Monologue The most obvious difference between stage plays and movies is the size of the performance space. The seeming drawbacks of a small stage facilitate learning of the screen writing process, offering many indicators for script development that might otherwise be overlooked.
A major case in point is the ability for dialogue to express action. An important consideration for any film maker is the budget. In stage plays, we can see just how much action and information can be conveyed to the audience, even with limited resources.
For example, we may wish to film a battle scene. Due to financial restraints, the scope of an epic block buster, complete with a sweeping panorama populated by thousands of suitably attired soldiers, may be out of reach. In a stage play a few talented individuals equipped with good dialogue, lighting, and sound effects, can have an equally intense and graphic effect.
Early silent film educates us in the transition from stage to screen. The Phantom of the Opera, brilliantly acted by Lon Chaney, arguably the best of the silent screen actors, is a great example. Such films have the feel of the stage even when dealing with expansive sets. The huge forms of melodramatic actors lurching at the audience were an all new sensory experience.
The importance of sound accompaniment, and its development also occurred early on. The magnificent Wurlitzer organ provided music plus effects, such as the sound of horse hooves, thunder, and even the babble of a crowd.
From plays we learn the power of dialogue and the function of monologue. The concept of monologue opens up a fresh new batch of ideas, as another valuable literary device. Monologue adds progression to the story in a revealing expose, while clarifying complexity of subject matter for the audience.
Once the framework of a script is in place, screen writing and filmic devices become an exciting temptation rather than a confusing distraction. A monologue is compared to a mini-play within the script. This gives us some indication of the power of a well crafted monologue, while also signaling caution regarding its overuse.
A benefit of seeing film through the eyes of a playwright is in reading the script in dynamic fashion in order to get a true feel for the progressive action. When getting the feel for a script an actor, or author, does more than just read it. He takes on the character, wears the role on his feet, and walks around in it.