't watch chick flicks because I like action drama with high body count. In the screenplays I've written, they've been mostly about science fiction topics or within the action drama genre. In those genres, it does make sense to write about the weather to give the reader a sense of what mood they should be in. Luckily, it's not too critical for the types of things that I write, but for those who are writing love stories and chick flicks, it's very important. Okay so let's talk about this shall we?
Have you ever watched a chick flick which didn't have gloomy weather during the sad and depressed points in the story? Neither have I, and this should be a clue to you that if you are a screenwriter you need to consider the weather and how that weather corresponds with the mood of the characters at any given time and specific to that scene. Indeed, I guess it goes without saying that during the high points of the movie the weather should be perfect, and during the low points it should be stormy, drizzly, cold, windy, and perhaps just barely bearable.
It's easy to get so caught up in the story that you forget that the weather changes in the real world and for your story to be believable and for your audience to suspend their belief system you have to have some variation. It also makes sense that you would have the variation to go along with the particular scene so it all ties in nicely together. Still, it is also sometimes relevant to use a trick of the oldie but goodie song which hosts the lyrics; "it rained all day the night I left, the weather it was dry, the sun was so hot I froze to death, Susanna don't you cry."
Irony can also play a part in your screen play, and you need to know when to use it and why. Sometimes joyous times are so great that it doesn't matter how the weather is, and sometimes a love scene is more romantic when there is the pitter patter of the rain or a storm outside. Do you see that point, and why it's important to mix-and-match a little bit, but to also adhere to the high and low points using the weather as a basis.
If you don't, the screenplay may not sound correct, and if it ever does get produced, it's quite likely that the producer or the screen rewriter will put in the weather for you, may as well get it right the first time. Please consider all this and think on it. If you'd like to discuss these dynamics at a much higher level, shoot me an email sometime.

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