Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > About the Craft > Screenwriting
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-11-2017, 01:09 PM   #11
UneducatedFan
Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 216
Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

Thanks all for the replies. Any other thoughts much appreciated as well. I may start to adopt it for the sluglines at least.
UneducatedFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 01:43 PM   #12
ComicBent
Member
 
ComicBent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 4,130
Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

Yeah, I started to ask Bill Martell about the bold on a typewriter, but I just let it go.

I am an old guy, and I remember the typewriter days all too well. Kenklmn is right. You only had one effective way to make something bold. It was to change the "font ball" on an IBM Selectric. (A crude method was to type over the same characters two or three times until they looked kind of bold. But that was primitive.)

I did not even think about the IBM Selectric when I read Bill's remark. I did not think about it because almost no "private individuals" had an IBM Selectric except for some professional typists.

And, now, a digression ... The machines were expensive. I was working for the government in the year well, a long time ago. The IBM guy came around to do something in regard to the IBM Selectrics. I asked him about buying one. The cost was about $800, which in today's dollars would be $4000 (I checked with an inflation calculator). But, even worse, he conveyed to me that for me to buy one as an individual was irregular. I got the feeling that the usual procedure was that IBM sold machines to businesses. It would take some time to arrange for a purchase like the one that I wanted to make. It has been a long time, but I think he said it would take six weeks, and he really did not act very sure about that.

The take-home message is that very few writers had IBM Selectrics. In fact, if we did not have computers now, I would not really want an IBM Selectric anymore. They made a horrible, loud clacking sound; the print on the platen was a little bit on the underside, so that you could read it, but it still looked peculiar; and the Courier print was thin, just like Courier New on computers today. (In fact, Courier New was based on the Courier of the Selectric.)
__________________

"The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." ComicBent.
ComicBent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2017, 10:23 PM   #13
finalact4
Member
 
finalact4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,224
Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoBrad Bradley View Post
Then isn't there a tendency for the eye to jump forward?
I think, more times than not, that it brings attention to the actual slugline, instead of the reader glossing past it.

But, it could also be seen as drawing your eye down the page with your peripheral vision. Sure.
__________________

My opinions are just that-- opinions.
finalact4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2017, 11:32 PM   #14
JeffLowell
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,023
Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

You used to bold on manual typewriters by going back and typing over the original text. The slight mismatch would bold the words.

Bold slugs used to be rare; they're much more common now. They certainly aren't necessary, but if I'm not putting an extra space between scenes, I like the bolding to help separate scenes.
JeffLowell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2017, 06:18 PM   #15
Why One
Member
 
Why One's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,776
Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

I started to bold my scene headings a few years ago and have been doing it since.

The only other place I bold are in location SUPERS. But that's me.
Why One is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 07:44 AM   #16
Mitchell McLean
User
 
Mitchell McLean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 55
Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

Here's my guess:

Back in the days of Xeroxed hard copies of scripts, bolded and italicized text could become lost in the generational errors created by copying copies of copies. Now, with PDF files, everybody has access to a digital copy. Digital copies don't experience generational errors when copied... unless you want to discuss errors in the underlying physical memory... which I don't. :-)
Mitchell McLean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 10:33 AM   #17
JoeNYC
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,018
Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

Using bold caps to emphasis something surely works, but is it overkill by having it in every new scene heading? Is it annoying and distracting? Will it cause the reader to skim your narrative where his eyes DART to the highlighted headings?

I remember when new writers use to copy William Goldman's style by using a CUT TO in order to indicate a new scene. Wasn't this overkill in indicating a scene change? The heading caps and double space indicated a new scene.

Was using a CUT TO necessary just to indicate a new scene? The answer is, no.

Now we have the use of bold caps to help the reader SEE it's a new scene. The use or not use of bold capped headings isn't as clear cut as using CUT TO because bold headings certainly make a new scene/location/time of day stand out from the narrative.

The problem that I have with bold capped headings is that I find myself skimming the narrative because I'm being drawn to the next bold heading that's POPPING out at me. After all, isn't that the purpose to bold something. To have it POP out at the reader. Having so much of this type of emphasis annoys and distracts me.

If I, as a reader, find myself skimming the story, I have to believe the bold capped headings is distracting other readers also. Now, this where I'm told that professionals are using this style and getting their work read and produced.

