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A thread for WRITERS


Guest AdminGuyX

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Guest AdminGuyX

Now, posting unproduced/unregistered/unprotected screenplays is a dangerous thing. Be aware of that, and think about that when you're reading someone elses work.

 

Intellectual property is an important thing, and it's easy to give away great ideas if you're not careful. Just ask Mike Terry. ;)

 

But sharing your work is also essential at getting better. It's also nice to share your work and get honest constructive feedback. I also enjoy "talking shop" with other writers. I don't know exactly how many we have here on the RAW boards, but I know we have a few.

 

I use Final Draft for all my screenplays. I love the program, it's loaded with many cool features. It has a great feature where a computerized voice (male or female) will read your script to you. You can create and edit PDF files quite easily, and the production breakdown features are great. It can geenrate all manner of reports and breakdowns for you that save you hours in pre-production.

 

Feel free to share what your software you're using, and why you use it.

 

Please be respectful to what's posted here. I don't want to see any cheap shots, or rudeness in this thread please. :)

 

Also, I would suggest, if you're producing films yourself, that you make sure to remove the production company information, or your personal information on the title page, unless you don't care who has your home address and phone number.

 

I'm going to get things rolling with two links.

 

The first one is the opening scene of a feature length ZOMBIE flick I've written called "The Day The World Died" This is only a working title, obviously a nod to The Day The Earth Stood Still, my favorite film. But I like it, and may keep it.

 

Fair warning, it's violent.

 

 

This next bit is from a Sci-Fi film I'm writing, and also planning to adapt as a comic book. It's called The Information Agent. This story is set in a financially fractured America where the government was forced to sell off large pieces of property, some times entire states, to private corporate entities. In most cases it's large cities the corporations purchase. They wall them off, secure them, and the people live out their lives and work entirely on company property. This idea was inspired by a trip to Disney I took long ago when I got to see the corporate housing, and the some of the behind the scenes life at the Orlando property. I was amazed, frightened, and inspired all at the same time. ;)

 

These are audition sides now, meant to give actors a feel for different aspects of the characters they are auditioning for, and also for the scenes they are reading.

 

I always like to overwrite the stage direction and explain what each character is feeling more than I would in the script itself so the actors have a better place to start from when they sit down in front of us to audition. The more you give an actor, the more you get back, especially in auditions.

 

 

I'll post up some snippets of other works along the way here. Westerns, action flicks, I even have a character based dramatic film I'll share a few scenes from. It's about alchoholism, family, and music.

 

I'll also share some of the comic book scripts I've done, and also a novel.

 

So, feel free to share any kind of writing you'd like here, including poems, and songs.

 

Last thing. Please make sure to LINK your writings, unless it's a short poem or something. We need to avoid trying to post entire stories into the body of one post.

 

OK, lets see what we get.

 

:)

 

Noeland----------------

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Guest AdminGuyX

Hell, I don't know. Just be honest.

 

Also, it would be cool if you'd share some of your own writing to further the discussion.

 

I know that's not going to possible with some of our members though.

 

;)

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Noeland,

 

Firstly there are two perspectives that can be taken in view of reading the material. One that you have the intention of shooting this material yourself and therefore don't have to worry about page beats and duration. If so, then a lot of what I'm about to say regarding action description is still appropriate but not to the level it would be if you were expecting a reader to assess the merit of the story.

 

If this were a spec script the first comment I would make is that there is too much focus on detail and not enough on story. Even if you are writer/director the purpose of the screenplay is to convey character and narrative. The screenplay is the spine to everything. Strip away any camera direction and replace it with short concise sentences. Think of writing action lines as pieces of poetry. Strip away excess words, Keep things short and punchy. This helps the reader flow through the screenplay - what you don't want is for them to get caught up in an action description and loose their rhythm.

 

It is essential that every action line propels the story forward or reveals character. Don't repeat yourself in action. Try and reverse predictable elements. The hardest thing is creating a character and a scene with a fresh perspective that hasn't been seen before.

 

Show don't tell. Everytime a character goes to speak - try and convert that into a visual action. Also keep dialogue trimmed - and reserved. No character ever says exactly what they are thinking - that's where subtext comes into play.

 

Remember that you are always dealing with multiple levels of conflict - global, external and internal.

 

Hope that helps.

 

If you want specific examples - let me know.

 

regards

 

Andrew

 

 

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Guest AdminGuyX

Thank you. THAT'S what I'm talking about.

 

Really good points, and this is the first time anyone other than folks who know my work really closely have seen any of this. I've certainly never posted it online before. I've been thinking about doing this thread for a while, to spark some writers into chatting.

 

Please, feel free to include examples of your points from my work, and if you would, post examples showing your points in action please.

 

I'm hoping we can get into the script writing styles of pro's too. I'd really love to discuss how Cameron shoots his own scripts, versus how Kevin Smith does, etc. I read a lot of screenplays. Most recently Darabont's Indy 4 script. These are things I don't really have an outlet of discussion for, and here we all are, movie buffs, writers, artists, actors, and movie stars. ;)

 

To get back on topic though, this stuff posted isn't intended as spec material. I will share some of my spec writing though, it's very different.

 

I really do visualize every little thing when I write, and this script in particular was intended to be my next feature, with the 250K budget.

