Monday, October 5, 2009


Students retreat into their thoughts

September 30th, 1st Session of "INTRO TO SCRIPTWRITING: Blueprint for Making a Film" Class


“Definitely shows me some of the mistakes I made in writing my first script – or better said attempting to write my first script. I know what to change now, like where you put the character’s name, the margins and font you use. What really opened my eyes though was the detailed descriptions of the scene. You need to give whoever reads the script a vivid ideal of what you will see in the shot – a description of the physical location as well as the character.” – Sean

“I’m a medical student. I look forward to my first attempt at something in an artistic style, it’s not my background. I’ve learned there’s a lot more to the writing than what the character is saying or doing. You also have to think of where they are in space and time.” – Aton

“It’s very different than any of the other writing I’ve done. It’s interesting to look at some of the limitations that script has as opposed to story writing. Such as the “briefness” factor. With script you need detailed descriptions of character and location to build the story, but you need to be very brief. Doing that will be a challenge.” – Cameryn

“I think I’ll be able to put my ideas onto the paper now. This class gave me some really good ideas about how I start from where I am.” -Sreekauth

“I’m conquering a challenge. I’ve put off writing for such a long time, but I now feel I have tools. This class is making me feel like I can get rid of that word -- 'Can’t'". - Adrian

(for a full listing of the "MAKE A FILM" Class Series: page 5)



In my last Monday, October 28th posting, I started the scriptwriting lessons by giving you a student script to analyze, Paula Philip's THE WAITING ROOM (3rd Draft):

This script was chosen as the film project for the Spring 2009 "MAKE A FILM" Class Series. As a teacher, I assumed the role of producer and director and led the class through a detailed critique of the script. I asked the student writer and all the other students, how would you solve the problems I outlined? Taking their suggestions into account, I then gave them a detailed vision of the story I wanted to make. ( See the October 28th posting for both the questions and the vision: up.html

I told them, "What I want to show you is how a director thinks. All the considerations and influences and decisions. As a writer, the more you understand how a director thinks (and an actor) the better writer you'll become." With Paula's permission, I became a co-writer on the script. This is my revision of THE WAITING ROOM:

Now you have the two script versions to study. Look at Paula's 3rd Draft, then look at my rewrite. Use a highlighter and mark all the changes you see -- in dialogue, in character description, in props and set. Think of it like one of those kid's picture puzzles -- These Two Pictures Look Alike -- But Some Things Have Been Changed in the Second Picture. Can You Find All the Changes? -- Different from doing a kid's puzzle, you should also ask, "Why did those things change? What purpose did it serve?"

(If someone learns to be sensitive to the characters they create in a script -- do you think it will make the person more sensitive to the people in his own life?)

Next Monday I'll detail some of the things that changed with my version of THE WAITING ROOM, and give you the why. You might not agree with my choices, but by thinking about them, it will make you rethink your own choices and realize how many diffrent ways you can take things.

-- Trayce

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