Lesson #1: SCRIPTWRITING
e) WRITING YOUR SCRIPT
YOU GET NO RESPECT !!!!
FROM FILM PROFESSIONALS
If you tell them you have a great Script
.......then hand them a written Story
FONT: Courier (12pt)
with set Page Margins and Returns
(Links to free software to do technical formatting at bottom of page)
STORYTELLING UNITS: Scenes
STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS IN A SCENE (3):
Scene Heading Line / Narration (or Action) / Dialogue
Each Page You Write Is Approx. (1) Minute of Screen Time!
Write your script with an awareness of how long the film will be
(2) to (5) pages = approx. (2) to (7) film minutes
AS A WRITER YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT
ACT l / BEGINNING
How many pages (or portion of a page in a short Script) to introduce the Protagonist and her Ordinary World. As well as the coming of the Antagonist who will disrupt her World.
ACT ll / MIDDLE
How many pages for the Protagonist to stumble over obstacles, fight small battles*, seek help and new knowledge, before encountering the Main Event Conflict.
(* A small battle can be as small as having trouble opening a bottle. If the Protagonist succeeds in opening the bottle, the audience scores it as victory and new confidence for the Protagonist. If the Protagonist can't open the bottle, it's a frustrating humiliating setback - Unless instead of staying defeated, the Protagonist MacGyvers the situation and comes up with a brilliant new solution!)
ACT lll / END
How many pages (or portion of a page in a Short) to show
how the Protagonist and / or the Ordinary World has been
changed after the Resolution of the Conflict.
A WRITER KNOWS !!!
The Conflict (Middle) portion of the Script always get the most pages!
You'll still need a Conflict and Resolution
in the Short that is satisfying
SHORT FILMS HAVE NO TIME
To develop complicated plots or show different sides of the Characters. Often Shorts are quick intensive slices of life with intense mysterious Characters, meant to leave the Audience wondering after the film has ended: What will happen next?!
(Queue Pitch: “Help us turn our Short into a Feature (or a Series)" ! )
REVIEW AGAIN THE DIFFERENCE IN RHYTHM & PURPOSE BETWEEN A SHORT FILM AND A FEATURE
'WRITING YOUR SCRIPT'
IS DIVIDED INTO (4) SECTIONS
YOU SET YOUR OWN GOALS NOW!
KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR WRITING TEAM
It's fine if you are just reviewing the Lesson out of interest. But if you are actually doing the Lesson, some of your weekly time for the project now needs to be dedicated to pulling together a Writing Team (if you haven't already!).
The Team is composed of the Writer, and an array of supporters. It can include other writers, but it can also include people interested in acting; analyzing stuff and brainstorming; production design; learning the camera; and running a set.
If your recruits can support your project with time and / or skills, and do parts of the Lesson with you, they don't need any writing or film experience. You are also creating an early, sympathetic test audience for your Story. Their questions and suggestions will help you:
Write Your Script With The Consciousness of a Filmmaker
. THE LESSON NEEDS TO BE DONE LIKE
a) Figure Out What To Do By Doing It With What You Have !
(sometimes while running just ahead of family crises and economics)
b) Most Important Resources?
PASSION, PERSISTENCE & OPENNESS TO LEARNING WITH (AND FROM) OTHER PEOPLE
c) It Can Take A Few Tries
(sometimes over months or even years)
KNOW HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR TIME & MIND !
You decide how much time each week you can work on your project. If the Lesson were happening in a classroom, we'd meet weekly for (3) hours and students would also do homework outside of class. You don't have that. What do you have? Commit to something (in writing on your Calendar!).
DON'T HAVE AN IDEA WHERE YOU'RE GOING?! YOU'LL GET LOST !
SET A CALENDAR GOAL (in weeks or months)
for when your Team will schedule a Reading of the 2nd (or 3rd) Draft of your Script for an audience (which can be in
someone's living room!) .
DON'T OPEN THE DOOR
BEFORE YOU'RE SURE OF
WHAT'S IN THE ROOM YOU'RE LEAVING
WHAT DID YOU SKIP?
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO RE-VIEW?
WRITING YOUR SHORT SCRIPT
1. Turn Your Story Into The 1st Draft Of Your Script
2. Writing Tips & Studying Professional Scripts
Writing Dialogue To Move Plot
How To Draw Your Audience In
Study (Free) Scripts Of Films And Series You Like
3. What's Your Story?
Read Aloud 1st Draft Of Script & Give Title
Revisit All the Lesson's Assignments and Your Notes
DO YOUR 1ST REWRITE!
4. Do Reading Of Your Script Before An Audience