Screenwriting

From structure to content to representation to industry trends, this is the place to discuss, share content and offer tips and advice on the craft and business of screenwriting

Robert Franklin

Hi Guys. When I post an article or video to my page or in a lounge ... I understand there are some folks here on S32 who are so very well experienced in whatever craft/s they are working in, and alrea...

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Danny Manus

I tend to agree with Craig and Jody. A whole lot of people on here who seem to think theyre pros when theyre not. The "jobs" or categories we choose on our profile are not aspirational -- theyre suppo...

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Doug Nelson

Danny - what I am currently is retired - so I guess I need to change my profile. So I ain't no pro no mo? I'm with you Jody - Ill race you to the exit.

Dan Guardino

I don't care what people call themselves.

Jeff Lyons

I've always liked the title "Commissar of Weights and Measures" ... I may add that to my profile.

Question?

Hi folks, When you have a character speaking and you want to hear his voice in a different scene is that considered a voiceover? Thanks

Laura Scheiner

If a character has dialogue but is not physically present in the location of the scene it's a voice over (V.O).. If the character has dialogue and is physically present in the location but we don't se...

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Pierre Langenegger

Yep, as Laura said. If a character's voice from the next scene is heard at the end of the current scene then it's a PRE-LAP

Dan Guardino

Yes and one way to remember voice over means the voice is added to the film after the scene has already been shot so if the actor's vehicle isn't anywhere near where shooting is taking place the odds are it will be (V.O.)

Don Zorbas

Thank you.

Happy accident

Hello Stage 32. Every so often, Fate picks up the "opportunity stick", and beats you silly with it. Here is a short version of what happened to me today. One of my Co-Workers recently told me of a discovery she had made years ago when she moved into her home. In the attic, hidden away inside the fram ...

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Laura Scheiner

But it's more than who owns the letters themselves - it's the life rights of the people who wrote and experiences contained in those letters, Life rights can be tricky - Simply publishing the letters...

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Abdur Mohammed

Oh, I totally forgot to mention....the letters are like a jigsaw puzzle...that is trying to find last names, schools, places, events...people...all which when put together points to other clues to fin...

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Beth Fox Heisinger

And thank you for sharing. Sounds interesting—a lot of detective work. ;)

Abdur Mohammed

It is....the detective work by itself is an adventure

Dan Guardino

Maybe you should write a fictional screenplay based on finding the letters and trying to find the people that wrote them instead of using the letters themselves.

Logline Help

I've read some loglines on this website and I've realized how tough they are to write. It looks easy, but it's not. So, here are just a few tips for those who have problems with loglines. If you have more information on this topic please share. I'm just trying to make it as simple as possible. There ...

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Dan Guardino

I write my log lines after I write a screenplay and I give it maybe fifteen minutes of thought if that. They usually go something like "here is my screenplay and it is no worse than the crap you have been producing."

Beth Fox Heisinger

Taglines are great; those catch phrases on posters that capture the tonal or emotional essence of a film. Best tagline ever: ALIEN "In space, no one can hear you scream." Love it! ;) Loglines of cours...

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Laura Scheiner

Beth Fox Heisinger my friend's mom wrote the Alien tagline - his dad designed the poster

Beth Fox Heisinger

Wow, Laura! Very cool. ...Well it is the best. ;)

Doug Nelson

So somebody does know that the tagline is a poster marketing tool (that one from ALIEN is my favorite too) and that a logline is a marketing tool during the pitching phase. (Hint: The logline is best written after the script is finished.)

Contest or not?

Do anyone have some benefit winning screenplay contest. Which contest, is also important question? Share your experience! At this moment I am quarter finalist at BlueCat Screenplay Contest with my screenplay for short film "The Bear Trap".

J. Poteet

Stevan, There are certainly positive aspects of winning a screenplay competition. Depending on which one, it can ensure your script gets read by people with the ability to produce it, though that's nev...

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Beth Fox Heisinger

For me, placing well emboldened me to just keep going, to keep writing. I do think competitions are a good way to gauge your writing, see how well your writing stands. Of course contests are very subj...

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Why, any schmoe can write a good screenplay, can't they?

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” ~Mary Oliver That may be true, yet there are many more people than not, who ever take their shot. As a regular reviewer of ...

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Fiona Faith Ross

Only screenwriters know ideas are worthless When I started fiction and screenwriting, I used to think the idea was the most important thing. With my newly gained qualification in hindsight and years o...

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Dan Guardino

Uncle Phil. I wouldn't turn down 10K for giving someone an option but you were talking about writing one for 10K. And no I wouldn't write one on assignment under the WGA Minimum. I have written screenplays on assignment before and I just never want to go down that road again.

Dan MaxXx

people don't want to pay Writers. Probably cause everybody thinks they can write a franchise movie or hit TV show. People don't see the hours to craft. Compare to professional sports. Sports fans don'...

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Laura Scheiner

I think these people fall more into the clueless and user categories than the dreamer.

Beth Fox Heisinger

4 divorces? What does that tell me?—That marriage isn't for everyone. Lol! ;) Sorry but you can work hard and still manage other aspects of your life. Anyhoo, the same often goes for most creative fie...

