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There's been some debate recently about what's a good length for a Spec Feature Script and other such queries... Anyhow, the following three links give some information about formatting a script correctly for submission to a studio.
One of them is a good article from screenwriter Terry Rossio about the time he spent working as a 'reader.' He put together a checklist about what he was looking for in a script - this checklist is now used as a standard tool for other readers at, at least, one Production Company...
Anyway, they answer a lot of the questions that are raised multiple times here... Maybe worth giving it a read before posting a question and creating another duplicate thread...
Read Final Draft scripts in this free viewer without having to buy the software. Like Adobe's pdf reader, you can't do anything besides look, but it opens up some possibly unavailable scripts to you to read.
Fully self-contained program that proclaims to not only set out fully formatted feature scripts but also do more...
(Note: It looks as if this program will be a bit of a bitch to learn, but the PDF's on the site seem to show that the results look pretty good when you know your way around... I don't really have the time to give it a test ride and report back so perhaps someone else can try.)
Looks like a pretty comprehensive program - from the site:
"RoughDraft is a freeware word processor for Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP. Although suitable for general use, it has features specifically designed for creative writing: novels, short stories, articles, plays and screenplays. It's designed to be as practical as possible, offering all the features you need, but without being complicated or awkward to use."
"The following set of instructions, for use within your normal word processing program, will set up a blank document with a title page, page number, standard screenplay font, and macros that allow you switch between dialogue margins and action margins. It will not help you create a story, type character names, or add "continueds" or page breaks. These things you have to do yourself. "
With your help this could be a useful thread - if anyone finds a good article on their web travels and lists it here... I can always update this first post... It could serve as an FAQ and might stop multiple threads about the same question.
I - Supplication II - Deliverance III - Vengeance of a crime IV - Vengeance taken for kindred upon kindred V - Pursuit VI - Disaster VII - Falling prey to cruelty or misfortune VIII - Revolt IX - Daring enterprise X - Abduction XI - The Enigma XII - Obtaining XIII - Enmity of kinsmen XIV - Rivalry of kinsmen XV - Murderous adultery XVI - Madness XVII - Fatal imprudence XVIII - Involuntary crimes of love XIX - Slaying of a kinsman unrecognised XX - Self-sacrificing for an ideal XXI - Self-sacrifice for kindred XXII - All sacrificed for a passion XXIII - Necessity of sacrificing loved ones XXIV - Rivalry of superior and inferior XXV - Adultery XXVI - Crimes of love XXVII - Discovery of the dishonour of a loved one XXVIII - Obstacles to love XXIX - An enemy loved XXX - Ambition XXXI - Conflict with a god XXXII - Mistaken jealousy XXIII - Erroneous judgement XXXIV - Remorse XXXV - Recovery of a lost one XXXVI - Loss of loved ones
I would like to recommend this article to all the writers willing to improve their craft. Many tips for writing tighter and clearer descriptions, which I found quite useful; I hope they're useful to you as well.
The above web site is a treasure trove for screenwriters; which contains sections for:
Latest News Calendar Membership Writing Tips Writer's Store Contact Us Contest Info Bulletin Board
The Tennessee Screenwriting Association holds an annual screenwriting competition; the current closing date for Entries must not have been optioned or sold prior to December 17, 2006. You?ll find more information on their web site above.
You'll also discover a wealth of information about writing screenplays in the Witing Tips and articles. They also have a archive for previous articles and writing tips.
You can also download a Story Premise Worksheet The Story Premise Worksheet is a great tool. When used properly, it forces you to identify the most basic elements of your story. The Story Premise Worksheet is in Microsoft Word doc format.
Screenplay Formatting: Word as a screenwriting Processor. Maybe you don't need to spend high dollar for your writing?
The Spark of Creation Where do our story ideas come from?
Idea Generation Can't come up with any new story ideas? Sure you can. Here's a great place to start
Making 3-Dimensional Characters Need guidelines on character generation? This is a great place to start.
The First 10 Minutes How important are the first 10 pages of any screenplay? This session answered that question.
SILENT AFFAIR: Diary of a Screenplay We followed one film on its journey from brain to screen. Writer/creator Alan McKenna shares elements on the way to the finished feature.
SHORTS: Screenwriters on making short films Have you ever considered shooting a short film? You know, just to get something done or possibly get your foot in the door? The TSA had a sobering discussion on the topic.
CRITICAL DECISIONS : The Structure of THE MATRIX Consider your story as a series of 8 short segments separated by your protagonists critical decision making. The TSA briefly examined this structure using the blockbuster film THE MATRIX. This concept was later clarified by Robert Franke so may not be totally accurate.
This is a great web site full of interesting information and resources for screenwriters and even sells books by some of it's members and contributors. Well worth a visit.
APRIL Essentially, any draft that hasn't been paid for. Any draft to be sent to agents, studio execs, production companies, development people. Those are writer's drafts. And they all should be FIRST DRAFTs, no matter how many versions the writer has actually written.
JOE You really think so?
APRIL That's my recommendation.
Always a first draft no matter how many drafts you've written? This from the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Science. What do you all think?
He's saying that no matter how many drafts you've actually written, the one you send in should be labelled your first draft.
He's saying that you should pretend that you can knock out work of your highest quality on your first attempt, rather than telling the truth and showing them it's taken you 3 years and 22 drafts to get to that quality.
At least, that's what I took from it.
So you send them your best work (the seventh draft say) but make sure it says First Draft on the cover.