Ghostbusters Screenplay Video Essay

This weekend brings Paul Feig‘s reboot of Ghostbusters to theaters. Even though the reboot doesn’t really measure up to the high profile of the original, it does offer something exciting for a different demographic and a new batch of young people. While the movie is undoubtedly entertaining, it does have ample shortcomings, specifically in the story department, and that’s something that the original had perfected.

Like any good screenplay, the high quality of the final draft of the original Ghostbusters was a result of careful planning, rewriting and simply compelling storytelling. A new video essay takes a look at how the original concept for Ghostbusters changed from the idea Dan Aykroyd had in his head to the movie we ended up seeing in 1984 and have loved ever since. Check out the Ghostbusters screenplay video essay after the jump.

Here’s “How Ghostbusters Became Ghostbusters” from Lessons from the Screenplay:

By focusing on the premise and designing principle of Ghostbusters, we see how the movie we know began to take shape. While the original Ghostbusters idea was set in the future and featured interplanetary and interdimensional action, director Ivan Reitman saw it more character based, focusing on a group of guys who go into a very unusual business.

This is a creative decision that allowed for much more character based writing, which is one of the strongest aspects of the Ghostbusters screenplay, and something that helps the audience accept the surreal nature of the paranormal story. There are traces of this kind of writing in the first half of Paul Feig’s new Ghostbusters, but it’s put by the wayside for generic blockbuster action in the second half, and the film essentially loses itself.

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