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I'd like to start a writing group

Hey there all! I've noticed authors get so many different critiquing circles and online communities to make their skills better. I was hoping to find a few writers interested in doing the same, we can share work and give advice building each other into incredible writers. If you're interested please share your email below. Thank you!

Deanna Harvey

Would love to participate deanna.harvey101@gmail.com thanks!

Judi A Blaze

I'd like to join. itzaqueen@gmail.com

Robert Franklin

Go for it!

Jeffrey Walesa

This is a great idea! Count me in if you have space. Email is jeff_3567@yahoo.com

Beth Fox Heisinger

Great idea! ;)

Out with the Outline?

I finished my first screenplay without an outline. It's the best work I've ever done. (remember first) I wrote an outline for my next project several months ago. I decided not to use it while writing. Why? I thought that if I couldn't write it from my memory that I didn't know the story well enough....

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Tivoli Silas

I once wrote a novel without an outline, but I found that I rushed through some scenes in a rush to get to the end. I'm now writing my second novel with an outline, and it is a lot easier because it can be easy for me to forget some important details.

Alan B. Cox

I'm sure that an outline is the best way. I'll use my outline to improve my script during my first re-write.

Dan Guardino

I seldom use an outline because I like to just sit in front of my computer and start writing. I am sure it is not the best way but that is what seems to work for me. Everyone is different that is for sure.

Elisabeth Meier

Well, Alan, if you wrote an outline and then didn't use it I wonder if your script follows the outline nevertheless or why you found it so remarkable not "to use" the outline. Actually, your question...

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Beth Fox Heisinger

Perhaps working more from a mental outline versus a written one? ;)

Pitch sessions at stage 32

Hi! Has anybody around here used the pitching sessions? I´m curious!
Any successful case or anyone experienced the process?

If they decide to move forward, how doe sit work?
If they don´t would they let you know?

Thanks!

Dan MaxXx

It's a 5-year average to make a studio movie; just cause a Producer/Company takes Time to choose/develop a project don't mean they are not passionate.

Doug Nelson

Dan M - sometimes it takes more than a year to even make a short (drives me crazy!).

Brian Walsh

Hey Regina. I'm just curious...but when you took pitches here at S32 were you actively looking for material or were you taking them as a venue for people to practice pitching? Either is fine...just wanted to know if it's always people actually looking or if sometimes it's the latter.

John Ellis

Alright, I've gotten my feedback from the pitches I paid for. This was for my proposed sci-fi TV show, "Starfall." I'm of two minds. First, both execs were interested in the story, the premise of the s ...

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Alfonsina Sterling

This is great John! I think that considering the experiences shared here a skype call would be best. It seems text will always be open and limited to interpretation. Having a call will give margin or...

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BEATing my screenplay up.

Would like to hear comments on using (beat) in dialogue. I seem to have quite a few in one of my scripts. I've learned not to give directions about camera views to directors, so what about giving actors directions with beats in their dialogue. Any comments?

Mark W Budke Jr.

I am not sure of the beat discussion, however one thing I have been told is never tell an Actor how to act. If , you do, they will beat you up in the parking lot.

Richard Paul Skinner

You can use pause, beat and Oxford comma :sparingly.

Pierre Langenegger

Don't bash the Oxford comma.

Niki Lambropoulos

Beating on the beat then Mark :-)

Dan Guardino

I thought beats were obsolete. I use ellipses ... to show a pause but I don't even use them very often especially in dialogue. I do as little as possible to get by.

How do you take rejection?

For every success you have, you may have a hundred failures. How you take rejection and what you do to spring back are perhaps a measure of experience and the realization selling scripts is a challenging goal.


How do you take rejection? What do you do to shake it off?

Lisa Clemens

I'm better at it than I used to be. I've had practice with having some of my ideas rejected by producers and others! My screenplay Dead Wake won 4 laurels at a few film festivals, so when another film...

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Uncle Phil

Lisa:

Damn it! You don't suck!

Beth Fox Heisinger

Lisa, I'm so happy for you! That's awesome! Obviously that other festival got it wrong. LOL! :)

Michael Rogers

I love the, "I don't suck!" moment....for the moment

Dene Stark

Once you get into your head that its only one person's OPINION, it makes it alot easier. One person will love it while the other won't. I allow myself to feel shit for 2 hours then I move on.

Screenwriting friends and colleagues are helpful. But are some of them toxic?

Stage 32 has introduced me to many great writers, some of whom have become great writing friends and confidants. In fact, in that regard, S32 has been invaluable. However, I've had a few associations with other writers that have turned out to be toxic, including a stalker, who sent menacing letters...

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Fiona Faith Ross

I think it's true to say most of us notice some aggressive and unpleasant comments or arguments in some of these threads. Not so much here, but I find Facebook a fairly hazardous environment these days.

Damien Michael Aulsberry

Behan sums it up nicely...

Craig D Griffiths

I am suspicious of the constant contrary view points. Someone that one minute says "just write a hit film", then when people have a great script they say "it's who you know not the work". Telling peop...

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Damien Michael Aulsberry

Another good maxim.

Travis Sharp

Craig speaks volumes about the negative Nancy's who know it all and then tell you that you have no chance and it's all a crap shoot. Sometimes if you can't say anything nice...then shut it.

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