NonFiction ~~- The 10 Commandments Of ScreenWriting

Guidelines For Writing Biblical Adaptations

Yah's Word 2577 Characters =~2.6Min. Reading Time

No added characters.You can, however give existing Biblical characters new business/dialogue within existing Biblical scenes, as long as they don't change the outcome of the scene. And you can add minor players that the scene suggests, such as a dancer at a party.

No added scenes.People buy Biblical movies to show in churches, so they will know if you add scenes.

No profanity, shocking gore, or graphic sex.People buy Biblical movies to show to children, so use artistic genius instead of base grotesqueness. Make movies for sweet 7-year old boys.

Brief length.No biblical movie needs to be longer than its genre allows. 115 minutes MAX. 90 minutes Max for a children's feature. Like a tire inflating, 3 chapters of Biblical text puffs up into a full-length movie. If people need to take a bathroom break during your film, it's too long!

Find the drama within the Biblical story.Don't make up new conflicts. Just illustrate the conflicts that are present in the text.

Fast pace.A Biblical movie should rock on as fast as any other movie of a similar genre. No guys walking around in the desert talking slow wearing a dress.

Obey all the other rules of classical dramaturgy.Never coast on the guaranteed religious market. Earn every second of screen-time, using economy of characters, economy of scenes, causal continuity, strong POV, Birth, Love, and Death, tension, roller-coaster plot, solid dramatic situations, constant visual action, interweaving plot lines, lyrical writing, Heart, Brains, Muscle, & Spirit.



Adapting the Bible into a play is like adding air to a tire. The Bible text is the tire; you provide the air that enables it to roll. But you don't glue new parts onto the tire, because those parts would either be meaningless or damaging. You use the tire (the raw structure) as provided.

Adapting the Bible into a play is like adding fluids to a car. You provide the gasoline, the oil, the transmission fluid, the battery-water, the coolant, without which the car wouldn't run. But you don't modify the structure of the car.

Adapting the Bible into a play is like sprouting a seed. You provide water, earth, and sunlight. But everything about the beautiful plant that erupts from the seed is contained in the seed's DNA.

By these simple, logical metrics, there has never been a great Biblical movie ever made. The 10 Commandments got close, but it's almost 4 hours long. The Prince Of Egypt gets closer than anything else.