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How To Write A Film Script

By Author: Fred Price
Total Articles: 37

This is how I write my scripts so I believe that everyone has to find his own way of working that suits his/her the most.
I don't follow any rules of script writing when it comes to telling the story, such as: at this point in a script that ought to happen. I don't believe in this but many do and maybe that is why so many bad scripts are coming out of Hollywood.
I do follow rules when it comes to the structure since it's just easier for the entire crew and cast to follow the script and that is clearer to read. It also looks much more professional when you get the structure right and you want to look professional in front of your cast and crew.
I usually start with writing an idea for a script, which is just a simple description of the whole story. When this is ready, I move on to working on the main characters. Of course it doesn't mean that I am going to stick to the description I have already done. To me it just works as more of a guideline.
After that I sit down and start coming up with the scenes, which at first are just descriptions of what might happen in the scene.
When the skeleton of the script is ready I work from that point re-writing the script, each time around making it better and fuller by adding or taking away certain actions, dialogues or scenes.
In the finished script I try to describe the scenes as little as possible, extra words are really not necessary and often confusing for the actors. I usually try to work on dialogues and the overall atmosphere of the story.
I know that there are many rules when it comes to writing different genres, which for some people are good and they need to have it to be able to write anything. Find a system that suits you best and stick to it.
The more scripts you write, the better you become. Even if the scripts don't turn up to be a movie this is the experience that is vital for you.
I know that writing can be hard but once you start, it gets easier and easier every time. The beginning point is the most important, after that it's all just discipline. From my experience I can tell you that writing for longer than five hours a day is difficult, this is a creative work so it has to flow.
If you don't feel confident enough to write your scrip yet, take a script writing workshops; some of them are really good. Try looking for the workshops in your area online.
As far as I am aware there are quite a few websites that deal with script writing/workshops online. However I don't know how secure that kind of work is. You know, copyrights in writing and filmmaking are huge issues so always remember to be covered on that subject.
Remember, find whatever suits you the most and copyright all your work. There are many people willing to steal others ideas.
Notes on script writing
Below is the list of my notes on script writing based on some of the workshops I've done in the past. You might find it useful:
1. Dramatic - sequence leading to change; strong moral element; one character influences the other one.
2. Moral vision.
3. What is the moral line of the story?
4. What defines the storyline?
5. What is the moral change in the character?
6. PLOT - what the main character does in the story; fundamental change in action. Character is defined through the plot.
7. Dialogue is seen as the quickest window to the character. The dialogue expresses the volume of the character.
8. Drama - it is a conflict between what the character stands for and the world surrounding the character.
9. Structure - is a development of the character.
10. The hero never knows what he wants and needs at the beginning of the film.
11. To grow and develop the hero has to fight opponents and obstacles on his way. To make the script more interesting, get into the deepest level of conflict.
12. Whatever the hero comes up with at the start of the film it almost never works out. So he has to adjust to changing circumstances.
13. Before the hero can change, he/she has to figure out what he/she wants or is running away from, why he/she is holding back from taking an action.
14. In the script it's also important to introduce the hero's internal life, his/her natural space.
15. The hero before facing his/her fear or opponent will usually have to go through some kind of change to become stronger.
16. People who have been in filmmaking longer than me say that for the middle of the structure the stories obsessive desire is needed. The character will do almost anything to get what she/he wants.
17. You have probably noticed that almost every film has a point when the hero is just about to lose. It is called the lower point.
18. To make the story more powerful usually the hero learns something from the opponent and grows.
19. If you want to reveal something, make a decision and change an action. This way you give new information to the audience.
20. The hero needs to desire something in each scene.
Story structures
They say that there are only three basic story structures:
* Myth
* Fairy tale
* Drama
By taking bits and pieces from each structure and using it in a different way, other stories emerge.

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