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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Discussion of...     General Chat  ›  Writer's write - Director's --- Moderators: bert
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  Author    Writer's write - Director's ---  (currently 1117 views)
eldave1
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 7:04pm Report to Moderator
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So, been on this site for awhile, have read a ton of screen writing articles, etc. and I constantly come across the old platitude akin to:

Writer's write - let the Director decide this or that. Or let the Actor decide this or that.

I've never quite understood why we are at the bottom of the food chain.

I've had three shorts filmed, one feature in option, blah blah blah and noted that apparently:

Directors don't just direct - they write. Actors don't just act - they write. At least in my experience, they had no qualms about changing the writing, deleting scenes, adding scenes, etc, etc.. Why are their roles so sacrosanct and we ain't shit?

How dare a writer writer include a camera direction? How dare a writer include a parenthetical stating how they see a line being delivered.  But Directors and Actors have free reign to say how a script is written. They don't just direct or act - they write.

Every time I hear - that's the Director's job - my gut instinct is - well, fok em.

Is it just me?

I want a revolution in this regard.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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LC
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 7:20pm Report to Moderator
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Ha, made me laugh. I'm with you in the revolt, Dave.

I especially love when Director's give themselves 'Writer' credits when they change a word or two, without running it by us, of course. And there it is on the IMDb!

I also live in the land of reality. They are the ones making the film. As soon as we sign, seems they can do what they like.

The only thing you can do is write it as you envisage it and hope for the best.


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eldave1
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 7:45pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
Ha, made me laugh. I'm with you in the revolt, Dave.

I especially love when Director's give themselves 'Writer' credits when they change a word or two, without running it by us, of course. And there it is on the IMDb!

I also live in the land of reality. They are the ones making the film. As soon as we sign, seems they can do what they like.

The only thing you can do is write it as you envisage it and hope for the best.


Yes - we still have "hope"

I remember reading an article how actors hate emotional instruction in parentheticals. Something akin to they don't want to be told how to do their job by the screenwriter.  Conversely, they seem to have no problem doing the writer's job by changing lines or inventing their own.

WRITERS RULE!!


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Warren
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 8:01pm Report to Moderator
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The entire script is us telling the actor what to do, ridiculous to think that a line has been crossed with a wylie.

Write your script the way you see it. Once someone pays for it they can do what they want.


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FrankM
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 8:05pm Report to Moderator
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About emotional instructions, the typical advice is ďshow, donít tellĒ meaning the writer is expected to avoid saying (surprised) and instead give far more specific direction such as (raises eyebrows). The former seems to be putting more faith in the actor.

I try to restrict wrylies to when the straight text doesnít seem to convey what Iím actually trying to convey. Donít know any actors, so donít know what counts as obvious for subtext.


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eldave1
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 8:27pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from FrankM
About emotional instructions, the typical advice is ďshow, donít tellĒ meaning the writer is expected to avoid saying (surprised) and instead give far more specific direction such as (raises eyebrows). The former seems to be putting more faith in the actor.

I try to restrict wrylies to when the straight text doesnít seem to convey what Iím actually trying to convey. Donít know any actors, so donít know what counts as obvious for subtext.


I'm just using that (parenthetical) micro example ti support a macro complaint. But following up your premise - yeah - that's what folks say - my point being -  here's the deal actor dude - I won't write that you should raise your effing eyebrows if you agree not to change my effing words.

REVOLUTION!  



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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LC
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 8:32pm Report to Moderator
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Speaking of 'emotional instructions' I wrote this in my tournament entry:

Sheís the most beautiful girl heís ever laid eyes on.
Deliberately. I knew it might be criticised etc.

Sure enough, Warren responded with:
I donít think this aside adds much as there is no way for us to know that.

Warren, of all people ( Crazy In Love).

