On the most recent podcast of Scriptnotes, Malcolm Spellman returns to answer listener questions with the duo (primarily with Craig, due to John losing his suitcase with his microphone). Aside from the colorful language that follows a discussion of various sex acts on film and television (“Why do we see sex but rarely handjobs or blowjobs?”), the very next viewer question involved martial arts within film. Specifically, how to write martial arts moves into a spec script, without essentially being martial arts choreographer, especially if the directions are likely to be ignored. Malcom says that it’s always impressive when you can tell the writer has done their homework and is able to reference a specific martial arts move. Craig says it’s more about specific “character moments” that show something more about the character or if it’s to show the essence of the martial arts. Interestingly enough, this is actually a thought I’ve been curious about recently. While trying to find a BluRay copy of the 80s masterpiece Bloodsport (seriously, if you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it) and started to day dream about writing a modern script in that wonderful 80s martial arts style. Regardless, it’s good to know that if I ever decide to make one, I have a better understanding of how to do it.

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