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The would-be screenwriters thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

At the spec stage (not knowing if anyone will buy it), the writer's job is absolutely to dictate.  The writer's job is to craft an emotionally satisfying experience for the reader, however he or she sees fit...of course it's going to change once it's on the stage, but everybody worth their salt is aware of that, even actors.  Nobody gives a shit whether a BEAT is there or not, as long as it adds up to something compelling.  Your job is to SELL the movie to whoever is reading it.  Production drafts are wholly different.  But like everything BEATs should be used sparingly to give them more power.

Beats still suck.

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Damn, it's been a while since this thread was moving.



I just had that thing happen again where a new movie has a premise just close enough to a story I'd been fiddling with for ages. I've got to find a way to get my stuff out there faster. At least I know my ideas are potentially marketable...

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AI feel you, XXX3: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE messed up my upcoming hit screenplay too.

Byt yeah, I've been working on a script for a children's film for a few months now. In the middle of outlining we (=me and the director) found out that there's an upcoming 100 million dollar American film (which shall remain unnamed) on the way with the exact same premise. So I did some semi-illegal Reddit digging and found a leaked 2015 draft of said film. After reading it I did a few fixes on our outline and lo and behold: problem solved.

That unnamed film was tonally completely different from our film, aimed at a different audience. The biggest relief was that it wasn't about what our film is, or in my opinion, wasn't really saying anything at all. It was only about CGI effects and 100 million dollars, which luckily we don't have!
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AFunnily enough, "xXx 3" did actually borrow my "crash a satellite into a thing" climax from a spy thriller that I wrote in grad school.
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I revised a short script from a few years ago and sent it into a Screencraft contest on a whim, and lo and behold, it made the "semifinals" of their thing. (NOTE: There were over 900 submissions, and there are at least 100 semi-finalists.)

However, I'd love if the fine folks here would read it and let me know their thoughts. What's the best way to post the script here? I have a PDF file; could I post a Google Drive link?



EDIT: Here's the link. Enjoy..or don't! It's basically a southern sci-fi short. Hope you like.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

I revised a short script from a few years ago and sent it into a Screencraft contest on a whim, and lo and behold, it made the "semifinals" of their thing. (NOTE: There were over 900 submissions, and there are at least 100 semi-finalists.)

However, I'd love if the fine folks here would read it and let me know their thoughts. What's the best way to post the script here? I have a PDF file; could I post a Google Drive link?



EDIT: Here's the link. Enjoy..or don't! It's basically a southern sci-fi short. Hope you like.


That was pretty funny. Can you get Bruce Campbell for Merle?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kyle Reese View Post
 

That was pretty funny. Can you get Bruce Campbell for Merle?


I'll give him a call.

Apologies for the typos.

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AJust started writing again thanks to a friend giving me a tip. I tend to trip over my own two feet making resolutions to write scripts, the screenplay looms so big up in front of me that I never end up starting it even after I’ve done more than enough outlining to know it beat by beat. My friend said, just commit to writing for 10 minutes a day, no more.

Even though it doesn’t sound like much, boy does it help to get me in the chair. I think to myself “sure I’ve got 10 minutes” and then I sit down and most of the time an hour goes by without me noticing. It’s a great way to approach something that I would otherwise feel too overwhelmed by and keeps me from feeling guilty if I sit down for only 10 minutes and nothing is grabbing me about what I type out that day.

Started doing this two weeks ago and I’m on page now 27, sure its not a ton of progress compared to some, but it certainly is 27 pages more than I had two weeks ago.
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AThe key is to just make sure that you write rather than focus on how much you write. It took me about six months to knock out the first draft of a novel. I told myself every day that I should just quit. But I didn't. Now I have 340 pages that I'm coming up with a million excuses not to proofread.
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AWhen writing a scene that will end up having a major clue to the central mystery, how obvious should I make that clue?

My intention is to have both the characters and the audience miss the clue in an old photograph and only realize its importance later. So it needs it to be in the scene, but how obvious should I make it in the written script? Should I take the idea of the screenplay being a blueprint for a film to heart and forgo keeping the mystery hidden from the reader by describing the one major thing about this photograph that is “off” and doesn’t fit in with the world presented to the characters, or should I try to keep things so the reader most likely will gloss over it too and only explain the photograph in fine detail near the end of the script?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim K View Post

When writing a scene that will end up having a major clue to the central mystery, how obvious should I make that clue?

