There is a wealth of knowledge in RFVM, some of which has been gathered together for reference purposes. We hope you will find this information helpful.
SCRIPT WRITING NOTES
You have an idea for a film and you want to turn
your idea into a screenplay, but where do you start?
You may need to do some research before you start, depending on
how well you know your subject matter.
Who is your main protagonist, and who are the other characters
in your story? Write a character description for each one. Give
them each a different voice.
Before you start your script, you'll need to prepare a Logline,
a synopsis and a treatment.
This is a brief summary of your script. It's usually only one
or two sentences long and conveys the dramatic story of a screenplay
in the most abbreviated manner possible.
As well as keeping you focused you will need a logline when you
try to sell your screenplay.
This is the detailed summary of the story. It's normally one
to two pages long, depending on the length of the script.
This is an even more detailed summary of the story, written in
prose. Use it as a skeleton for your script.
Next you will need a screenwriting program downloaded onto your
Final Draft is the program used by most industry professionals; however there
are some very good free ones available.
CeltX is free
and is very good, although you will need to be online when you
come to format it at the end. CeltX is a great program for adding
notes and collaboration.
The BBC also have a free program called Scriptsmart.
There are different versions of this depending on which version
of Windows you have. To find these, Google the BBC writers room.
writer's room provides a wealth of useful info and occasional
opportunities. They also have examples of scripts available to
Points to remember when writing your script.
- Font should always be Courier
New, font size 12. Don't underline, colour or mess with
- As a guideline, one page equates to a minute on screen.
- There are many film scripts available to read online. Read
some to give yourself a feel of how a finished script looks.
- Don't include camera angles, music etc. That's a shooting
script, unless of course you are shooting the film yourself.
- Try to hook your audience from the start. Hit the ground running
if the story allows.
- The first 10 pages are the most important when trying to get
someone to buy your script.
- Don't include anything which doesn't move the story forward.
- Try to limit your use of exposition. Film is a visual medium,
so try to show rather than tell.
- Give your protagonist obstacles to overcome. You want your
character to have changed by the end of the story.
- When writing dialog, make it sound natural. Use words such
as wouldn't and couldn't, rather than would
not and could not.
- Ask someone to read the script out aloud so you can hear how
it sounds and flows.
- Check your work for any spelling mistakes or other errors.
- Put your work away then come back to it at a later date with
fresh eyes and see how it could be improved. It usually can
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