Screenwriting : Does a perfected script have to be submitted? by Zane Wickman

Zane Wickman

Does a perfected script have to be submitted?

Question to those that have underwent the submission process and received feedback.

I'm working on a script, I'm a novice when it comes to scripts/screenplays (more of an artist that has fallen into it). I'm learning as I write. I'm teaching myself the terminologies/lingo and more. I wrote a draft - minus all the terminologies with the exceptions of INT. and EXT. (Interior and Exterior); I'm using it to write my final; should be right around 55 pages when completed.

BUT can one submit a treatment that's somewhat of a script (same length, just doesn't have all the script terms e.g. CAMERA ON) instead of a perfected script? My work is an animation.

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

Hi Zane, I wouldn't submit anything unfinished or any first scripts if you're a newer writer to any executives, or any contests out there right off the bat. You'd probably need industry coverage to point you in the right direction, as it'd be more thorough notes/feedback that will help you out more.

Kay Luke

I've never paid for feedback, but I've had more than my share of it, and given a ton of it, all in the Studio, System and the short answer is NO.

If you don't format it properly, don't waste your time writing it, muchless submitting it.

Stephen Floyd

Yeah, seek out script coverage, because there’s many elements of screenwriting that beginners don’t know to focus on until someone points them out. And on the topic of perfection, be aware that studios don’t buy scripts, they buy writers. Focus less on a perfect screenplay and more on having perfect knowledge of your characters and story, so much so that anyone—director, producer, actor—could suggest/demand a change and you could re-tool the screenplay without compromising what the story is really about.

Dan MaxXx

Ive seen playwrights do it time to time, submit treatments and play formatting margins as their version of “screenplay format.”

Write a hit broadway play and nobody will give you shit about formatting :)

Brian Shell

I published all my screenplays as Kindle eBooks by left-justifying everything... just like stage plays. I used Steve Martin's "Picasso at Lapin Agile" and (being a Michigander) Jeff Daniels' "Escanaba in da Moonlight" (Yooper humor = U.P. = Upper Peninsula)

Pierre Langenegger

Don't pay for coverage on your first script, especially if you don't know how to properly format it or the terminology to use. There are so many places you can post to get some free feedback. Make sure you have a pretty good idea of what you're doing before you start paying for a service otherwise you're just wasting your money.

Steve Roberts

@Pierre Langenegger: thank you, that's great advice. Where would you recommend posting to get feedback?

Imo Wimana Chadband

Steve Roberts right here is a start. A lot of writers here exchange scripts and get feedback from each other.

Pierre Langenegger

Steve Roberts , as Imo said, you can post it to your logline page here and request reads/feedback, you can also look at other sites suck as Zoetrope (you must provide feedback to get feedback), Script Revolution, Talentville, CoverflyX, Scriptmother, etc, or even r/Screenwriting on Reddit. There are plenty of talented people around that can help you take your script way beyond the next level before the need to pay.

Phil Parker

There are specific formatting standards you should follow when writing your first screenplay. David Trottier's Screenwriting Bible is the one most people recommend for learning those standards

Beyond those formatting issues though, there isn't that much "terminology/lingo" you need to worry about as a first-timer. MAYBE (and this is a contentious issue) you can use terms like CAMERA ON, or PULL BACK, or whatever when you've written a few scripts. But don't use them now. I don't ever use them.

Read a bunch of scripts for animated shows/films. Read David Trottier's book. Learn to use a screenwriting program like Final Draft. Only then would I begin submitting my script for feedback.

There are no shortcuts.

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