john fraim

Script Symbology: Full of Sound and Fury

“Francis Bacon never tired of contrasting hot and cool prose. Writing in ‘methods’ or complete packages, he contrasted with writing in aphorisms, or single observations such as ‘Revenge is a kind of wild justice.’ The passive consumer wants packages, but those, he suggested, who are concerned in pursuing knowledge and in...

Script Symbology: The Synchronicity of Classic Scripts

“Bogey would invite me into his dressing-room with his usual ‘relax and have a drink.’ We would talk and sometimes a genie popped out of the whiskey bottle and off I’d go to develop the idea into a scene.” Howard Koch (Co-Screenwriter, Casablanca) “They are laying bets over on the RKO...

Script Symbology: Applying Symbols and Symbolism to Screenplays

Most agree films are the most symbolic art form, making extensive use of symbols and symbolism to carry messages. However, few understand symbols and symbolism and their successful application in films and (those blueprints for films) screenplays. It is seldom mentioned in screenwriting books or taught in film schools and when...

Script Symbology: Symbol Systems

We have observed that individual symbols exist in contexts and move within systems of symbolism. Symbols are also part of symbol systems that might be defined as categories of symbols. These symbol systems consist of familiar as well as esoteric categories of phenomena and things such as colors, numbers, genres, drama...

Script Symbology: Contagious In Hollywood

By John Fraim No, this is not some sequel to Sleepless in Seattle but rather a discussion of the application of one of the most popular books on contemporary marketing to the screenwriting and film community. The book is Contagious: Why Things Catch On (Simon & Schuster, 2013) by Wharton School...

Script Symbology: Sea of Zombies – Big Budget Movies

By John Fraim Hollywood seems to have placed a heavy bet on the table with its mega-budget zombie, vampire and super-hero comic-book films in the summer of 2013. Somewhere north of a billion dollars was spent creating various alternative worlds surrounding the films Man of Steel, Lone Ranger,World War Z and...

Script Symbology: The Art of Symbolism

“The essential problem is to know what is revealed to us not by any particular version of a symbol, but by the whole of symbolism.” Mercea Eliade The Rites and Symbols of Initiation Symbolism is the art or practice of using symbols especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or...

Script Symbology

The upcoming column in Script Magazine called Script Symbology is about the study and application of symbols and symbolism to scripts. While there are so-called movie symbologists (Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code comes to mind) to our knowledge there exists no ongoing research, discussion or study of the application...