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Pottentially Usefull ScreenWriting Links


#1

Got bored last night so I figured I’d put together a little list of screenwriting related sites. If nothing else maybe it will inspire people who are thinking about writing to take that first step.



[size=120]SOFTWARE[/size]

Even though there’s a lot of quality word processing software out there, if your serious about writing a movie you’re gonna wanna get yourself a program made specifically for screenwriting I use Final Draft 6 but if you’re on a budget and don’t like stealing check out Celtx, it’s free. http://www.celtx.com/



[size=120]BASICS[/size]



Screenwriting.info

http://screenwriting.info

This site pretty much covers everything you need to know about formatting a script. If you’ve never written a script before you should probly spend some time at this site before you get started. I still go there from time to time when I’m not sure how something should be done.



[size=100]Screenplay Basics[/size]

<LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.und.nodak.edu/instruct/cjaco … Basics.htm”>http://www.und.nodak.edu/instruct/cjacobs/ScreenplayBasics.htm</LINK_TEXT>

I’ve only skimmed through this page but it appears to be what your notebook would look like if you took the screenwriting course at The University of North Dakota in the Spring of '05 and kept notes. This page focuses less on formatting rules and more on the actual storytelling. Things like the three act structure, action drama vs character drama, “cable” plot vs “anal bead” plot and even has a section near the end about writing the type of film that could be made for next to no budget. One big flaw on the site though is that the text is annoyingly huge.



[size=120]ARTICLES[/size]



Is Screenwriting Right for You?

<LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.cyberfilmschool.com/filmmake … spx?id=134”>http://www.cyberfilmschool.com/filmmaker/article_detail.aspx?id=134</LINK_TEXT>

Brief little article detailing the hard ships of screenwriters.



How to Start a Screenplay: Treatment or Free Fall?

http://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_BC_start.html

Questions whether or not writers should have everything “mapped out” when they start writing the script or if they should just start writing without knowing what’s going to happen next.



The Heart and Soul of Screenwriting

http://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_BC_start.html

All about writing good dialogue and descriptions.



Entering Late, Leaving Early

Part 1: <LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.cyberfilmschool.com/filmmake … spx?id=141”>http://www.cyberfilmschool.com/filmmaker/article_detail.aspx?id=141</LINK_TEXT>

Part 2: <LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.cyberfilmschool.com/filmmake … spx?id=142”>http://www.cyberfilmschool.com/filmmaker/article_detail.aspx?id=142</LINK_TEXT>

All about making your scenes “more efficient”.



Making Screenplays Vertical

<LINK_TEXT text=“http://screenwritersutopia.com/modules. … e&pid=2698”>http://screenwritersutopia.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=2698</LINK_TEXT>

Talks about avoiding huge paragraphs when writing your action and descriptions.



Paralell Storytelling

http://www.scriptmag.com/earticles/earticle.php?535

Talks about juggling multiple main characters/storylines.



Whoa, Man … You’re Writing Her All Wrong!

http://www.scriptmag.com/earticles/earticle.php?534

Discusses writing compelling female characters and avoiding cliches.



Writing the Classic Movie Ending

http://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_BC_finish.html



Rewriting your Screenplay: The Road to your Audience

http://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_BC_rewrite.html

You guessed it, this article discusses the art of the rewrite as opposed to just rereading your script and fixing what you don’t like.



Great ExSPECtations

http://www.scriptmag.com/earticles/earticle.php?530

Various producers, writers, and agents discuss the art of writing a Spec Script.



10 Steps To Writing A Horror Screenplay

http://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_HH_horror.html



Protecting Your Work

http://www.isomedia.com/homes/screen/protect.htm

A pretty good rundown on WGAw registration and the U.S. Copyright Office.



[size=120]Exposure and Feedback[/size]



Script Swap

http://www.script-swap.com

One of the first places I posted my first script. You must read and review two member’s scripts before you can post yours.



Trigger Street.

http://www.triggerstreet.com

Same as above only I think you’ve only got to review one. Founded by Kevin Spacey.



SimplyScripts

http://www.simplyscripts.com

Tons of produced and un-produced screenplays here. Each un-produced script get’s it’s own topic on the site’s forum.


#2

Didn’t obviously read all of them, but those I read were very good. I like the thing about ‘vertical’ scripts, and I like the idea about grading your scenes to make them as good as possible. That is in fact a very, very good idea.


