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Details in Screenplay


#1

Im trying to write a screenplay, and i was wondering a few things.


  1. What level of detail am i supposed to put in a screenplay? Should i put as much detail as possible? I wouldn’t want to impose on a director. My screenplay just seems empty.


  2. Should i put suggestions of music into the script? Or should i leave that to the director/sound technicians also?



    Thanks

#2

[quote=“pomimimin”]

  1. What level of detail am i supposed to put in a screenplay? Should i put as much detail as possible? I wouldn’t want to impose on a director. My screenplay just seems empty.
    [/quote]

I know what you mean. Leaving out detail can make each line seem flat. I’m told that this is what the movie is for. Basically, your screenplay gets the idea out on it’s own. Keep it short and simple.

[quote=“pomimimin”]
Should i put suggestions of music into the script? Or should i leave that to the director/sound technicians also?
[/quote]

…nothing worng with a few ‘side-notes’ here and there.


#3

It depends, if you’re trying to pull a “Robert”, meaning your planning to direct your own material, then yes, you should probably add as much as possible in order for you to acknowledge a certain scene with more clarity. But if your’re writing a speculative screenplay there are certain rules that you MUST abide to in order for production companies to even consider reading your script. But either way a script has to be balanced, afterall other people than yourself will have to read it. To learn about screenplay formats and rules visit:



www.screenwriting.info



And to access an aersenal of screenplays free of cost visit:



www.script-o-rama.com

Scan through a few so you know what makes screenplays work.



And as far as action is concerned, just findthe SUBJECT of the action, meaning who the action is about. Then just describe what the camera sees in your head. Though action sequences are not written with long, beautifuly styled sentences like a novel would read. In a screenplay you basically describe THE ACTION, but that would change if you’re actually thinking of directing it.



And to purchase some great books on screenwriting visit:



www.sydfield.com


#4

you should definately detail your script, regardless if you plan to direct it or not. i always put the upmost detail in my stories, knowing that if i adapt it to film, i will already know what i was looking for when i wrote it.



as for the music question, NEVER put the track name or artist unless you have the rights to the track. you are just going to get your hopes up and find that you will not get to use “she’s so Heavy” by the beatles or “freebird” by Lynard Skynard. Just scribble in the type of music genre you would like to use. for example, quentin writes heavily in the KB script, "INSERT REVENGE THEME ON OST"



and that’s good enough. as long as you can safely convey what mood or genre you would like to have for a given scene, you should be good. I use quentin’s method all the time, yet again i have a personal composer, so we tend to see eye to eye when it comes to scoring my films.


#5

Qt writes everything in ,from camera directions to music cues. . .I mean that works if you’re already a big time Hollywood filmmaker, but for an unknown you got to play it like the rest. But again if you want to make it on your own then do whatever the fuck you want, no one’s going to tell you what not to put into your script, anything goes. If you look at Robert’s script of El Mariachi you can tell that he intended on making it himself, some action descriptions even include SPFX directions. So I guess if you work independently you have the freedom to fuck with the screenplay form as much as you want.


#6

So in the conversation between a Teller and a guy, which would be better?



GUY walks up to the teller, an attractive young woman.



TELLER

How may I help you today sir?



GUY

Hello, I’d like to make a withdrawal.



TELLER

And how much would you like to withdrawal?


#7

Or…

GUY walks up to the teller, an attractive young woman, who is typing in the computer. As Guy approaches, she stops typing and looks up at him.



TELLER

How may I help you today sir?



GUY

Hello, I’d like to make a withdrawal.



He bangs his knuckles on the counter to some beat.



TELLER

And how much would you like to withdrawal?

The Teller starts clicking on her computer.


#8

(these posts need more room!)



Also, a song is important to a scene in my script, so can i still use it, or should i throw that song out? (Your So Vain by Helen Reddy.)


#9

[quote=“pomimimin”]
Im trying to write a screenplay, and i was wondering a few things.


  1. What level of detail am i supposed to put in a screenplay? Should i put as much detail as possible? I wouldn’t want to impose on a director. My screenplay just seems empty.


  2. Should i put suggestions of music into the script? Or should i leave that to the director/sound technicians also?



    Thanks
    [/quote]

As far as detail the trick is to be as descriptive as possible without getting

“too wordy”. You want to paint an accurate picture with your words but at

the same time you need to keep things moving forward. Basically you want

to try and avoid “big clunky” paragraphs.



