360MC – Scriptwriting notes – For Submission

I feel that my scripting skills are definitely lacking, as I have never properly written a script by myself before. So I have been going along to Cliftons script writing lessons, and made some notes. I will be taking these notes into consideration for my FMP and after I graduate from University.

  • Good films make you want to find out about the subject
  • What the story is behind the story
  • Visuals!
  • A story – something that happens in a linear way
  • A narrative – how we chose to tell the story
  • Every story has a beginning, middle and end, not necessarily in that order
  • Don’t let it be a sketch or an ‘incident’
  • Pitch, outline, treatment, script (1st draft), re-write, re-write …
  • Don’t take shortcuts
  • Layout – Celtx, final draft

Characters

  • Know your character – Write a paragraph, physical appearance and traits they might have
  • Each character speaks with a different voice
  • When you’re familiar with your character, good dialogue come naturally
  • Characters who are not clearly defined come across as stereotypes
  • Stereotypical characters are secondary characters
  • An idea is not a story
  • SHOW DON’T TELL! – Don’t be too descriptive

Dialogue

  • Scripts – Laid out/ formatted correctly
  • Spelt correctly
  • Relevant to the character who is delivering it
  • Make sense
  • Consider other ways of getting across the info other then with dialogue
  • Good dialogue is short
  • Good dialogue takes time and effort
  • Dialogue is not precious – have someone else read and comment on your script
  • Write – revise – re-write
  • Script report form
  • Logline
  • How do they meet? Where? Why?
  • Do you have to know either name?

Formatting

  • Something important in capitals
  • First appearance from each character should be in capitals
  • (a beat) = a pause
  • Best when no one talks
  • Write the script then put it away for 3 days then reread it
  • Each character should have a different ‘voice’ and attitude
  • If you can’t think of anything for them to say, don’t say anything
  • Dialogue is integral to the image of the screen
  • Dialogue arises from a  source not on the screen
  • This is making use of voice over or narrative
  • Reproduced Speech – TV, radio, newspaper, P.A systems, texting
  • Dialogue has a clear dramatic function
  • Relates to the visuals on the screen
  • Monologues – character reveals more about the character

Thursday 20th November notes:

  • Your main character doesn’t have to be in the whole film.
  • One page is one minute on the screen
  • Movies are good at telling stories but not good at telling very complicated stories
  • ‘What if’ is a good way to start generating stories
  • The Three act Structure – Act 1, set-up (location and characters) – Act 2, confrontation – Act 3, climax and Resolution
  • Protagonist – The good guys or girls
  • Antagonist – The bad guys or girls
  • Antagonist do not have to be people
  • Screen plays are constructed/ hinged around two act breaks or commonly referred to as ‘turning points’
  • Act 1: The set up: introduces our characters and story plots, (and with its own 3 acts structure) it takes us to …
  • ‘turning point one’ – A point where we have had a mini-story that ends, but then leads us into a new story, this will be the main direction the rest of the story follows
  • Essentially the moment the hero takes on the main quest/problem/confrontations
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