1. Idan Arie
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    Idan Arie New Member

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    Screenwriting A phone call situation on a script

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Idan Arie, Nov 2, 2013.

    Hello guys, I'm new here, my name is Idan.
    I hope it's alright that I'm posing in this particular forum.
    I'm writing my first script for a series and I was wondering -
    how should it look like on a script when two people at different places
    are talking on the phone.

    Should I create a new scene heading for each of them or what?

    I hope you understand the question and you have an answer...
    Many thanks!
    Idan.
     
  2. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    That kind of dialogue is usually covered as a single scene. You put something like
    INT. JACK'S HOME / EXT. PUBLIC PHONE BOOTH
     
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  3. Idan Arie
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    Idan Arie New Member

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  4. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welcome to CWForums btw!! Drop by at New Member Introductions... have fun!!!
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    idan... john august is an experienced screenwriter with some major screenplays under his belt, so his how-to website is certainly worth keeping in your 'favorites' menu...

    that said, since you mentioned this script is for a 'series' i assume it's for tv, not a feature film, and the latter is what august's how-to instructions relate to...

    so, there are some very important things you must be aware of:

    1. if you're writing for a sitcom, the format is totally different from scripts for dramatic series, which are formatted basically the same as film scripts... so, if it's a sitcom, you need to study actual scripts for sitcoms and learn that format...

    2. tv scripts of all kinds differ from film script structure, in that they contain more 'acts' to allow for commercial breaks, while film scripts follow the 3-act structure...

    3. if you're writing for the US tv industry, unless you're either working in the industry and have made good connections with higher-ups, or are a screenwriter with a good track record and an agent with good tv biz connections, no one will be allowed to read your scripts... legal departments are very tough on this, to avoid lawsuits by amateurs who claim their ideas were stolen...

    4. if you do have a way to reach someone 'on the inside' then having just an episode or pilot script won't do any good, as you'll need to submit a standard proposal for the series... this must include not only a pilot and sample episodes, but also thumbnail synopses of a half or full season of episodes, plus the 'bible' and other component parts...

    5. if you're writing this for contests, be sure to check the guidelines for each one, as they can differ widely...

    6. GOOD LUCK!

    ...i have to wonder if you hadn't studied enough real scripts, since you didn't know how to handle a phone call, so i strongly suggest you get david trottier's 'bible' and syd field's 'workbook' [both are on my 'tools' list] to first study and then keep handy as you write... if you need any one-on-one help/info/advice along the way, i mentor many aspiring writers for both tv and film and also have a slew of tips from the pros and my 'tools of the trade' i'll be happy to pass on, if you email me...

    ...btw, i hadn't come across john august's site, so thanks for adding that to my tips/how-tos collection... and welcome to the site!

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     

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