Chapter 2 Successful video/film productions need A well written script Lots of planning ▪ Preproduction planning impacts production & post Don’t let your eagerness to shoot take away from planning ▪ Planning is the last time your production ▪ Is truly under your control ▪ Once shooting starts…. Movie adaptations are often different than their source books Why is this? The main reasons for the difference Writing a book & Creating a film ▪ Are very different art forms Screenwriting is a very particular type of writing ▪ Writing for the eyes (visual) ▪ As opposed to the mind Before you can begin developing a story You need to decide what it is about. There are several ways to find ideas ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ Brainstorming Observations Inspirations Experiences Once you have an idea ▪ develop a structure for it Structure can turn a series of events ▪ Into a story Understanding the basic structure ▪ Beginning ▪ Middle ▪ Ending This is often referred to as the three-act structure ▪ Can be applied to any type of production ▪ Will help with writing shooting and editing of your film Act I – The beginning Main character is introduced, along with the nemesis and supporting cast Act 2 – The middle Main characters problem gets complicated ▪ Subplots are introduced and resolved ▪ Middle of this act is middle of the movie ▪ The climax usually occurs here ▪ Bulk of the movie Act 3 – The ending The main characters problem is solved Unlike a stage play The acts may blend together in film Audience may not see clear separation between them Movies are made up of pictures Dialogue, talking, music and more ▪ May exist in the production But first and foremost ▪ Movies are a VISUAL form of storytelling We will have a few people share what they have written Movie screenplay format is very specific Designed and refined to convey ▪ More than dialogue and scene descriptions ▪ Regardless of production type ▪ Good formatting will make your production easier. Screenplay format (Pg 19) Advantages ▪ Helps determine length & pace of script ▪ One minute of screen time per page (variations occur) Unscripted projects Documentaries, Reality TV, News ▪ Still require SOME writing Two approaches to documentaries Inductive ▪ Shoot the subject first then edit footage into final film Deductive (Outlining) ▪ Write out a script, then get footage to match it Once script is workable what do you do? Plan your shoots ▪ What resources do you have (or need) ▪ What items do you need for each scene ▪ How many pages will you shoot each day ▪ How much time do you have ▪ What is your budget ▪ Do you need to hire a crew ▪ What about the weather? There are many variables that can affect your schedule Let’s hear some of the details and descriptions Going through the script to determine needs This may result in shooting out of order If there are complex scenes that require a crew ▪ They will likely be shot in succession even if they are not in order in the film Easy scenes can be shot first or last Once you have a schedule & script breakdown You will be ready to layout your shooting order ▪ You may consider location now ▪ Scenes at the house ▪ Scenes outside ▪ Scenes at the workplace ▪ If you can shoot all the scenes ▪ from one location at the same time ▪ You won’t have to go back This will vary depending on your budget. With a big budget you can do less in a single day ▪ Won’t be rushed ▪ Can wait out bad weather ▪ Multiple takes for perfection If you have a small budget ▪ You might have to get it in like the postman ▪ Rented equipment ▪ Friends helping during time off ▪ etc If you are following a subject (documentary) ▪ Your scheduling may change throughout If you are shooting an event ▪ Your scheduling will take place during the event timeframe Other scheduling includes ▪ Interviews ▪ Supporting footage etc. Breaking into Hollywood as a scriptwriter is tough. Thousands of scripts are sent each year, some don't get read, most get rejected and a few make it. A main character who is driven towards achieving a goal An opposition to your main character who will hold your main character back from achieving their goal ▪ (The Bad Guy) A fight (literal or metaphorical) between your main character and their opposition An ending which answers the questions "Can the main character achieve his goal?” If your script can present such a story Along with a well thought out main character who the audience can relate to You will all ready have the jump on most scriptwriters. You will switch with a classmate and add more details to what they have written Make sure you read what they have written to avoid being repetitive Let’s have a few people share what they and a classmate have written for this one The only way to get better at anything is to practice. There are a few more writing exercises that can really get your creative juices flowing They are designed to help you with character building, story structure and writing action sequences. People You Know This exercise will help your understanding in creating realistic characters. Even seemingly dull people can be interesting or funny when placed in certain situations. Write a list of ten people you know. Pick a broad spectrum of people from your family, friends, work place and neighbors… ▪ you don’t necessarily have to like the people you pick! For each person on your list write out a single paragraph character description. Come up with one characteristic for each person that makes them unique. ▪ Somewhere within the list, you might just find a gem of a character to write about! It’s Not Paranoia If They’re Really After You! This exercise helps learn how to empathize with characters and feel what they’re going through. This will allow you to write your characters with a lot of emotional depth. If the danger doesn’t feel real to the character then it won’t seem real to the audience. They’re after you! You don’t know why, but you’re being chased down relentlessly. Write out a chase scene where you are the only one being chased. Imagine the panic and fear you’d be feeling as well as the confusion. Really get into the frame of mind of someone being chased, and fearful for their life. To make it even more interesting write out three different scenes, each with a different method of travel. ▪ On foot. ▪ In a car. ▪ In a helicopter, being chased by a UFO! Write a one-minute film with one location, no dialogue, and no more than three characters. Sound effects may be used, but the story must be told through visuals and action. Ensure that your story is self-contained (avoid writing a scene) and that it has a theme. In other words, your story should mean something outside of itself—it should have a point. The length of your script should not exceed two pages in proper screenwriting format.