Re: Screenwriting

ravenbroom wrote:
Shakingman wrote:
ravenbroom wrote:

New and jumping in (Introduction somewhere else I am sure) I just recently decided to expand my writing career into screenwriting and started classes. Love it and can't wait to actually get down to the nitty gritty of things.
Right now we are into lighting. The ins and outs of how to use lighting.

Yes, I am learning the total package.

So glad to find a place where I can toss a question or comment out to.

Nell

Welcome Nell. Fuck the lighting course and concentrate on the writing - those package deal Production Courses are lame - and usually, but not always, the one's teaching are losers with maybe a Gaffer credit to their names (no offense to Gaffers) - pick up these books "Story" by Robert McKee - "Stealing Fire From the Gods" by   and "Save the Cat" by Blake Snyder - read them and just start writing. If screenwriting is what you want to do - then just start writing and hone the craft - and forget about everything else in production.

Just my two cents.

And rerj! Screenwriting is tough! Tougher than prose, in my opinion, and yes I can attest to some good critiquing by the man - sorry haven't reciprocated yet - doing an overhaul and hopefully final draft of "Rowan" lots of people including a director have come aboard.

I'm also working on two other pieces as well.

David

Actually it isn't a production course. I am getting my Masters. So to do so, I have to take the complete courses at film school. This has cost me 4500.00. I need to get 10 more credits under my belt for Masters. I already have 8 years of college behind me. (I was going into advertising) My final is one class is producting, directing, writing, music, editing an hour film. With talking to directors/producers and screenwriters, they all agreed that understanding what goes on behind the camera is an important part of actually being involved in this business, if you want to make a career out of it, which is what I am planning to do.
I am already a published author, and was an editor for a couple of mags, but wanted to reach out into a different span as I got older...much older.
I'm done with lightening right now, and I tell you...it was extremely interesting. It opened my eyes alot pertaining to movies I now watch. I understand about filtering and how to create atmosphere. I am now involved in special fx in one class, editing in another, and of course, my actual screenwriting class. The other two classes are pure fun. One is getting to watch a movie and pick it apart (why the colors used, character sketching how done...ect), and the other is economics. How to be able to pertain money for movie making, time off for writing, paying taxes and of course people involved. Quite interesting.

So sorry, very much disagree as I see an education of what is behind and in front of the camera is just as important.

BTW: over 75 pages done of first screenplay.

Nellie

I tend to agree with you Nell, while I have studied writing and had a few bits and pieces published over the years I did not study screen writing or film making, rather I earned my stripes over the course of a few years on set as a special effects and prosthetic make-up artist (I've chucked a few pics of my work up onto my morgue space). A job which afforded me the opportunity to learn more about lighting and how it could be used to great effect and likewise the difference between a competent director and a great one.  Moreover I got to read a lot of scripts. A LOT of scripts -  and after a while you really start to get a feel for what has legs and what doesn't.

So here I am, a bit of a sampler in terms of film making, SFX and prosthetics, continuity,art department, and now writing.

My third feature script (although first one to be picked up) is already in pre-production and our shoot dates have been brought forward to September.

Whatever  discipline you want to get into I think it pays to have at least a basic understanding of the critical elements involved . Education is never wasted.

I do understand Shakes point also though - there are a lot of dodgy courses out there in which you go in a pig and come out a sausage.  "Hey Presto - you're a film maker!"  Which take your money without really giving you a meaningful qualification or education.  The moral of the tale therefore is to thoroughly check out your course provider before signing up - are they accredited? What qualification will I get? Is it nationally recognised? Will I undertake industry placement as part of the course? What sort of support do I get after I complete my course? That sort of thing if they don't answer to your satisfaction then look elsewhere.


As to the above... can't say I've heard of that one, though I did once read that your antagonist should at least have been introduced by page 10 in a feature script.

Last edited by Cthonian (2008-04-16 00:58:36)

Re: Screenwriting

As to the above... can't say I've heard of that one, though I did once read that your antagonist should at least have been introduced by page 10 in a feature script.