I'm not saying scripts using this style aren't getting produced. I'm just giving my opinion on why -- I -- don't like that style. For those who do like this style you're free to use it without worry that it will somehow effect the merits of your story where it won't get produced.

A script will be judged on whether or not it could be commercially successful. Not on the style that it is presented.

I believe the reader's eye is more engaged with the story as it naturally flows, meaning no speed bumps jumping out at you screaming it's a new scene dummy.

There may be a time when you could have a specific reason for bolding, either full or part, capped Master Scene Headings and/or Secondary Headings, such as to emphasis something complex where the story moves back and forth between different centuries, time periods, etc.

You may want to bold in order to not confuse the reader. To have him orientated with what's going on, but what if you're someone who bolds all of the scene headings. Now what would you do to effectively emphasis something to the reader? The BOLD option is no longer effective.

As for the issue with bolding and capping words, phrases and sentences in the scenes, my opinion is the same as with headings. I don't like to bold and in the very rare occasions where I need to emphasis a word, I'll cap or underline, whichever one is appropriate for what I want to get across.

There's a thread in the past that goes more in-depth discussing the subject of capping words for effect. The thread is called "Capitalizing Verbs for Effect?":

https://www.messageboard.donedealpro...highlight=caps
JoeNYC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2017, 01:31 AM   #18
finalact4
Member
 
finalact4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,224
Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
Using bold caps to emphasis something surely works, but is it overkill by having it in every new scene heading? Is it annoying and distracting? Will it cause the reader to skim your narrative where his eyes DART to the highlighted headings?
No, doing it with every slugline is a matter of consistency.
Quote:
I remember when new writers use to copy William Goldman's style by using a CUT TO in order to indicate a new scene. Wasn't this overkill in indicating a scene change? The heading caps and double space indicated a new scene.
It wasn't a "William Goldman special," it was the industry standard. Everyone used "CUT TO:" for every slugline transition.
Quote:

Was using a CUT TO necessary just to indicate a new scene? The answer is, no.

Now we have the use of bold caps to help the reader SEE it's a new scene. The use or not use of bold capped headings isn't as clear cut as using CUT TO because bold headings certainly make a new scene/location/time of day stand out from the narrative.
You don't have to do anything you don't want to. No one is mandating you bold your sluglines. The simple fact is that everyone is busy and reading takes time. It's natural to skim. IMO, bolding brings attention to the sluglines, which I feel is important to the read. You may have a different opinion and choose differently, right?
Quote:
The problem that I have with bold capped headings is that I find myself skimming the narrative because I'm being drawn to the next bold heading that's POPPING out at me. After all, isn't that the purpose to bold something. To have it POP out at the reader. Having so much of this type of emphasis annoys and distracts me.
Only thing I can say, is that if you're reading specs to produce them into films, you will probably have to get over nitpicking something so insignificant to the story. Which is what matters. Story matters. Ever read a Tarantino script?
Quote:
If I, as a reader, find myself skimming the story, I have to believe the bold capped headings is distracting other readers also. Now, this where I'm told that professionals are using this style and getting their work read and produced.
So here's the thing... we don't write to impress "readers" we write to impress the people that can get a movie made, and the least of THEIR concerns is which format is most popular today. They are looking for the diamond in the rough and not concerned with insignificant formatting style variations.
Quote:
I'm not saying scripts using this style aren't getting produced. I'm just giving my opinion on why -- I -- don't like that style. For those who do like this style you're free to use it without worry that it will somehow effect the merits of your story where it won't get produced.
IMHO, formatting style doesn't matter. Story matters. As long as you can read it, it's all good.
Quote:
A script will be judged on whether or not it could be commercially successful. Not on the style that it is presented.
Exactly. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but if you believe this, why do you care about the format style?
Quote:
I believe the reader's eye is more engaged with the story as it naturally flows, meaning no speed bumps jumping out at you screaming it's a new scene dummy.
The simple fact is that people are in a time crunch. You ever read what an assistant's day is like? One of the girls at a big firm is still answering emails after 7pm. Thems long hours. It's easy to skim past sluglines. I find myself doing it when reading and reviewing other writer's work. Altering one's style is simply a tool to use as a way to help your work be received as much as intended.
Quote:
There may be a time when you could have a specific reason for bolding, either full or part, capped Master Scene Headings and/or Secondary Headings, such as to emphasis something complex where the story moves back and forth between different centuries, time periods, etc.
As Yoda would say, "do or do not, there is no try." To me, consistency throughout the spec is important. Do it always or not at all with sluglines. There's really no in between.
Quote:

