How You Can Simplify a Complex Script

Hosted by Samm Haillay

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Samm Haillay

Webinar hosted by: Samm Haillay

Producer at Third Films (Winner, Tribeca 2018 - Island of the Hungry Ghosts)

Samm Haillay is an award-winning producer and BAFTA member whose films have premiered at Cannes, Venice, Sundance, Tribeca, Toronto and London Film Festivals and have collected 35 international awards and nominations worldwide. Samm is also the founder of the BFI Vision Award and MEDIA Slate Funding Award-winning production company Third Films and his short films have collected over 50 international awards and nominations including at BAFTA, Berlin, Venice, Edinburgh and Chicago. Samm has picked up much talent and expertise from the filmmaking industry and shares his experience with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

When we write scripts there are so many elements to consider in order to create a great story. There’s world building, introducing a vast ensemble of characters, interweaving conflict, creating stakes, and so much more, all while having to hook your audience in a short amount of time. It’s very easy to go overboard and try to cram all of these elements into your story where it gets to a point of oversaturation. This is why it's common for first drafts to be overcomplicated and hard for others to read or get through. Of course, we want to include all the aspects that make the formula of our script a success, but it’s important to do it in a way that is clear, concise, and effective.

Making your script clear and not overcomplicated  isn’t necessarily always the easiest thing to do. Learning how to trim our stories is difficult and cutting out things that we love is challenging as writers, especially when we’ve spent so much time investing in our projects. However, there are useful strategies and tools you can use to simplify the complexity of your script and create a product that gatekeepers will want to read and executives will want to produce. Screenwriting is all about telling a lot in a short amount of time. Being concise is a skill every writer should master.

Samm Haillay is an award-winning producer and BAFTA member whose films have premiered at Cannes, Venice, Sundance, Tribeca, Toronto and London Film Festivals and have collected 35 international awards and nominations worldwide. Samm is also the founder of the BFI Vision Award and MEDIA Slate Funding Award-winning production company Third Films and his short films have collected over 50 international awards and nominations including at BAFTA, Berlin, Venice, Edinburgh and ChicagoSamm has picked up much talent and expertise from the filmmaking industry and shares his experience with the Stage 32 community.

Samm will give you invaluable tips, strategies, and exercises that you can use to simplify your own complex script. He will discuss all the vital components of what scripts should include - and then help you boil down everything from what you want to keep in your story to what it actually needs. Samm will share the practice] he developed called “The Story Rainbow”, which examines the relationship and interconnectivity between Story, Narrative and Plot and can be used to further develop your own project.. He will be focusing on how to keep your script simple - yet complex - rather than confusing and complex.

Samm's unique understanding of how to simplify complex script has greatly elevated his own career and he is beyond ecstatic to help members of the Stage 32 community to achieve the same.

What You'll Learn

  • How Many Scenes Are Needed in Your Story?
    • Scene count vs page count 
    • How thinking about shoot days and filming schedule can help make your script flow better
  • The Difference between Story, Narrative and Plot
    • Narrative as the building blocks of the story
    • How theme supports the narrative
  • Samm's "Story Rainbow" Theory
    • How you can use the Story Rainbow to structure your story
    • Device
    • Beauty
    • Characters
    • Theme
  • Understanding the Purpose Behind Your Scenes
    • How to know when to start and end a scene
    • Determining whether a scene is necessary
    • What are the intentions behind each scene?
    • Differentiating your scenes
      • Are they doing too little or too much?
  • Q&A with Samm

About Your Instructor

Samm Haillay is an award-winning producer and BAFTA member whose films have premiered at Cannes, Venice, Sundance, Tribeca, Toronto and London Film Festivals and have collected 35 international awards and nominations worldwide. Samm is also the founder of the BFI Vision Award and MEDIA Slate Funding Award-winning production company Third Films and his short films have collected over 50 international awards and nominations including at BAFTA, Berlin, Venice, Edinburgh and Chicago. Samm has picked up much talent and expertise from the filmmaking industry and shares his experience with the Stage 32 community.

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