#3

DexPac… You are a GOD !!! :angel:


#4

[quote=“Dantes Inferno”]
Didn’t obviously read all of them, but those I read were very good. I like the thing about ‘vertical’ scripts, and I like the idea about grading your scenes to make them as good as possible. That is in fact a very, very good idea.
[/quote]

Yeah, I never realized that I’ve never actually done a rewrite until I read that one article. I’ve

always just gone back to the beginning of the document and started editing. So I started from

scratch again yesterday and even though I’m only about 21 pages into it I’ve already made a

lot of little changes that have improved the script tremendously.

[quote=“roulette67”]
DexPac… You are a GOD !!! :angel:
[/quote]

Nah, I’m just a humble mother fucker with a big dick.


#5

I’m hung like an African elephant. 8)


#6

"Agents and producers still preach the Gospel According to Syd Field; budding hacks clutch tattered copies of Field’s Screenplay and The Screenwriter’s Workbook, handy guides that boil down classics like Chinatown into the sort of paradigm charts you’d study in a Harvard Business School efficiency seminar. Ever watch a movie and get the feeling that you know exactly what’s going to happen? Well, you’re supposed to. A teacher and lecturer, Field isn’t famous for writing any landmark scripts of his own, just for telling Hollywood how to do it."



So true. I think some screenwriting tips are helpful, but in the end, only creativity can really help you. And that can’t be taught. But these tips are good, that’s not the point, the point was that screenwriting tips can be really stupid sometimes.



In my opinion, the best work comes when all the tips are second-nature or if you don’t know them at all.


#7

[quote=“Dantes Inferno”]
Didn’t obviously read all of them, but those I read were very good. I like the thing about ‘vertical’ scripts, and I like the idea about grading your scenes to make them as good as possible. That is in fact a very, very good idea.
[/quote]
Yeah, those were two of my favorites. Completely changed the way I write.

[quote=“Dantes Inferno”]
"Agents and producers still preach the Gospel According to Syd Field; budding hacks clutch tattered copies of Field’s Screenplay and The Screenwriter’s Workbook, handy guides that boil down classics like Chinatown into the sort of paradigm charts you’d study in a Harvard Business School efficiency seminar. Ever watch a movie and get the feeling that you know exactly what’s going to happen? Well, you’re supposed to. A teacher and lecturer, Field isn’t famous for writing any landmark scripts of his own, just for telling Hollywood how to do it."



So true. I think some screenwriting tips are helpful, but in the end, only creativity can really help you. And that can’t be taught. But these tips are good, that’s not the point, the point was that screenwriting tips can be really stupid sometimes.



In my opinion, the best work comes when all the tips are second-nature or if you don’t know them at all.
[/quote]

Yeah, there’s a lot of garbage out there. But at the same time there’s a lot of good stuff out there

too. It’s tricky sometimes trying to figure out who’s full of shit and who’s not. I thought about putting

a disclaimer at the top of the post telling people that each article is, for the most part, just one person’s opinions based on their own experiences but I thought it better just to make the info available and let people do with it what they want.


#8

I had a question. I am writing a script that i am going to try to sell this summer. I wanted to know if I could include copyrighted songs in the script, without getting the rights.


#9

Yeah, legally you can, but I’ve read that when trying to sell a spec script it’s kind of a no-no. You’re best bet is to only do it seldomly when it really helps the story and try to use songs most people will know.


#10

thanks for the info dex. Also had one more question if you would not mind answering it. How would i go about getting it copyrighted.


#11

To be perfectly honest once you’ve got the structure down you shouldn’t really read these “how to write screenplays” or “screenplay tips” stuff cause they all follow the same structure. If you wonder why most movies today are garbage, it’s because the people writing them follow the same codes and conventions. There’s a reason that some movies get praised for being inventive and another admonished for being cookie cutter. Look at the best picture race this year almost all of the films use very different devices than screenwriting experts will tell you too. Retrospect, non linear, etc etc.


#12

[quote=“Jjp”]
thanks for the info dex. Also had one more question if you would not mind answering it. How would i go about getting it copyrighted.
[/quote]

Here’s a pretty good article: <LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.filmscriptwriting.com/copyri … cript.html”>http://www.filmscriptwriting.com/copyrightingyourscript.html</LINK_TEXT>





Some people recommend going through the WGAw and having it registered there.

http://www.wga.org/subpage_register.aspx?id=1183



But really all you’d need to do is find a place on the internet to upload it. Once you upload something to most servers it marks the date you uploaded it. That’s really all the proof you need to verify in court that you wrote it first. Just make sure every time you upload a new draft you don’t save over the old draft or it will update the time-stamp.

