1. rainshine
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    rainshine Senior Member

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    scripts

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by rainshine, Apr 4, 2013.

    hi
    Would it be ok to use the Ms word template for a television script? Also what is the difference between shooting script which most of them on line seem to be and the script you send in. It Is tempting to write like the scripts you see on line, but others say by doing this you are an amateur. Apologies if I posted in the wrong place.
    thanksx
     
  2. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Spec scripts do not include any camera directions. Tv and film scripts also differ a fair bit.
     
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  3. Sam M
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    Sam M Member

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    Shooting scripts are simply more polished, possibly adjusted for budget, actors, etc. (eg. If a spec was draft 1, then the shooting script would be draft 5 or 6.) What you see online is what Hollywood uses, so write like that. How does writing like professional screenwriters make you look like an amateur?

    Regarding camera directions, I've seen scripts that have sold with camera directions. Use them if you need to, if it's important to the story. I don't like them - it disrupts the flow of reading. But, really, it's your choice. Other things will get you rejected faster.

    Regarding your Ms Word template - any particular reason why MS Word? Celtx, Fountain, Trebly are all easier formatting choices. Because, yes, TV and film scripts do differ.
     
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  4. rainshine
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    rainshine Senior Member

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    hi
    I've read a lot on screen writing online today so forgive me, I can't remember where, but someone said don't include scene numbers, shots, camera angles and so on. I had been looking at the bbc taped dramas which seemed straight forward but then the advice seemed to conflict and as I looked closer found they were all shooting scripts. So can I include an opening sequence /intro?
    with the Ms word template it just seems easy, I have downloaded the free version of celtix it basically has film, audio visual and audio play I haven't heard of the other software so thanks for the suggestion:D decided to down load trelby it looks really great.
     
  5. rainshine
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    rainshine Senior Member

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    duplicate post
     
  6. Sam M
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    Sam M Member

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    Of course.
     
  7. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Because submitting a shooting script (which is usually written by the director and a chosen writer as they plan out how they'll film the scenes) as a speculative script for selling, clearly shows a lack of understanding of the industry. You might aswell hand it in using Times New Roman (and if you didn't get that, DO NOT hand it in using anything but Courier). Writers directing their own film can write shooting scripts, obviously. But any writer that submits a shooting script to sell is doomed to failure. Directors HATE being told how to shoot the film. You should be able to describe the scene clearly without any camera direction. If you can't, give up now. The industry is very strict on compliance to established formats, unless you are an established name.

    That is absolutely true for films. I have no idea what the requirements and expectations are for British television so can't help, sadly. Some TV shows do require camera blocking in their scripts if they'll be shot multi-camera in a studio, and that is almost always done later by the director. But my understanding is that spec scripts for TV are not very welcome anyway.
     
  8. Sam M
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    Sam M Member

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    Regarding shooting scripts vs the spec:


    Ken posted this - the shorter of many similar posts - on this old usenet group.

    And John August, which you all should know: (Go, Frankenweenie, Big Fish)
    That quote was a comment back when John's blog had comments... if you look in his Library, he has the spec and shooting scripts of Go. Camera directions are present in both. They are not explicit, more of a "we rise" "we move". But they are camera directions, and they make the read easier. Note, though, that he does it only a few times. If you have 5 or 6, scattered, then it's fine. 20+ - too far. THEN, you are "directing from the page."

    TV is quite a different beast to Film - but the format of the two is not that different. BBC has a whole site dedicated to TV writing - make sure you stop by that. It includes the necessary format for submitting a script. But, honestly, you're better off going to a specific screenwriters forum to learn more about it.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...if you're writing a dramatic series or a tv movie, it'll work... but sitcoms have an entirely different format, for some reason and i don't know if msn has a template for that...

    ...a shooting script or a 'director's' script will have camera and editing directions included... and the scenes will be numbered... none of which you should have in a spec script...

    ...yes, you would be...

    fyi, bbc used to offer a script format... see if you can find it with some googling... and i hope you're intending to write for the UK tv industry, because in the US, if you're not a known screenwriter with an agent, or already working in the industry, you won't be able to get your proposed script looked at... legal departments don't allow unsolicited scripts to even be opened...

    btw, i mentor aspiring screenwriters, so if you need any one-on-one help/advice, or need answers more quickly than posting here, feel free to email me any time...

    best of luck to you... love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com

    ps:
    there is a script section on the site, which is where this should have been posted... you can ask a moderator or move it for you...
     
  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It depends on who you're selling to. If you're 'unknown' but they already want your script (for a multitude of reasons), or already know you either personally or by reputation, then they'll allow variations on the 'rule.' Shane Black puts in rude comments about particular producers in his script, such as: 'he lies there quivering, like XXXX when I show him my consulting fee.' but you'd better not. Stick to the rules until you're big enough for the rules not to apply. Selling a spec script is nigh on impossible to begin with, don't make it harder on yourself.


    (I've optioned and sold scripts to the big studios, have worked as a script editor and consultant, and have had a feature produced. I'm not talking out of my ear. But then again, see my sig as my disclaimer.)
     
  11. Sam M
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    Sam M Member

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    A screenwriter writes a movie. They are storytellers, in a visual form.

    Of course, the 'rules' are designed for beginners so they focus on writing a story, rather than being caught up in the Big Movie Experience. Ultimately, though, the words "Only use camera direction if it is required for the story" morph into "never use camera directions", because beginning screenwriters rarely know how to craft a story (particularly for the screen), so don't know when a camera direction is actually necessary. These rules also assist separating the directors, cinematographers from the screenwriters.

    Professionals screenwriters know their job (storytelling). They also know how the words are interpreted by a director, by a DP . How actors say their lines. So, if needed, they make it explicitly clear how something important needs to be interpreted - they guide the reader to avoid ambiguity, which can be death to a well-crafted story. They also know how to utilize their medium for maximum impact.

    That's why you see camera directions in screenplays.

    Anyway, the rest of what Selbbin says is right ;)
     

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