The filmic elements of a screenplay are derived from the nature of the motion picture art form. They are the result of the medium’s ability to move, its ability to create both a time and a space that do not exist in reality, and its ability to present imagery and sound as abstractions of reality. Film content is what the screenwriter wants to say and the structure within which it is said. It’s the story to be told, the characters to be met, the places to go, and the theme to be communicated.” — Margaret Mehring, bold type taken from the original1
In her book, The Screenplay: A Blend of Film Form and Content, Margaret Mehring investigates the screenplay in terms of its formal attributes — what she calls the “filmic elements” of Filmic Time, Filmic Space, Motion, Imagery, and Sound — along with the characteristics of its content, of which she lists Theme, Structure, Character, and Mise-en-Scene.2 In fact, content is form, as we will examine in this section.