Write On: 'Suitable Flesh' Writer Dennis Paoli
November 1, 2023
“I’m not happy with a script unless I can look through it and find at least five or six pages where there’s no dialogue – where the story tells itself through imagery,” says horror screenwriter Dennis Paoli. Feeling strongly that the screenwriter’s job is to help the director see their vision for the scenes and characters, he says that instead of writing shot-by-shot, he writes, “Visual by visual. I try to give the important visuals that are inherent in that scene that help tell the story.”
Famous for writing the cult-classic body-horror film Re-Animator from 1985, Paoli has a new film called Suitable Flesh starring Heather Graham and Barbara Crampton just in time for Halloween. (Read more on how to create connective storylines in your script).
In Final Draft's Write On podcast we talk about the importance of a screenwriter embracing visual storytelling on the page and discuss the challenges of reinterpreting H.P. Lovecraft’s story The Thing on the Doorstep to create two bewitching female leads.
Listen to the podcast to hear more about Paoli’s long working partnership with the late Stuart Gordon (director of Re-Animator), making the “Miskatonic-verse” feel fresh and modern, and planting Easter eggs in the new movie.
Written by: Shanee EdwardsShanee Edwards is an L.A.-based screenwriter, journalist and novelist who recently won The Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer and was honored to be mentored by actress/producers America Ferrera. Shanee's first novel, Ada Lovelace: The Countess Who Dreamed in Numbers was published by Conrad Press in 2019. Currently, she is working on a biopic of controversial nurse Florence Nightingale. Shanee’s ultimate goal is to tell stories about strong, spirited women whose passion, humor and courage inspire us all.