While watching a movie one might wonder how are these movies coming to see the light of the day. Do they just start pointing a camera at a bunch of people and ask them to say something? or do something? Is this film-making?
Of course not. An architect designs a blueprint of the building to guide the construction. Similarly, a scriptwriter writes a script to guide the director, the producers, the actors, and other crew members. This blog will be a guide on how to write scripts and the pitching method used from a beginner’s perspective.
Scriptwriting is a position of technical creative writing ability. Scriptwriters are also known as Screenplay writers. They lay down the basic idea, the road map to the film, a director uses to shoot the film. Then rearrange it per requirement.
Possessing the ability to work with directors and producers without the conflict that might arise due to creative indifference is a sign of a professional and a more than able scriptwriter.
For more info on a scriptwriter, go to this page.
What to write?
Writers write a script by either sourcing materials or relying on their imagination.
The point is to find an idea that is good enough to shoot. The good thing is that you can find ideas everywhere. The following are 3 sources you can use to inspire yourself for an idea.
- Study life: We pass or get in contact with countless people who have a story of their own. An anecdote that made their life come to a standstill or brought a change to their life’s course.
- Study novels and other literary works: Great literary works are one of the most used inspiration for writing scripts. The pre-existence of all the plot twists, character developments, and conflicts and conclusions. t is more convenient and a great way to retell a story.
- Use of scripts made for movies(already made): Scripts already written for shooting purposes will give you an idea of what is acceptable and how to write the script for maximum readability and plot interest.
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How to write?
Writing a script is a technical affair instead of its creative origin roots. Using a particular format is not for a mere presentation. It is written for production purposes and the sole reason to be on screen.
Most directors and producers use Master Scene Format for professional scriptwriting and maximum detail in a concise form.
Master Scene Script Format
For designating interior or exterior, location, time of the scene. In CAPS.
Describes action and its source that is on screen. If not in the frame, then the sound effect is to be mentioned in ALL CAPS.
In ALL CAPS. Mention O.S for off-screen or V.O for voice over
To provide some context or instruction on the execution of dialogue delivery. Use consciously keeping in mind the readability of the script.
Center on the page and offset from other elements of the script. Write an overlapping dialogue side by side blocks.
Use as a tool to designate change. Seen usually with some visual effect, to signify the end of an old scene and the beginning of a new.
This is the most basic form of script presentation. For more information and to understand the technicalities of a professionally written script you can refer to this page.
The 3-Act Structure
One rule every scriptwriter or I should say storyteller is familiar with and considers as the gospel of storytelling is the 3 Act Structure.
The three-act structure is a defining tool.
Establishing the protagonist, the location, the life, and the personality of the character which is to grasp our attention for the rest of the period of the movie.
The audience generally keeps a very blank mind, with few expectations, which a writer creatively uses to establish a scenario generally unaccepted in real life.
For example, the franchise Toy Story’s first installment in 1995 gives us a shot of the character Andy leaving the room being called upon by his mother.
A generally unaccepted concept of toys possessing life is not taken into consideration by the audience since the director and the scriptwriter established the plot revolving around the covert life of manufactured toys where they are as humane and lively just like the rest of us.
Scriptwriters consider this the hardest part to write. Practically to fill in the gap between the timeline from the goal determined by the protagonist to its achievement.
They involve subplots, which is a small;l narrative that gives a three-dimensionality to the main plot and also mid-points which are crossroads or choices to deal with an obstacle on the protagonist’s path.
The showdown, per se. This is the moment the protagonist and the plot were working towards. This is the do or die moment.
It should be thrilling and must justify the high anticipation built for this moment throughout the movie to avoid being a failing attempt to execute the conclusion.
To pitch the plot and the script, a written synopsis in this form of three-act structure with few defining scenes that are essential to the film. This is your presentation.
This is the pitch that will bag you a deal from your producers. Keep in mind this is the moment your hard work is to be fruitful. On the basis of your pitching.
That means to be a screenplay writer, is to be a storyteller.
And this is the beginner’s guide to scriptwriting.