Aliens take over the planet. A zombie apocalypse breaks out. An asteroid threatens to smash the earth. These movies usually have scenes with presidents and generals talking about top-secret stuff. These movies have explosions, sweeping city-scapes, and spaceships.
I don't write much big drama. I have never spoken with presidents or generals, and the only explosions I've seen are Fourth of July fireworks. Writers are supposed to write what they know, so I generally avoid these sweeping thriller/action-adventure stories. I don't really like to read them, either. I'm not saying such stories are bad, they're just not my cup of tea.
Drama can be small: an alien lands in a small town and tries to survive. One family locks themselves in their home while the zombies beat against their door. A farmer anxiously watches his crops wither while the asteroid hurtles nearer.
These are the same ideas involved in "big drama": aliens, zombies, asteroids, but they're told from small perspectives. One lonely alien. One desperate family. One frightened farmer.
I think these "small drama" stories hit closer to home, because if such a crisis were to happen, most of us would not be consorting with world leaders or leading mass revolts-- we would be fighting to protect our little plot of grass.
In my screenplay, a powerful family falls. But I want to tell their fall from the perspective of a frightened girl instead of the power-hungry kings and lords. The whole crux of the screenplay is a scene where this girl, alone in an abandoned manor, sits down and sews a torn cushion. It's a tiny, pointless deed. But it's her first attempt to restore order to her fallen world.