Sorry, got lost...what haven't you heard of?
If you meant Masters...that is my degree. I already have 8 years of college behind and hold two BAs and Assoc. But wanted to get my master degree for years but haven't had time with raising a child and having to work fulltime. But now that he is moving out, I decided to finishing my schooling and with a lot of research found that I could use my BAs with advertising arts and creative journalism, I could get my masters with film schooling courses and have my master degree in creative arts.
My assoc. is in business economics.  and decided to take an extra course to refresh myself with basic business law, accounting ect.

I'm thinking that is what you were not sure of?

Nellie

Re: Screenwriting

**chuckles** 

"As to the above... can't say I've heard of that one, though I did once read that your antagonist should at least have been introduced by page 10 in a feature script."

Is a reference the post immediately above my own in which Jamhorner asks about the requisite for a "conflict" to appear in your screenplay by page 15.

Sorry for the confusion there Ravenbroom.

Re: Screenwriting

Regarding writer's block - I talk to people about my shiz. Go to a coffee shop and tell one of your friends about this film idea you're working on, etc. Every time I do that more ideas start flowing out.

Also, it may help to work on multiple projects. Every time you have an idea for a script, short story, whatever, just throw yourself into it. The next day, work on something else, keep yourself busy. If you dedicate yourself to one project you could easily get too tense on it.

And setting aside what you're blocked on is always a good idea. There is no hurry, after all. Like LoudLon wrote, you are not going to just run right out and sell your script so you may as well take your time.

Final Draft is the bomb btw, imo.

Re: Screenwriting

How do you motivate yourselves? I love my concept, but sometimes, between working two jobs and family it's hard to sit myself down and write.

Re: Screenwriting

SalomeSlaughter wrote:

How do you motivate yourselves? I love my concept, but sometimes, between working two jobs and family it's hard to sit myself down and write.

That's a great question! When I first started writing it was always difficult to get going. It was only after having actually finished several projects that I was finally able to just write at will, so to speak. But that's just me, I'm a procrastinating motherfucker. Also, I had a Comp2 class in college where the professor would throw out random topics each class and we had to write 750 words on it in fifteen minutes. After a semester of that shit, getting it out came easy.

Music is a good motivator though - assemble a bunch of songs that fit your story and listen to them when you write or need motivation to write. Doing the same thing with pictures works well too. Then, whenever you have a spare couple of minutes, look at the pics, listen to the music, and your muse should be forthcoming. And remember you don't have to write a chapter everytime you sit down; a single sentence is more than enough per writing session. Just get it out.
Hope that helps.

Last edited by jpjmoffett (2008-05-21 03:34:06)

157

Re: Screenwriting

Thanks for this thread.  Glad to see there's a bunch of screenwriters here.  My problem is my scripts need to be longer.  Every time I try to write "filler" to pad it out, I'm reminded of movies I've seen where the writer obviously did that, and it usually detracts from the movie, so I usually try to add new scenes or atmosphere rather than more blah blah blah dialog scenes with no point or excitement.

Re: Screenwriting

Sounds like you're more of a plot writer than a character writer.  Try expanding your characters, giving them more to do, give the reader more opportunity to get to know them.  Let the characters influence how the plot unfolds, rather than allowing the plot to determine their actions for them.  You'll know you're on the right track when you find your characters are in control of your script, and not you. 

Good luck.  Keep writing. smile

159

Re: Screenwriting

Thanks for the encouragement.  You may be right about the "plot writer" thing.  I really do enjoy a story, and sometimes characters are tricky because I'm not sure if they're likeable enough and for me it's almost essential that if I'm the reader or viewer of something that there has to be at least one likeable character to root for.

Re: Screenwriting

vxtq wrote:

Thanks for the encouragement.  You may be right about the "plot writer" thing.  I really do enjoy a story, and sometimes characters are tricky because I'm not sure if they're likeable enough and for me it's almost essential that if I'm the reader or viewer of something that there has to be at least one likeable character to root for.

