Screenwriting Glossary of Terms


Also known as a ‘weenie,’ this is an item introduced early in the story that appears to be significant but loses importance as the story proceeds. Alfred Hitchcock, who used them extensively, explained: “The MacGuffin is the thing the spies are after, but the audience doesn’t care.” e.g. The spy-thriller Ronin focuses on retrieving a mysterious suitcase, the contents of which are never revealed.

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