Screenwriting 101

Hello!

Screenwriting is a topic approached by many different authors and scriptwriters alike who have their specific ways in approaching an idea and to transform into script format.

But there a few tips that are common knowledge to anyone who likes to write. Especially if that someone has the ambition to write for the big screen, television or even theatre.

My teacher presented these tips with us in class and I would like to share it with you.

They are as follows:

  1. Do your homework. This means that whatever the topic you choose to centre your story around, you must know everything about it! Know the underlining theme, the reasoning behind your characters’ personality traits, how the world of your story came to be – basically you need to know anything and everything that exists in your script as everything needs to be there for a reason.
  2. Be careful with “on the nose dialogue”. A lot of the greatest scripts in movie history, centre more around the visual aspect of a story more so than dialogue. This is because dialogue is thought to be quite overrated by some of the most prestigious film makers such as Alfred Hitchcock. A story can function well with having zero to no dialogue as long as the combinations of all of the other elements in it still are able to portray a compelling and engaging story for the audience. In summary, using dialogue is a good thing as long as you don’t completely spell out everything that the character is thinking and/or feeling when you should rather show it.
  3. Be aware of the audience. When writing a story, any story, that will be presented to an audience even if that audience is your family or your closest friends, you need to be aware of what the reader’s perception of the story is. Basically, as the author, you need to always be one step ahead of the audience because their reaction will determine if your script is going to rise in glory or fail miserably.
  4. Don’t “play the aces too early”. I know you want to make your story the most epic and engaging one possible. But all the excitement behind starting to write a new script that you believe is amazing, might very well cloud your judgement for the most basic knowledge, don’t introduce the biggest climax of your story too soon. That will probably set the expectations of the reader too high when the rest of the story is just plain and simple from then on. Their interest will decrease to non-existence if that would be the case.
  5. Only write what you can “see”. This seems like something very simple to follow through, but the reality is not thus. I have fallen into this mistake many times and it is surprisingly easy to do without noticing. When you are writing a plot where the main characters finds himself in an unknown venue and he is methodically looking around and trying to decipher each detail of the location as to measure where he might be. In this case, you need to be careful and mindful that you can only write what the character is “seeing” not what he is “feeling internally” as that meddles into his emotional feelings or even his back story that you can’t show in screen.
  6. REWRITE. When you think that your script is perfect and you are ready to share it with the world, it’s because it’s probably not perfect and you’re setting yourself off to failure. There is probably some spelling error, repeated words, sentences that don’t make sense or even part of the dialogue for an important scene is missing. Meaning that you need to look over everything and maybe even send it to a couple other people so they can fact-check it for you.

Hopefully this is helpful to some of you!

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Canon 650D: Induction

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Hello!

So today we ventured into the land of DSLR magic, with our induction on the Canon 650D. I was quite excited because I had worked with a previous model in a previous shoot and was quite fond of it, and since then I have been studying up on my DSLR’s so you could say I was looking forward for this tutorial.

We basically talked about all the basic features that we needed to know in order to get good footage which meant learning all that we need to learn about the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. The various lenses we could use was also a hot topic in today’s class and I have to say that I quite liked knowing how different lens sizes can give different effects to a shot.

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From this induction, I learned mostly more about the different lenses we could use as to give the desired effect we might be looking for and that was quite interesting.

Learning the ways of the DSLR!

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Hello,

Because I am the DOP, DP, camera woman or whatever you want to call me, I am the one in charge of operating the camera. Original, I know. But the difference here is that I have had no previous experience in working with DSLR’s. So from there, I went through quite a bit of DLSR tutorials: for begginers, DSLR filmmaking, the basis of photography, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, etc. And also I studied on the basic functions of the Canon 600D, since it was the camera we eventually decided to shoot with. Since I didn’t have experience to rely on, I brushed up on my studies and tested the camera out before we began shooting so that on the day of the shoot, I would have complete confidence and knowledge that I had taken the best footage I could take with a week’s worth of online tutorials and camera testing.

In January 2014, I plan on attending DSLR tutorials at university as well as ask for a camera loan so that I can further practice the use of the camera. That and I plan on saving up money so that I can, in the next couple of months, buy my own profissional camera.

Untilted Running Project: A Short Film

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Hello!

In this short film were were all placed in big groups and given two scenes which we need to shoot, specifically one at night and another during the day, each with their specific elements and stories. In this assignment I was nominated as the producer and knowing that I was the one who needed to organize everyone and who would have the final say in each image, each sound, each sketch was both terrifying and envigorating. During the filming preparations we all had the first taste of the importance of lighting and sound as primary focuses to go along with the image, for they are all dependent on eachother. If one is bad, then you might as well delete the entire scene you just shot. We also used students from the Theatre Arts course for the first time, which only gave us more of the feeling of it being a “movie set”, and gave me the notion of how important it is to keep the crew and actors content and in a safe environment. As well as keeping everyone on track of what they need to do and when they needed to do it.