You may want to bold in order to not confuse the reader. To have him orientated with what's going on, but what if you're someone who bolds all of the scene headings. Now what would you do to effectively emphasis something to the reader? The BOLD option is no longer effective.
Certainly don't agree with this thinking. ALL my sluglines are bolded. It isn't effective to bold only a FEW sluglines are bolded and not others. All sluglines are important.
Quote:
As for the issue with bolding and capping words, phrases and sentences in the scenes, my opinion is the same as with headings. I don't like to bold and in the very rare occasions where I need to emphasis a word, I'll cap or underline, whichever one is appropriate for what I want to get across.
I'm thinking you'd hate a JJ Abrams script. Would drive you bonkers.
Quote:
There's a thread in the past that goes more in-depth discussing the subject of capping words for effect. The thread is called "Capitalizing Verbs for Effect?":
My manager, after sending out one of my scripts, has never returned with a comment about my bolded sluglines or my all caps in the action lines and my style is definitely similar to JJ"s. I've never had a single note on format from any producer, reader or executive, so to me it's a non-issue.

I think there's a lot of flexibilitiy.

Just a different POV.
__________________

My opinions are just that-- opinions.
finalact4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2017, 06:58 AM   #19
JoeNYC
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,018
Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

finalact4, must you challenge me on everything... I... say... Now, I have to take the time, which I don't have much of, and respond.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
My manager, after sending out one of my scripts, has never returned with a comment about my bolded sluglines or my all caps in the action lines and my style is definitely similar to JJ"s. I've never had a single note on format from any producer, reader or executive, so to me it's a non-issue.
-- I mentioned a writer's taste and style won't get his script rejected. It's all about the concept and its execution.

Finalact4 says:

"No, doing it with every slugline is a matter of consistency."

-- I get this. I was going deeper into the matter as to the goal/motivation for a writer to bold Master and Secondary Scene Headings.

"It wasn't a 'William Goldman special,' it was the industry standard. Everyone used 'CUT TO:' for every slugline transition."

-- "Everyone"?

This is such a rookie mistake to use a blanket statement in a debate. Before challenging me on this, you couldn't have done just a little research on the subject? If you did, you'll see that there were plenty of writers from the 40s to 80s who didn't employ the use of "CUT TO:" in their scripts to indicate a new scene.

William Goldman is well known for his use of CUT TO's between scenes. I believe he mentioned in one of his books why he refused to stop using it when the trend was to drop it to have more cleaner and leaner scripts.

finalact4 says:

"bolding brings attention to the sluglines, which I feel is important to the read."

-- So, for the past decades of capping and double spacing the Master Scene Headings, this wasn't effective enough in bringing attention to the slugline.

Yes, bolding brings a stronger attention to the slugline, but that was the point of my post. Is it really necessary? Is it overkill? Does it annoy and distract? Does it weaken the effectiveness of bolding to emphasis something important?

finalact4 says, "we don't write to impress 'readers' we write to impress the people that can get a movie made."

-- To get people to greenlight movies you first have to impress the readers, but again, if a reader is professional, he isn't gonna let any biases of a writer's taste and style effect his judgement on the merits of the story.

You can bold and cap the whole script if you want. Sure, it'll annoy the reader, but if the concept and execution is a winner it'll get produced because money is what drives the Major Studios.

finalact4 says:

"Do it always or not at all with sluglines. There's really no in between."

-- Uh-oh, now you've done did it. You sprouted a "RULE" to a creative community. Prepare yourself for the wrath of Jeff Lowell.

Last edited by JoeNYC : 01-16-2017 at 07:13 AM.
JoeNYC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2017, 02:45 PM   #20
JeffLowell
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,023
Default Re: Using BOLD in spec scripts

Nope, her entire post made perfect sense. It's a great relief to see non-dogmatic attitudes bloom.
JeffLowell is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker