I've done all of this, but what should I do before I start?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: I've done all of this, but what should I do before I sta

    Okay, assuming the writer knows something about dialogue, structure, story and stuff, the way to write a script in twenty-one days is to write five pages a day.

    Better?

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: I've done all of this, but what should I do before I sta

    If you write 5 pages a day for 21 days, you may end up with a bunch of words on paper, but it won't necessarily be a script.

    You need to know something about story and structure and dialogue and stuff.

    I've read scripts by people who never read a book on the subject (or a pro script). It wasn't a pleasant experience for me, and I don't think it was a productive use of their time.

    Lauri

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: books

    :lol

    My thoughts exactly.

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: books

    Want to know how write a script in 21 days?

    Write 5 pages a day. The end.

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    books

    I agree about the "21 Days" book. It's simplistic, and you almost certainly won't get a GOOD script in 21 days, but it's a great way to crunch through a rough first draft and build up some momentum.

    I think once you've read a dozen or so scripts and read a couple of screenwriting books, you're ready to start writing. While you may read hundreds of scripts eventually (I have), you don't want to put the prep barrier so high that it keeps you from starting to put words on paper.

    Once you've got that first draft, get Linda Seger's "How to Make a Good Script Great." (She has several others, but this is my favorite.)

    Robert McKee's "Story" has some deep thinking (maybe TOO deep) as well as some useful stuff.

    Good luck! Sounds like you're on the right track.

    Lauri

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Read A Stack Of Scripts

    Ravenlocks & TonyRob give great advice.

    And try this (after you read that stack of scripts):

    Write a short with *no* dialogue. The actions tell the story.

    Your dialogue was expositional, because that's all you had - and even after the invention of talkies films are still visually told stories...

    They buy the film stock for some reason, you might as well use it. If you're all audio, why is it a movie?

    So think about the visual part. Often that's the part new writers forget about.

    - Bill

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: /

    If you can still keep count of all the scripts you've read, you haven't read enough.

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: /

    Even though Tony has the audacity to disagree with me, even slightly, his list I am forced to say, is gold.

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    /

    If you have to ask people what movies to watch, give up now. They can't tell you.
    If you watch movies and know what you like, then that's where to start. Watch a bunch more. Read a bunch more scripts.
    If you aren't a movie fan and don't know what you like, you have no business writing screenplays. Find out what you should be writing. (Or if)

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: I've done all of this, but what should I do before I sta

    No, it wasn't planned for a script. Good point on it being pointless also, tnx.:\

    I've saved 8 scripts to read:

    The MAtrix,
    Basic ~Instinct
    Bound
    Broadcast news
    Jacobs Ladder
    The butterfly effect
    The ninth gate
    Wild things
    :eek

    Can someone please point me to a thread regarding scripts
    that one should read. I'll also get the book mentioned.

    Thanks all.
    David

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: I've done all of this, but what should I do before I sta

    I disagree, slightly, Noh, only because it shouldn't take that long to get through 30 scripts. If you read a script a day, it'll take a month (okay, maybe a month and a half if you give yourself a cushion). And when you're starting out, I think it is a good idea to read a script every day. I didn't until years later, and I wish I had right away.

    What you could do during that 30 script period are some exercises. For example:

    - write a scene that introduces a major character
    - write a scene between two characters, where one character wants something and the other character isn't giving it to them (it could be information, a kiss, an object, whatever)
    - write a scene with two characters who say everything to each other but what's on their minds
    - write a scene between two characters where they don't say anything at all, and yet there's conflict and the reader understands what's happening

    etc.

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: I've done all of this, but what should I do before I sta

    Don't start writing until you pass the 25-30 mark

    I agree that you need to read scripts like they're goin' out of style, but to not even start writing until you've read 25-30? I feel that this is just not sound. You HAVE to start putting words on paper, or you'll end up being just being a "well, I'll start AFTER the next script."

    Definitely read some books. The book I ever read on the subject was Hunter's book, and then I started writing, and reading scripts.

    I just don't think you have to wait, is all.

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: I've done all of this, but what should I do before I sta

    My favorite,
    THE WRITER'S JOURNEY by Christopher Vogler
    and
    THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES by Joseph Campbell

    I second what dpat said. read read read.
    Read screenplays or die a horrible unsuccessful death as an unrecognized writer.

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: I've done all of this, but what should I do before I sta

    Is that dialogue going in your script? Because it's pure exposition, all telling, no showing, and yes, a good deal of it is pointless. Don't have the characters saying anything we don't need to hear/know for one reason or another.

    There are a billion better ways to get across the information that a big spider landed on someone's nose. Like, you know, showing that scene.

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: I've done all of this, but what should I do before I sta

    Ah, okay, based on your list, here are a few more scripts you should read (try to find early drafts; many are available online):

    Chinatown
    Minority Report (long script)
    Shallow Grave
    Stay
    Ghost
    Panic Room
    Fallen
    Absolute Power
    Requiem For A Dream (style, style, style)
    Fight Club
    Memento
    Seven
    A Nightmare on Elm Street
    8MM
    The Sixth Sense
    Go (the spec draft, available online)
    Blade Runner
    Dark City (early draft)
    They
    The Talented Mr. Ripley
    Night of the Hunter (older, but definitely worth a read)
    Psycho (same; remember, "words on the page" styles have changed)
    Lethal Weapon
    The Long Kiss Goodnight
    Cellular
    Silence of the Lambs
    Rear Window
    A Clockwork Orange
    Sandman (on www.wordplayer.com)
    Die Hard
    Taxi Driver

    That should get you started.

    Not all of these are great scripts, but they're all "required reading."

    Leave a comment:

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