[quote=“Noir_Fiction”]
To be perfectly honest once you’ve got the structure down you shouldn’t really read these “how to write screenplays” or “screenplay tips” stuff cause they all follow the same structure. If you wonder why most movies today are garbage, it’s because the people writing them follow the same codes and conventions. There’s a reason that some movies get praised for being inventive and another admonished for being cookie cutter. Look at the best picture race this year almost all of the films use very different devices than screenwriting experts will tell you too. Retrospect, non linear, etc etc.
[/quote]

Yeah these links are basically here to help people get a good grasp of the screenwriting format but all the best picture nominees follow most if not all of these guidelines. Whether a writer knows it or not most things he writes can be broken down into acts. What makes a script feel inventive and stand above the rest is a combination of unique and interesting characters being put through unique and interesting situations.



These links are designed to help you take your interesting characters/story and turn them into a proper screenplay. But, yeah, you’re right. Once you’ve read them and know the “rules” you really don’t need to read them again. Unless you forget. I’ve been writing for years and I still have to do a google search every now and then.


#13

[quote=“Noir_Fiction”]
To be perfectly honest once you’ve got the structure down you shouldn’t really read these “how to write screenplays” or “screenplay tips” stuff cause they all follow the same structure. If you wonder why most movies today are garbage, it’s because the people writing them follow the same codes and conventions. There’s a reason that some movies get praised for being inventive and another admonished for being cookie cutter. Look at the best picture race this year almost all of the films use very different devices than screenwriting experts will tell you too. Retrospect, non linear, etc etc.
[/quote]

Yea i definitely agree with you on that one. That is y i do not read books or articles onon how to write a script. Just on the structure and process.


#14

Also Dex what would you say the best way of going about selling a script would be. Also what would be the best way of going about getting funding for a script?


#15

Honestly, I still haven’t written something I feel confident enough about to go that far with. What you would start with is a Query Letter. It’s basically a one page letter where you do your best to convince a producer and/or agent that you and your script are worth looking at. If the person who reads your query letter likes what they’re reading they’ll ask to read your script. If they like the script they’ll pass it up the line to someone more important. If it makes it all the way to the person who makes the decisions they’ll either make you an offer or they’ll ask to meet you.



There’s sites out there that will mass e-mail your query letter to various studios for a price but I’ve never tried any of them so I couldn’t really recommend one. I’ll try to find some good articles on writing query letters but you really don’t need to worry about this yet. Take it one step at a time and just focus on your story for now.



Another way to get both exposure and funding is to enter screenwriting contests. Again, it’s gonna cost some money but most contests offer pretty decent rewards in the form of cash, exposure, representation, and sometimes even a guaranteed movie deal if you land in the top three. But like I said, just focus on writing the best script that you can for now. The odds of selling a script are slim without connections and the odds of selling your first script are even slimmer. Practice, practice, practice.


#16

Yea i have the entire story in my head, Had it up there for a few years actually, right now i am getting the story down in overview form. I wrote a few drafts of it before years ago but recently made it a whole lot more intelligent. Then i am going to write the script. I have had many script ideas before, finished a few, and scraped all them for the same reason i was not confident in them. This is the first script i feel fully confident in.


#17

Well, good luck, man. And don’t forget there’s more than a few good people here willing to read and give advice on whatever you write. If you feel comfortable sharing, of course.


#18

when i finish the story. Maybe i will send it to you and a few other people, but i just do not want to post it up here.


#19

I’ve lost all faith in the modern channels screenwriters use to get anywhere. I think the best way to really show you can write is to film it. Write a short get a camera and film it. Best representation of the written word and even if you’re not a filmmaker there’ll always be someone looking to direct.


#20

Well i have shot lots of short films. My plan is this try to get funding or sell the script this summer before i go to college. If it does sell or i get funding im not going to college. If i can not sell it or get funding go to college this year and save money. Then i am just going to go ahead and make it on 16mm on a low budget and try to sell the movie to a distributor. I want to be a “filmmaker” not a writer.