 

I do include over descriptive visuals. I know. It's a weakness. It's not that way with everything. My buddy Ryan hates it when he's reading new work from me. He says "I know when I read 50 of your pages, it'll be about 30 minutes of screen time." ;)

 

Well, he likes it when we start shooting though because he knows where I'm coming visually, and it really helps the actors understand how things will be blocked in advance. At least, the actors I've worked with thus far seem to appreciate it.

 

I'll post some longer form stuff in the next few days, some short scripts, things so you can see how I carry a narrative on the page, and how I structure my page beats and such.

 

I knew you'd be a wealth of knowledge about this stuff too Andrew.

 

I want to post more, but it's been a crazy day (in a bad way), and my chow mix had a seizure tonight, and she needs some TLC.

 

Njc-----------------

 

Here is one example of my favorite kind of "descriptive" screenplay. Aliens:

 

 

Another great script here for American Gansgster.

 

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Part of the issue of spec screenplays is getting it through the office structure. There are rules, pros and cons - reality is what they want to see is a strong story conveyed visually.

 

I'm in the middle of writing a new spec - my first non-western in many years so I don't have time to do full constructive feedback on what's been posted at present - perhaps later next week.

 

I will see if I can get some notes together. For me one of the big things that I saw (constructively) needing work in your writing is dialogue - pull back the exposition and make it less like a therapy session for your characters.

 

Each line of dialogue should convey a beat that moves the narrative along.

 

If you want to post some of you spec work then I'll try and find time to make some notes.

 

regards

 

Andrew

 

 

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Guest AdminGuyX
I'm in the middle of writing a new spec - my first non-western in many years so I don't have time to do full constructive feedback on what's been posted at present - perhaps later next week.

 

Andrew, don't take away from your work man. The thread isn't going anywhere. Break a fucking leg on your spec too.

 

I've been compiling some online script writing resources, which I'll post up in the thread next week some time too.

 

And, is this thread just going to be Andrew and I only?

 

Anybody else want to post some work and discuss it?

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Thought I'd chime in rather than continue to lurk... :-)

 

Well, I enjoy developing ideas/concepts... but I never really think in terms of film development- mainly for comics and animation (things which I could conceivably do myself).

 

Have you ever considered developing your ideas as online comics? It seems that these days a successful (or reasonably original) comic is always looked at as a potential film option...

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  • 4 weeks later...
Thought I'd chime in rather than continue to lurk... :-)

 

Well, I enjoy developing ideas/concepts... but I never really think in terms of film development- mainly for comics and animation (things which I could conceivably do myself).

 

Have you ever considered developing your ideas as online comics? It seems that these days a successful (or reasonably original) comic is always looked at as a potential film option...

 

I lectured in Digital Media for five years about the Digital Content distribution model. Problem is trying to generate a sustainable revenue stream. In brief the internet was established in infancy as a free for all - so why would you pay for content that you can get for free. While a subscription model can work for on-line animation and comics - the marketability is very limited. Have tried knocking on that door from a dozen different directions.

 

The advantage though of having your own content is that it defines you a lot more than someone who just has ideas. Ideas are just that - ideas. But a tangible rendering is what can move things to the next level. You have a well told story with strong fresh character it is amazing and scary what door can open up - even from the other side of the world. So in one part you have to write and rewrite, and rewrite till the script is just right, and then you have to have a plan in place to make sure you can filter through the bullshit and get it to the right people.

 

regards

 

Andrew

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Clearing my head some…

 

Over the past few weeks an idea or concept for a Punisher story has been rattling around in my brain. I thinking of this more as a sequel to the 2004 film rather than just a comic book story.

Actually I don’t really know what’s possessing me to post this here… maybe I just have some odd need to gain feedback on some of my hair-brained ideas. I do know that writing things out helps to clear my head… and save ideas for future reference.

 

I guess this is an okay thread to post this.

(Warning this is a word document... so there will be a bunch of red and green squiggly lines all over the place)

 

My probably rather dumb idea

 

For the most part that’s what has been bouncing around in my brain. It does me some good to get it all down and out of my head. I’ll probably still have ideas cropping up from time to time, and I’ll jot them down as well and hopefully flesh this whole thing out.

Funny enough even though I don’t really care for the character I also have the urge to find a way of having the incident that leads to Microchip’s creation.

 

Anyways this has been my hair-brained Punisher story idea.

Also as a final note:

I don’t know jack shit about writing screenplays… I do understand novels somewhat. But as I’ve said this was more to clear out my head and get these ideas written down more than anything else.

 

Thanks for taking the time to look at it... and sorry if it made your head hurt :D .

 

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  • 1 year later...

A few nice idea.

 

I have a few scripts that I am shopping around and would be curious to get a little feedback on . In this case, I am posting links to sample scenes from two concepts.

 

 

Scarlet Seas - Combines the elements of the Classic Vampire story with the Swashbuckler films of the 40's.

 

Cementville - A dark comedy about the behind-the-scenes chaos during a pro wrestling show. This script actually has an attachment, in the form of Dan Madigan - a former WWE writer and See No Evil scriptwriter who is looking to direct. He's been great support in keeping the story honest to its wrestling roots while not being overly critical of the business.

 

 

I think both would make great graphic novels and nothing says either couldn't be developed into continuing stories either.

 

JC Young

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