How to write a film script-

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How to write a film script- Powered By Docstoc
					There are many good books and websites on script writing so I am going to be very
brief on that subject. And please do research your local bookstore or a library for the
books on the subject. This is how I write my scripts so I believe that everyone has to
find his own way of working that suits his/her the most. I don 鈥檛 follow any rules
of script writing when it comes to telling the story, such as: at this point in a script that
ought to happen. I don 鈥檛 believe in this but many do and maybe that is why so
many bad scripts are coming out of Hollywood.
  I do follow rules when it comes to the structure since it 鈥檚 just easier for the entire
crew and cast to follow the script and that is clearer to read. It also looks much more
professional when you get the structure right and you want to look professional in
front of your cast and crew.
  I usually start with writing an idea for a script, which is just a simple description of
the whole story. When this is ready, I move on to working on the main characters. Of
course it doesn 鈥檛 mean that I am going to stick to the description I have already
done. To me it just works as more of a guideline. After that I sit down and start
coming up with the scenes, which at first are just descriptions of what might happen
in the scene.
  When the skeleton of the script is ready I work from that point re-writing the script,
each time around making it better and fuller by adding or taking away certain actions,
dialogues or scenes.
  In the finished script I try to describe the scenes as little as possible, extra words are
really not necessary and often confusing for the actors. I usually try to work on
dialogues and the overall atmosphere of the story.
  I know that there are many rules when it comes to writing different genres, which for
some people are good and they need to have it to be able to write anything. Find a
system that suits you best and stick to it.
  The more scripts you write, the better you become. Even if the scripts don 鈥檛 turn
up to be a movie this is the experience that is vital for you.
  I know that writing can be hard but once you start, it gets easier and easier every
time. The beginning point is the most important, after that it 鈥檚 all just discipline.
From my experience I can tell you that writing for longer than five hours a day is
difficult, this is a creative work so it has to flow.
  If you don 鈥檛 feel confident enough to write your scrip yet, take a script writing
workshops; some of them are really good. Try looking for the workshops in your area
  As far as I am aware there are quite a few websites that deal with script
writing/workshops online. However I don 鈥檛 know how secure that kind of work is.
You know, copyrights in writing and filmmaking are huge issues so always remember
to be covered on that subject.
  Remember, find whatever suits you the most and copyright all your work. There are
many people willing to steal others ideas.
  Notes on script writing
  Below is the list of my notes on script writing based on some of the workshops I 鈥
檝 e done in the past. You might find it useful:
  1. Dramatic - sequence leading to change; strong moral element; one character
influences the other one. 2. Moral vision. 3. What is the moral line of the story? 4.
What defines the storyline? 5. What is the moral change in the character? 6. PLOT -
what the main character does in the story; fundamental change in action. Character is
defined through the plot. 7. Dialogue is seen as the quickest window to the character.
The dialogue expresses the volume of the character. 8. Drama - it is a conflict between
what the character stands for and the world surrounding the character. 9. Structure - is
a development of the character. 10. The hero never knows what he wants and needs at
the beginning of the film. 11. To grow and develop the hero has to fight opponents
and obstacles on his way. To make the script more interesting, get into the deepest
level of conflict. 12. Whatever the hero comes up with at the start of the film it almost
never works out. So he has to adjust to changing circumstances. 13. Before the hero
can change, he/she has to figure out what he/she wants or is running away from, why
he/she is holding back from taking an action. 14. In the script it 鈥檚 also important
to introduce the hero 鈥檚 internal life, his/her natural space. 15. The hero before
facing his/her fear or opponent will usually have to go through some kind of change
to become stronger. 16. People who have been in filmmaking longer than me say that
for the middle of the structure the stories obsessive desire is needed. The character
will do almost anything to get what she/he wants. 17. You have probably noticed that
almost every film has a point when the hero is just about to lose. It is called the lower
point. 18. To make the story more powerful usually the hero learns something from
the opponent and grows. 19. If you want to reveal something, make a decision and
change an action. This way you give new information to the audience. 20. The hero
needs to desire something in each scene.
  Story structures
  They say that there are only three basic story structures:
  * Myth * Fairy tale * Drama
  By taking bits and pieces from each structure and using it in a different way, other
stories emerge.
  These kinds of stories usually tell us about a hero who has to discover what he/she
wants and how he/she is to go back to a place where he/she was born.
