January 5, 2010

Pointers When Writing A Movie Script

June 5, 2010. Oops, I meant January. Wow, what a way to start the year...

Well, it's been a short while (OK, OK, I won't lie, a LONG while) since I've last written anything interesting on this blog (or anything at all), but I've been busy. Very Busy.

Still, I have a WHOLE bunch of things to do this year on my resolutions list, most of which involves writing. Yep, nothing to surprising there. And of course, one of those writing projects is my movie script.

So here are some pointers I got off the Screenwriting Goldmine, but which I still feel would be good to keep in mind for Any Kind of Story:

1. Make the audience care about the protagonist(s). Which means that, even if (s)he is an a$$hole/(enter other expletive) or does reprehensible things, (s)he needs to have at least 1 redeeming quality that makes us still like her/him. If we don't care about the hero(ine), we won't care about the story.

2. Make sure you are writing a genre. This has more to do with marketing. More valid, I think (but don't necessarily quote me on this since I have yet to be published and sell a movie script), in the movie industry, where marketing involves HUGE figures (subject to budget constraints, of course)!

3. Happy Ending. Capitalized. Turns out that the happier the audience = bigger word of mouth = bigger box office figure. And movie producers (or anyone involved in the movie industry) likes $. Who doesn't, really? Now I understand why Hollywood's known for cornyness :)

4. Love your hero(ine): give them great barriers to overcome, tough choices to make. They will shine all the more because of them.

5. Love your villain(s) too. Ties in with no. 4.

6. Get your story right before you write a word of dialogue. So write out a prose statement of your story and have it analyzed (by yourself and some brutally honest friends) to see what works and what doesn't. Don't worry, this is a REALLY good step to undertake, and will (generally) help you write your story faster afterwards.

7. Pick out the first paragraph of your treatment and ponder it. That's right, PONDER. Until you know the scene in and out, and can visualize it better than any of your favorite scenes of your favorite movies.

8. Sit your a$$ down and WRITE. Don't worry about typos or format or other such secondary things now. Just get your story down, let it flow out of your gray cells, through your fingers and onto the screen/paper.

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8.

NOTE: Please be aware that true writing IS rewriting, which means that though you have a finished draft, there's probably more work to be done -- you gotta love the editing!

On that note, I've gotta go back to my own editing.

Good day!
--The Writing Apprentice


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