In my opinion the line, though you could argue ' technically unfilmable' is filmable if a good actor takes in that info. We've all been in that love at first sight moment. I wanted to create mood/romance, vibe, for that first moment he sees her, and it was also an instruction to the actor  without writing a specific wrylie e.g. (besotted). That wrylie may have worked but imho it was not enough, and I wanted a broader brushstroke.

Along the same lines:

https://gointothestory.blcklst.....ription-ece00225eb81

Too much info conveyed in the written word? Hmm, I think it works.
It's all about balance I suppose and not laying instruction on too thick, but more conveying the emotional component of a scene and 'inside the character'.


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Angry Bear
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 8:50pm Report to Moderator
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This is why I suggest every writer should try to film something that they have written. Even if just with a cell phone. It will give a a LOT better understanding of how a film comes together  and how it goes from script to film. It ain't as easy as most writers think.  


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Warren
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 9:01pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
Speaking of 'emotional instructions' I wrote this in my tournament entry:

Sheís the most beautiful girl heís ever laid eyes on.
Deliberately. I knew it might be criticised etc.

Sure enough, Warren responded with:
I donít think this aside adds much as there is no way for us to know that.

Warren, of all people ( Crazy In Love).

In my opinion the line, though you could argue ' technically unfilmable' is filmable if a good actor takes in that info. We've all been in that love at first sight moment. I wanted to create mood/romance, vibe, for that first moment he sees her, and it was also an instruction to the actor  without writing a specific wrylie e.g. (besotted). That wrylie may have worked but imho it was not enough, and I wanted a broader brushstroke.

Along the same lines:

https://gointothestory.blcklst.....ription-ece00225eb81

Too much info conveyed in the written word? Hmm, I think it works.
It's all about balance I suppose and not laying instruction on too thick, but more conveying the emotional component of a scene and 'inside the character'.


I've said it many times that I love a good unfilmable or aside if it adds to the read, I still don't believe that does. There is just no way that info is aiding a visual or translating to the screen, in my opinion, which isn't always right.

I've used something like "he's clearly never struggled for a meal" that directly relates to the visual of someone being fat, but it's still an aside or unfilmable.

I also don't understand how your quoted line is an emotional instruction, no mater what the actor does, there is no way for the audience to know she's the most beautiful girl he's ever laid eyes on. I also think this is the kind of moment you want to write the way you want it seen, what is actually happening to show this?

I have explained this very use of asides and unfilmables in this WT, I think in a response to something Rick said.

EDIT: I just read Crazy in Love again, I think I use 2 or 3 asides, all directly relate to the visual, so I'm not sure what the comparison was?



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Warren  -  July 12th, 2019, 11:04pm
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LC
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 9:21pm Report to Moderator
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Well, you're absolutely entitled to your opinion, Warren. We just differ on that specific example. Imh, an actor reads that line he knows what the character is feeling and it should colour his tone and delivery, and it ideally will come across in the way he interacts with the other character.

Btw, sometimes things get lost via online communication. In no way do I, did I, feel slighted by your comment.

Opinions will always vary no matter what we write. OWCs are a testament to that. I wholeheartedly agree with the 'in'it' line btw, that was definitely a minor blunder in tone.

Anyway, enough about me.  


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Warren
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 9:37pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
Well, you're absolutely entitled to your opinion, Warren. We just differ on that specific example. Imh, an actor reads that line he knows what the character is feeling and it should colour his tone and delivery, and it ideally will come across in the way he interacts with the other character.

Btw, sometimes things get lost via online communication. In no way do I, did I, feel slighted by your comment.

Opinions will always vary no matter what we write. OWCs are a testament to that. I wholeheartedly agree with the 'in'it' line btw, that was definitely a minor blunder in tone.

Anyway, enough about me.  


I like the discussion, that's what it's all about.


Quoted Text
Charlie sits in front of a doe-eyed brunette woman, STELLA,
29. Sheís the most beautiful girl heís ever laid eyes on.

Charlie and Stella just stare at one another. Charlie drums
his fingers on the table nervously.