  1. Probably the hero loses his father/mother very early in his/her life and he keeps
trying to live up to his/her expectations. 2. The hero caries a talisman with him/her. 3.
The hero 鈥檚 destiny. What was she/he born to do? 4. To learn and grow the hero
has to go on a journey where she/he fights his opponents. 5. Some kind of
self-revelation that defines the change in a hero 鈥檚 character. 6. He/she returns
home completely changed.
  1. In a fairy tale problems and needs of the main character come right away. 2.
Usually the problems accrue within the family (slavery, humiliation, luck of love). 3.
Usually characters are portrayed as extremes. One is extremely good and another one
is extremely bad. 4. In a fairy tale there is always someone willing to help 鈥?a kind
helper. 5. Final success is a total success of a character. 6. Characters and events come
in threes since we need three to show the process. Three brothers or sisters and the
younger one learns the most from experienced. 7. Usually this is a story about success.
8. You have to define who/what the characters should not be like. 9. To introduce the
characters start with a communal moment where everyone is present. 10. What is the
crucial object of the story? The object intensifies the reveal. 11. The reveal is the key
to the plot, usually taking symbolic meaning. 12. You have to define strongly personal
relationships. 13. The family is always very powerful in the fairy tale.
 1. Very strong event that is haunting the hero from the past. 2. The solution to the
problem is complex. 3. The opponent is very intimate to the hero, very often within
the family. 4. Hero 鈥檚 self-revelation is very personal. 5. Drama usually depicts the
biggest complexity of human characters. 6. Both the hero and opponent have
weaknesses, desires and make mistakes.
 It is description of your story in a single sentence. It has to be inspirational and have
a sense of what the main character is all about. It has to be specific and simple.
 1. Make the character mysterious. What is the character hiding? Never give
everything away at the start. 2. You want the audience to identify with the character
but not too much (What is the hero 鈥檚 moral problem? What the person wants?) 3.
The audience has to understand why the character has taken certain actions and you
need to show them that. 4. What is the moral (universal) meaning and psychological
meaning? Moral comes out of psychological. (Avoid anything that prevents the hero
to make a decision. Come up with a human opponent). 5. While developing the
character think about the character first and than about the character 鈥檚 change?
Success doesn 鈥檛 necessary mean that the character underwent major change. The
smaller the range of changes, the bigger the change of the character. 6. Character
change usually involves changing and challenging basic beliefs so the hero can take
moral action. 7. Create an opponent as strong as the character. 8. To create a character,
change your need to create a frame in a story.
 1. The hero strips away the cover she/he lived under. It is usually a shattering
experience, very traumatic. 2. The hero discovers a false belief in which she/he trusts
and takes action to change it. 3. The hero is usually hiding something from
him/herself and is enslaved by her/his secret. 4. The hero 鈥檚 need to discover
something is what she/he doesn 鈥檛 know yet. 5. You have to be very precise about
 1. The opponent will help the main character to grow. 2. Hero and opponent
influence one another. 3. The opponent is necessary to uncover the hero 鈥檚
weaknesses over and over again, until the hero deals with the problem. 4. The
opponent usually wants the same thing the hero does. She/he has to be as complex and
as vulnerable as the hero. 5. The opponent 鈥檚 set of beliefs is probably in conflict
with the hero 鈥檚 but not opposite. 6. The moral argument done and dealt with
through action.
 MASTERPIECE - Advanced story telling. How do you live without being enslaved
in the system? Desire to find deeper reality.
 HORROR - What is human and what is not? The desire to defeat a monster.
 MYTH - What is your destiny? Desire to go on a journey leading to oneself.
 ACTION (WESTERN) - Choice between fighting and feeding, freedom and life.
The hero has to decide whether to engage in combat or not.
 DETECTIVE - Who is guilty and who is innocent? The desire is to find the truth.
 CRIME - Who is allowed to be above the law? The desire to catch the criminal.
 THRILLER - Is your suspicion justified? Desire to escape the attacker.
 LOVE - How much can you love? Desire to gain love.
 FANTASY - To explore the imaginary world.
 SCIENCE FICTION - how do you create a better world?
 COMEDY - do you play or show your true self? Desire to gain success or romance.
 1. Think of dialogue as a form of music. Just like different layers of music happening
at the same time. * STORY DIALOGUE - What is happening in the story (melody)? *
MORAL DIALOGUE - About the proper way to act (harmony) * KEY WORDS 鈥?
鈥楽 ymbols 鈥? this is another way to express the theme of the film. Usually key
words are repeated throughout the story. 2. Work on many levels at the same time. 3.
You can pull techniques from other genres to describe the scene. 4. Movement/gesture
highlights certain unspoken things.
 I strongly recommend you buy 鈥淲 riters 鈥?& Artists 鈥?Yearbook 鈥? They have
a very good Television and film listing section for those who would like to submit
their scripts to TV or film production companies.

 To find out more about filmmaking go to

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