I’m a big believer in the thought that if it’s written well and more importantly

if it ‘reads’ well, you can get away with a lot. But read as many articles as you

can find and try to figure out what feels right for you.



As far as music goes I tend to write it in if it’s something a character is listening

to or if I’m writing a montage. I figure nobody’s gonna read all the way to page

sixty and be like: “He used an Otis Redding song, I’m gonna throw this script in

the trash now.”



If the director or whoever wants to change the song or the studio can’t get the

rights for it they can change it. Nothing in a spec script is set in stone.

[quote=“pomimimin”]
Or…

GUY walks up to the teller, an attractive young woman, who is typing in the computer. As Guy approaches, she stops typing and looks up at him.



TELLER

How may I help you today sir?



GUY

Hello, I’d like to make a withdrawal.



He bangs his knuckles on the counter to some beat.



TELLER

And how much would you like to withdrawal?

The Teller starts clicking on her computer.
[/quote]

If the Teller typing isn’t vital I wouldn’t bother with it but the guy tapping

a beat on the counter seems like a subtle way to let us know he’s nervous,

I like it.



As far as the song, If you think it’s important leave it in.


#10

thanksabunch!


#11

[quote=“pomimimin”]
Or…

GUY walks up to the teller, an attractive young woman, who is typing in the computer. As Guy approaches, she stops typing and looks up at him.



TELLER

How may I help you today sir?



GUY

Hello, I’d like to make a withdrawal.



He bangs his knuckles on the counter to some beat.



TELLER

And how much would you like to withdrawal?

The Teller starts clicking on her computer.
[/quote]

yea i actually liked this one a lot better also add the tone of the girls voice in parentheses sorta describe the robotic voice tellers use.


#12

[quote=“pomimimin”]
Or…

GUY walks up to the teller, an attractive young woman, who is typing in the computer. As Guy approaches, she stops typing and looks up at him.



TELLER

How may I help you today sir?



GUY

Hello, I’d like to make a withdrawal.



He bangs his knuckles on the counter to some beat.



TELLER

And how much would you like to withdrawal?

The Teller starts clicking on her computer.
[/quote]

definitely this one



the first one looks like a theater play

the second one looks like a movie scrennplay :wink:


#13

Also, how is an easy way to set up the different width between discriptions versus dialouge.

EX.



Lester lived in denver and had a fender bender



LESTER

Oh noes! I live in Denver

And had a fender bender.



Do I have to use margins? Because it doesn’t come out in the right shape when i do that.


#14

[quote=“Biohazard”]
And as far as action is concerned, just findthe SUBJECT of the action, meaning who the action is about. Then just describe what the camera sees in your head. .
[/quote]

What I did for Weapon of Choice is make an extra side note and call it a “Camera Script”. I basically described where the camera would be at between scenes of dialouge and sequence. Example from my camera script:



He tries himself to get a pulse from his daughter and his wife.



CAMERA: CAMERA is set on the bodies of KELLY and

ALEX. JACK’S hand is in the picture trying

to revive his family.



He screams in total agony.



CAMERA: The CAMERA is set above JACK as it slowly

raises above his head as he continues to

scream.



The lines in Italics are lines from the script. Following afterwards tells me where the camera will be placed at.


#15

[quote=“pomimimin”]
Also, how is an easy way to set up the different width between discriptions versus dialouge.

EX.



Lester lived in denver and had a fender bender



LESTER

Oh noes! I live in Denver

And had a fender bender.



Do I have to use margins? Because it doesn’t come out in the right shape when i do that.
[/quote]

Okay, so you don’t even have screenwriting software? If not check out this

post: <LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.tarantino.info/forum/index.p … 210.0.html”>http://www.tarantino.info/forum/index.php/topic,7210.0.html</LINK_TEXT> , get the

free software and then go to the first link Biohazard posted and start reading.


#16

I didn’t use any software to write my screenplay. There are many who do not believe me.


#17

did you use microsoft word and get the screenwriting codes off of detonation films?


#18

I used microsoft word. I also looked at the formatting from other hollywood screenplays as a reference.


#19

I’d probly never get anything done if I had to format it myself. I’ve

got a hard enough time trying to stay focused and keep thoughts

flowing without contstantly stopping to adjust the margins.


#20

yea that why i write it out first i cant stay focused writing a script or a story on a computer.