What about the movie "Psycho"?

Re: Screenwriting

on my second draft of my first screenplay.  It's still in terrible shape but I am making progress which is a good thing.

162

Re: Screenwriting

Shakingman wrote:
vxtq wrote:

Thanks for the encouragement.  You may be right about the "plot writer" thing.  I really do enjoy a story, and sometimes characters are tricky because I'm not sure if they're likeable enough and for me it's almost essential that if I'm the reader or viewer of something that there has to be at least one likeable character to root for.

What about the movie "Psycho"?

Interesting point.  I love the original "Psycho" and I felt some sympathy for Norman even if I wasn't rooting for him to kill people.  I thought Janet Leigh's Marion was likeable even though she was a thief.  I also liked "Sam" he seemed like a solid guy.

Re: Screenwriting

I wrote a script for a feature length film cuz somebody said they might be interested. It turned out to be a scam; I was supposed to pay for professional critics advice etc. I ended up making the film with a budget of five hundred euros, basicaly to promote myself as a screenwriter. I'm not to interested in directing. Anybody got any promotional ideas? I'll give you a role in my next film; raped to death by vampire women or something fun like that.

Re: Screenwriting

advice... dont be scammed by scammin cxnts u dont even know...

and my movie is gonna be the best independent movie in the werld

oh yeah... nice thread \m/

Last edited by ZOMBlE (2009-03-23 21:40:00)

Re: Screenwriting

wow

Re: Screenwriting

I have two ideas in my head.  I've written down what I want to happen and what they are about, I just suck at dialogue.  I cannot write that for the life of me.  Any advice?

Re: Screenwriting

Don't let it stop you from writing your script.  Write it out, bad dialog and all.  You'll fix it in the rewrites.

Re: Screenwriting

LoudLon wrote:

Don't let it stop you from writing your script.  Write it out, bad dialog and all.  You'll fix it in the rewrites.

LoudLon, I love this thread. Glad I found it.

I'm working on a specific one now--pretty satisfied with it, actually inspired by one of Chrizzy's stories. I'm at 65 pages now.

After reading what you wrote about the rewrite factor, I don't necessarily have to worry about the length of the draft, right? My friend, a creaive writing teacher, told me I should plan on making it long--like 120 pages--but I feel that's going to screw up the storytelling & force me to add dumb shit.

I think I'm as fast as J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Changeling)--writing nonstop & churning out rewrites in 53 hours. cool

Re: Screenwriting

vxtq wrote:

Thanks for the encouragement.  You may be right about the "plot writer" thing.  I really do enjoy a story, and sometimes characters are tricky because I'm not sure if they're likeable enough and for me it's almost essential that if I'm the reader or viewer of something that there has to be at least one likeable character to root for.

Ah.... see, I don't have a problem developing characters. I always wanted to make my own soap opera so working on character growth is fun for me.

It's condensing that character growth into a 1 1/2 hour to 2 hour format that can be a booger sometimes.

Re: Screenwriting

Anyone can write.  Plain and simple.  But scoring that elusive manager or agent is the real test.  And landing one of these is hard as hell.  A lot of it is who you know.  Sad.  I know people who live in other states who get cell phones in LA with LA area codes, or even a P.O. Box in LA for an address so it "appears" that they live out there when in fact they live in like Peoria just so industry think they live on the West Coast.

Re: Screenwriting

If anyone needs help writing characters and interesting dialog

just ask me

then we can pretend - you be a character - i be a character - and pretend - then you write it down - done

Re: Screenwriting

I need to start screenwriting again.  I had some half finished stuff but really fell out of it.  Theres a few things I would love to work on, maybe I will have to get back into it.

Re: Screenwriting

fkn do it mang!

i wanna go on the dole(unemployed) for a year so i can work on a number of projects - mostly tunes - but writing a screenplay could be a good idea also

Re: Screenwriting

Disregard this post.

Last edited by FutureSlash (2010-09-05 13:02:07)

Re: Screenwriting

no disregarding