Writing a Short Film Script. 750 Words Saturday, 3 September 2011.
So I’ve been chatting with someone on Google+ and Twitter.
She’s a screenwriter and lover of films, which in my book are both groovy traits to have.
Any who, on Wednesday, actually it might have been Thursday, it was around that time of night where the day changes, she asked me to write an outline for a short film by the am, I took that to mean by 11:59 in the afternoon. I didn’t do this, I had other things to do and forgot to do it, then made up a bunch of bullshit as a pretty weak excuse. But she called me on it last night and said she’d give me an extension. I then asked her to pick a number between 3 and 15, she chose 14. I said 3 to 15 because I wanted to write a script longer the 3 pages but no longer then 15. So she chose 14 and I told her that I’d not only have an outline written up today, but also a 14 page short film script with nothing more then a vague idea of what I’ll be writing.
So this morning I woke up, made myself some breakfast and a cuppa tea, sat and watched a little television, then turned on my computer. Watched a little more TV, then and only then did I open the text edit word processor. Its very basic but I write all my treatments on it because its just rich text so the file will open on any computer. I thought for a few minutes, then want down stairs to make another cup of tea, I thought a little more about how to kick off this script. You see that was my problem, I knew what it was about, but I couldn’t get it started, so I thought in reverse starting at the beginning and working my way back to a point I thought would be good to start with.
Once I found that point I got to work and wrote out about 6 lines for the outline of act one. Yep six line, after then I took another break, came back and wrote another 6 lines, which was the first half of act two, I had another break and came bake to write the second half of act two, I took another break then came back and write act three in another 6 lines.
My outline was done in 24’ish lines. Humm
From that I wrote maybe half a page of text to act as the treatment, it didn’t really need to be that extensive as I was making this shit up as I went. And figured that for a short 14 page script half a page of treatment was enough.
So I decided to try and space out everything in three and a half page intervals, act one being pages 0 to 3.5, first half of act two is from 3.5 to 7, second part of act two from 7 to 10.5 then act three from 10.5 to 14. And so I figured I’d have 4 sessions each 3.5 page long. Act one ended up being about 4 pages, so did act three. But thats okay. And I only got to 13.5 pages, not bad really, I mean when you think about I had no idea what I was going to write this morning wen ti woke up and now I have a 13 page rough draft of a short film script. Think thats the most I’d written in one day. Not including the outline and treatment.
I did end up going back and forth as I was writing it, so I could make the pages I wanted for each of the four sessions. Like act one was a full page short, so I found a point and added more shit to it, I ended up adding a page and a half almost. Sometimes it just kinda flows.
I’ll be the first to admit, it needs some work, especially in the dialogue, I think the visual element in the action are fine, but of course I write from a stand point of filming this stuff, so I’m not thinking about someone else having to interpret it, I know the shot I want to use and I write these in when I fill a particular shot will add to the visuals, I even chose to add focus point directions in this script because that how I wanted it to be. I know as a screenwriter I shouldn’t do that but as the aspiring director I feel the need to. Sorry about that.
So there you go, I uploaded it to my online server with Apple so she could download and read it, don’t expect to much from this, because I see this script in my head as I write it, I even edit the film in my head as I write it, I practically know what shots I would use, closes up and and wide shots and particular setups for master shots. Thats just how I write. If I’m writing for other people I’d tend to write more descriptive text. And even though this script was asked for by her, I wrote it for me.