1. Daniel

    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors Founder Staff

    May 14, 2006
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    Phoenix, AZ

    What’s your development process for a 25-35 minute short film?

    Discussion in 'Scripts' started by Daniel, Oct 15, 2018.

    What’s your scriptwriting process for a short film?

    I’ll start by telling you a little about myself your probably didn’t already know - I just completed a move across the country to Phoenix, Arizona to pursue development of a film production company.

    I’m the business brains behind our team, and though I haven’t finished a script or fiction piece in years, I also have a creative side. I’m surrounded by several extremely dedicated and skilled artists and writers.

    Until now we’ve been jointly developing a show within our own universe. While that’s in the editing stage, we’ve shifted our focus to developing high quality short films.

    Anyway, I have an ideal for a really compelling short or feature film, and I have the team to help me produce it.

    I really think the idea will play well in Phoenix and the South West. It’s important to me that this short maintaine a high level of believability: I want people to actually panic when they see this film. The topic and basic plot are based on truth, science, and speculation; my target audience is ripe and ready for this film.

    Since I’ve tried getting back into writing fiction, I’ve struggled in connecting the major plot points through characters and action. I’m not great at dialogue, but i really suck at character development. How far does screenwriting as a medium separate one from character development? The characters should drive the plot, but in the case of a 25-35 minute short film, how realistic is this? There’s not a lot of time for deliberate character development (or even more than one or two main characters).

    As I haven’t written scripts or fiction in years, I’d really like to evaluate and understand other people’s processes and develop my own. For me, I’m a big picture person, so I naturally come up with the basic idea, core plot points, and protagonist-antagonist dynamic first. What I struggle with is developing that plot into a story that flows - one with characters who drive the story.

    Thus far I’ve looked for guidance on the process from two of the writers I mentioned above. They both have opposite approaches. One developed an intentional theme, then the characters, then dialogue, and the smaller functional aspects of the story first. The plot naturally develops from there. My other business partner develops more in my inclination, with related ideas and day-dream generated imagery, but focused on dramatic imagery and minimal characters.

    I guess this thread’s purpose is twofold:
    1. How would you recommend a rusty scriptwriter reintroduce himself and structurally and procedural approach writing a script for film?
    2. What is your process of development when developing a screenplay, and are there any inherent limitations if it’s a short film (25-35 minutes).
    My approach thus far has just been to write everything down and organize it, outward in. As of now that mostly included major plot points, random broken out-of-order scenes, and random bits of dialogue. I’ve also compiled a lot of research, as it is focused around pseudo-scientific plot mechanisms and scenarios.

    From here, I plan on compiling it into a highly modified personal treatment (of sorts). More of a miniature textbook for myself.

    Thanks guys. Welcome to the scriptwriting forum. I hope to learn a lot from any scriptwriters on this board.
  2. GrJs

    GrJs Active Member

    Apr 26, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Writing is different for everyone. How you start and how you keep going is developed by you as you write. The only thing you need to do is actually write something.

    However, your issue is characterisation. You don't have a clear idea of your characters voices and thus don't know how to move the story forward because you don't know what they'd do. You can try writing out character bios about their personality or writing a speech in each characters voice, if each speech sounds the same then you have a big problem.

    Of course there are limits to a 25-35min screen play. There's limitations to every screen play because you only have a certain amount of time to make your point. It is possible to have character development in 25-30mins, you just have to strip your story to it's bones and make the characters drive the story. It's quite concerning that the producer appears to not know how their medium works. Watch lots of short films, write your own and rewrite them and wrap your head around your characterisation.

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