What is theme in a screenplay

Theme in screenwriting

What is theme in a screenplay?

The question ”what is theme in a screenplay” that can generate numerous answers. Even what is theme can be divisive. Some people believe that theme can be represented as a topic, like “happiness”.

I believe that theme is a sentence or concept that can be argued. I believe you need to be able to argue a for and against your theme. Having a theme that can be seen from both sides gives you space to develop a more complex and rich story.

How does theme give you scope?

If we look at happiness as a single word theme and then at the expression “money can’t buy happiness”.

Happiness is a topic, which can be a root to a theme. But the expression “money can’t buy happiness” can be argued. A person is striving to make more. The hard he works the more money he makes, but he alienates his family and friends. He combats that with purchasing things he thinks will win them back. We can look at the other side using a poor person that needs more for essentials. We can argue both sides.

This is just one way of looking at theme. There are many theories and processes. Watch the video here or at YouTube.