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Script Writing

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Maddi Nelson

on 10 October 2013

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Transcript of Script Writing

The Script Writing Process
Script Writing
Beat Sheet
Scribblers Workshop #2
Scripts are everywhere!
What makes script writing unique?
You create the story, but a director is responsible for bringing that story to life.
Each type of script has a different layout. There are are programs and software that can format your script correctly.
Logline: a one-sentence summary of your script
"But my script is too complicated to summarize in one sentence!"
Not if you want directors, etc. to consider it.
These are not loglines.
“A man hooks up 100 helium balloons to a lawn chair and goes on an odyssey.”

“A man running for the U.S. Senate who has based his campaign on opposing homosexuality finds out that his son is gay and about to come out on the eve of the election.”
These are situations, not stories.
A numbered list of beats (events) in your script.
Beats should begin with the main character's name and an action verb. (Ex. "Michael burns down the banana stand.")
At the end of each beat should be an estimated time limit. When writing for TV, consider your show's time limit and take commercial breaks into consideration.
Your beat sheet should be more detailed than your logline, but don't go into TOO much detail.
An informal presentation of your script idea(s).
In professional settings, you will probably be asked to pitch multiple ideas.
When pitching, you do not merely read your logline: you have to SELL your script.
Now you're ready to write your script!
TV Advertisements
a good place to start, especially for TV writers
short (usually 30-60 seconds long)
Choose a company/organization you support and get a sense of its brand.
Rewatch your favorite ads. What about them appeals to you?
The best ads tell a story and evoke emotion.
"Spec script" - an original script for a currently running show
Purpose: to exhibit your skills as a writer and show producers/directors that you are familiar with the show
basically fanfiction, but there are limitations
Don't kill off main characters.
Don't start a romance plotline or introduce anything that will interfere with the plot.
Don't introduce new (important) characters.
Short film: fewer than 40 minutes
5-15 minutes best for festivals
can be used in festivals and on YouTube or Vimeo
Feature film: at least 40 minutes long
Most films are between 70-210 minutes long.
Formatting your script
Each script type has its own formatting rules.
There is software available that will format your script for you.
Paid (with demo versions or free trials)
Final Draft Pro
Adobe Story
Spec script writers should look up sample scripts of the show they wish to write for.
Graphic Novel
One-act plays
may consist of more than one scene
flash dramas: no more than 10 minutes long
often used in school competitions
Full-length plays
1 hour = 50-70 pages
Most plays run from 90 minutes to 2 hours long.
posts: "points in the story that demand a song"
"Sing It or Say It; NEVER Both"
Things to remember:
No matter what script you're writing, remember the essentials of good storytelling.
Determine your genre and make sure your tone is consistent with that genre.
Do not include cinematography instructions (close-up, zoom in, etc.)...
...unless you're writing for an animation.
Show. Don't tell.
What can I do with my script?
Screenplays (film)
Find an agent to sell your script.
Writer's Guild of America
Submit them to writing contests.
Amazon Studio
Make a movie yourself!
COMM 314: Script Production for Television and Film
HU 5-Minute Film Festival
Screenplay (TV)
TV network writing programs/fellowships
Amazon Studio
Start a YouTube series.
Graphic Novels
Find freelance artists to draw the panels for your novel
Net Minds
If you can draw, draw it yourself and publish it.
Or through self-publishing
Comic Fury
Smack Jeeves
Kindle Direct Publishing
writing contests
traditional play publishing companies
Brooklyn Publishers
Samuel French
Talk to your drama teacher about producing your script at school.
Time for a writing exercise!
Complete the logline
Three teenagers go on a road trip from Dallas to Seattle.
A horror movie fanatic realizes his/her apartment is haunted.
A young prince/princess is forced to take the throne when his/her parents die.
A scientist accidentally invents a drug that gives people superpowers.
A man/woman wakes up one morning and realizes he's/she's invisible.
Shook Foil is accepting submissions!
Deadline: October 15 at 11:59 p.m.
creative nonfiction
black & white visual art
Book drive for White County Detention Center
PLEASE do not donate hardcover books.
Without conflict, there is no story.
"Conflict on every page."

person vs. person.
person vs. nature
person vs. society
person vs. self
Full transcript