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DC 101 - Step Outline and Screenplay Format

Creating your step outline and the form of screenplay writing
by

Patrick Wimp

on 30 September 2014

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Transcript of DC 101 - Step Outline and Screenplay Format

Step OUtlines and Screenplay Format
Step Outline
the story told in steps
traditional outline form combined with visual statements to describe the story and how it builds
one-to-two sentence statements to describe the action in the scene
Each of the statements should clearly describe what happens in that scene
no dialogue, no set dressing, no minor characters unrelated to the central action of the scene
“Romeo and Tybalt meet in the city. They fight and Romeo kills Tybalt.”
A step-outline is your road map, where you find the direction of your story. As you search for what works and what doesn’t, you’re fleshing out and gutting your story to prevent yourself from writing something that has no real direction.
When you write a step outline, you’re free to explore all your options in order to discover the best way to present your story--free to destroy your work

90% of what you write is going to be garbage. You need to work off of the remaining 10%--the stuff that is exceptional--to build your story
The STEP OUTLINE allows you to write and re-write your story without actually writing it. You are figuring out what works before you write all the little details
Writing the outline:

Bullet Points w/names

Opening Image - Billy lays passed out next to a dead dog.

Numbers w/names - combines scene numbering (allows you to keep track) but also allows you to indicate important plot points--PPI, Inciting Incident, Etc.

1. Inciting Incident - Sheila finds a briefcase full of Money

Scene Number (i.e. Scene 1, Scene 2)

SCENE 5 - Bruce races Davey in the street. Davey ends up dead.
SCREENPLAY FORMAT
The screenplay acts as the dramatic blueprint for the film. It is written in a very specific format that is streamlined for production and moviemaking. They are highly visual, use codified language and adhere to a specific layout. The film industry has developed this standard over time and this is the way that all movies are written.
TITLE - In caps
by
you
TITLE PAGE
Start with FADE IN - all caps
SLUG LINE
CHARACTER INTRODCUTION
KEY ELEMENTS:
Sound effects
environment
key props or set
story beats
DIALOGUE
Char. speaking
Center positioned
Parentheticals
U.S. Letter Size - Courier 12pt font
WHY?
guard the industry
streamline the moviemaking process
timing applications
1 PAGE = 1 MINUTE
Notes:
Avoid excessive camera direction - this is for the filmmakers to decide
Your job as a writer is only to write the script
Proper writing and use of language will guide the shots to be the way you envisioned
"The tip of an ink pen presses firmly against parchment paper"
CUT TO, DISSOLVE TO are outdated. Simply write the next slug line or next bit of description. Leave the transitions up to the editor.
Subject of your sentence should be the subject of your shot
Be as economical as possible with language
Write visually--if we can't see it, it doesn't belong in the screenplay
SCREENPLAY SOFTWARE
Final Draft
CeltX
WRiter Duet
LINKS ON D2L
Read Blake Snyder Chapter 3 - 5
MIDTERM - 10/16
STEP OUTLINE/DRAFT I - 10/16
View SAMPLE OUTLINE on D2L
Full transcript