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How To Use Settings Creatively

The creative use of settings can make a screenplay exciting and memorable. Changing the place of action to an uncommon location can make the story extremely dynamic.

The film, Outland, is essentially a Western in outer space. In this film, actor Sean Connery plays a federal marshal trying to maintain law and order on a mining outpost on one of Jupiter's moons.

The film, Star Wars, takes place in the future and is set in outer space, but it contains many similarities to World War II. The antagonist, Darth Vader, can be compared to Adolf Hitler. Vader's appearance and behavior are similar to Hitler. Vader even wears a helmet that is the same shape as the helmets worn by Hitler's Nazi soldiers. And just as Hitler tried to exterminate his enemies in concentration camps, Vader tries to annihilate the Rebel Alliance by using the Death Star weapon.

To write a screenplay using a creative setting, ask yourself several questions:

1.  Who is the
protagonist of your story? Who is the antagonist?

2.  What is the protagonist's goal? What type of conflict is preventing him from
     achieving his goal?

3.  When does your story take place? What is the historical time period? If it takes
     place during the present day, can you set it in the future or the past?

4.  Where does the main conflict of your story occur? Does it occur on Earth? Can the
     conflict take place on a distant planet or in a primitive setting?

5.  Why is your protagonist able to resolve the main conflict of the
story in this setting?
     Does he have a unique skill or ability that helps him triumph? If so, describe this skill
     or ability.

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