This is the line in question, and the surrounding lines. There is literally no indication of what Charlie is doing or how this being the most beautiful girl he's ever seen is impacting him. The next line is they "just stare at one another". You are asking a lot of the actor and giving him nothing.

We will definitely disagree here, but the reason I'm going further into it is because I think people sometimes think I'll just point anything and everything out in a script, that's just not true. I honestly feel this aside adds nothing and it has no visual to bounce off.

We don't have to agree, but I hope people understand what I mean.


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LC
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 10:02pm Report to Moderator
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The first line I'm keeping.

The second line -

Charlie and Stella just stare at one another...

- clearly could be a better.With more time and review it would have been. It should indicate Charlie's POV really then flit back and forth, cause really if Stella's staring it's only cause she's waiting for him to do his stuff, turn on the charm, give her the big sell.

Something like: Charlie, captivated by Stella, can't take his eyes off her.
Or: For a moment he's struck dumb by her beauty, can't find the words...

I love this script, below. So many asides, verging on irritating to some I'm sure:

500 Days Of Summer

And in walks this girl. Summer. Weíve met her by now but Tom
hasnít. This is the first time. His eyes go wide and from
that moment on, he canít take them off her.


The style and format works for me and it translated to film very well.

P.S.

https://www.scriptslug.com/script/500-days-of-summer-2009

P.P.S.
I just want to add:

Reading a screenplay compared to a novel can sometimes be a pretty dry and dull affair. How great is it then when we read a screenplay and it gives us the same feeling of escape a novel can. That's down to the material but also the skill of the writer to inject flourishes/asides, tricks, emotion by whatever means, long as it's not overdone (too novelistic).




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LC  -  July 12th, 2019, 10:24pm
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Warren
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 10:39pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
The first line I'm keeping.

The second line -

Charlie and Stella just stare at one another...

- clearly could be a better.With more time and review it would have been. It should indicate Charlie's POV really then flit back and forth, cause really if Stella's staring it's only cause she's waiting for him to do his stuff, turn on the charm, give her the big sell.

Something like: Charlie, captivated by Stella, can't take his eyes off her.
Or: For a moment he's struck dumb by her beauty, can't find the words...

I love this script, below. So many asides, verging on irritating to some I'm sure:

500 Days Of Summer

And in walks this girl. Summer. Weíve met her by now but Tom
hasnít. This is the first time. His eyes go wide and from
that moment on, he canít take them off her.


The style and format works for me and it translated to film very well.

P.S.

https://www.scriptslug.com/script/500-days-of-summer-2009

P.P.S.
I just want to add:

Reading a screenplay compared to a novel can sometimes be a pretty dry and dull affair. How great is it then when we read a screenplay and it gives us the same feeling of escape a novel can. That's down to the material but also the skill of the writer to inject flourishes/asides, tricks, emotion by whatever means, long as it's not overdone (too novelistic).



On the quoted txt from 500 days of summer, I'm completely fine with that, the aside bounces off the visual. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Not sure how it relates to what I'm saying though in terms of your line.

I also completely agree with the last paragraph, but the line in question doesn't do that, for me at least. It doesn't add emotion, you're telling us something that you have not shown us in any way.

Anyway... going round in circles now. We agree to disagree on this one. But be warned writer, if you put a pointless aside (IMO) in a script for an OWC or WT I will pounce :p


To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

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Zack
Posted: July 12th, 2019, 11:37pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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I always imagine myself as the director, so I try to write with that mindset. I'm also completely delusional.


MY RATING SYSTEM

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Arundel
Posted: July 13th, 2019, 2:42am Report to Moderator
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The most recent script I've posted on here...

https://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/dog.pdf

...originally had several large chunks of introspection. I revised as best I could or totally removed because i wanted to bypass what I knew would be the usual suspects.

I really don't care as much for the version that appears here now.

Most times I can write just to the point and plan to in the future, just not so much this one.  I'll probably put the stuff back in if I decide to post it elsewhere.
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