Films exist in a world that hinges on the visual. Dialogue is important, and we all have our favorite movie quotes: "Unite us. Unite the clans," is one of mine. But films are meant to be visual: When William Wallace, his back to the camera, turns to face his cheering band of Scotsmen because he successfully led an attack against the English that killed his wife, I had an epiphany. It became the chief cornerstone for me wanting to enter the arts. In that moment, I knew I wanted to be involved, in someway, with making movies.
The master filmmakers know how to visually tell their stories. They know how to reveal character and plot and theme primarily through image/action and secondly through dialogue. And the master screenwriters do just the same. One of my favorite screenwriters is Wes Anderson. Yes, he also directs his work, and that makes him better than the rest of us, but so what. His voice is unique. His stories are profound, honest art.
Screenwriting demands a word budget that focuses on image and action, first, and dialogue, second.
It's hard to do. What a surprise.
Screenwriting is the poetry of prose.