My intention is to have both the characters and the audience miss the clue in an old photograph and only realize its importance later. So it needs it to be in the scene, but how obvious should I make it in the written script? Should I take the idea of the screenplay being a blueprint for a film to heart and forgo keeping the mystery hidden from the reader by describing the one major thing about this photograph that is “off” and doesn’t fit in with the world presented to the characters, or should I try to keep things so the reader most likely will gloss over it too and only explain the photograph in fine detail near the end of the script?


Can you describe what the actual photo and clue are?

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ASpoil it in the script. If it's super important, the reader needs to know.
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Set the photo up, be it through a general description or the protagonist discussing it. You don't have to explicitly state why it's important when you first introduce it as long as the reader/ characters know that it exists. You can reveal to the reader why it's important when the protagonist makes that discovery. Pretty simple stuff. The trick is finding an organic reason for the protagonist to realize the photo holds the answers he's looking for.



Is there an object/ landmark he recognizes from the photo?



Something he didn't notice before that he's tipped off about at some point in the script?

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A[quote name="Bradito" url="/community/t/96932/the-would-be-screenwriters-thread/1400#post_4477405"]Now I have 340 pages that I'm coming up with a million excuses not to proofread.[/quote]

That's my problem. I've now written 2.5 novels and I'm currently about 75% through a screen play but can't force myself to edit any of them.
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AJust put them out there as is.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

Just put them out there as is.

Worked out pretty well for Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey.

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A[quote name="Mike J" url="/community/t/96932/the-would-be-screenwriters-thread/1400#post_4481279"]Set the photo up, be it through a general description or the protagonist discussing it. You don't have to explicitly state why it's important when you first introduce it as long as the reader/ characters know that it exists. You can reveal to the reader why it's important when the protagonist makes that discovery. Pretty simple stuff. The trick is finding an organic reason for the protagonist to realize the photo holds the answers he's looking for.

Is there an object/ landmark he recognizes from the photo?

Something he didn't notice before that he's tipped off about at some point in the script? 
[/quote]

Specifically it’s how the people in the photo are dressed. My main character is being shown this photo by a 65 year old character. It is from a time when the 65-year-old first became friends with the antagonist (before he and the antagonist had a falling out) and they both are in their 20s in the photo. Thing is the photo was taken in the 1920s and the script is set in the present day, so by all rights the guy who’s showing the photo should actually be nearly 120 rather than looking like he’s 65. It’s the first real hint that something supernatural is going on in the story.

I think i’ll end up describing it in detail, so long as I don’t make any overt references to flapper girls I don’t think the average reader will notice the weird age gap.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim K View Post


Specifically it’s how the people in the photo are dressed. My main character is being shown this photo by a 65 year old character. It is from a time when the 65-year-old first became friends with the antagonist (before he and the antagonist had a falling out) and they both are in their 20s in the photo. Thing is the photo was taken in the 1920s and the script is set in the present day, so by all rights the guy who’s showing the photo should actually be nearly 120 rather than looking like he’s 65. It’s the first real hint that something supernatural is going on in the story.

I think i’ll end up describing it in detail, so long as I don’t make any overt references to flapper girls I don’t think the average reader will notice the weird age gap.

Got it. In terms of the reveal, maybe there's an old piece of tape on the back of the photo that the protagonist sees is peeling away. When he completely removes it, it reveals the date the picture was taken. Or something like that.

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AI just rewrote the scene, it works a lot better now. I had the revelation earlier today that if I could accompany the photo with a really fucked up story, then it would serve a triple purpose. It deflects attention away from the photo’s oddness, it gives the audience a great explanation as to why the antagonist is such a different person now than he was in the photo, and also makes the photo in the scene much more memorable.
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If one character is watching something happen through a window or open door, do I need to do new a scene heading for it?

Basically, if I wanted to write a scene where the camera represents the POV of someone indoors watching a murder happening outdoors through a window, do I move the scene heading from “INT. PLACE - TIME” to “EXT. PLACE - TIME” when I describe what is happening outside, even though the character’s POV stays inside?
When life gives you lemons, lemonade is little consolation. 
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You'd write the scene heading as "I/E. HOUSE - DAY".

That lets us know there's action going on in the interior and exterior of the scene's location.
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And just like that and out of nowhere... The missing piece of a story I've had in the back of my mind for thirty years just presented itself. 
Now I can finally write it the way it has always been meant to be written.  Feels goooooood.

   

2018: The Year of Getting It Done.
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