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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Discussion of...     General Chat  ›  Writer's write - Director's --- Moderators: bert
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Dustin
Posted: July 14th, 2019, 7:52am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from Anon
The best way in my experience so far is a good relationship with the director. Preferably for them to be involved with you in some of the development. When you, the director and sometimes a third party - be that producer or editor - can hammer things out everyoneís vision can be respected.


If the director is worth their salt, they couldn't care less what the writer thinks.


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eldave1
Posted: July 14th, 2019, 11:16am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
You're asking for a revolution that already exists.

If your concern is to see your story realised exactly as you write it you do one of two things:

1. Write a novel.
2. Film it yourself.



That was not my concern. I have no issue with Directors or Actors changing what is written in the script. I expect that changes will almost always happen and I expect in most instances it will happen for the better or at least be born of necessity (e.g., budget constraints, etc.).  

My rant was against the general paradigm that writer's should not do anything that might be construed to step on the director's or actor's toes, whether that be a camera placement, parenthetical or other convention.



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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JEStaats
Posted: July 14th, 2019, 12:42pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films

If your concern is to see your story realised exactly as you write it you do one of two things:


1. Write a novel.
2. Film it yourself.



3. Write a comic.
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ajr
Posted: July 14th, 2019, 1:27pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1


That was not my concern. I have no issue with Directors or Actors changing what is written in the script. I expect that changes will almost always happen and I expect in most instances it will happen for the better or at least be born of necessity (e.g., budget constraints, etc.).  

My rant was against the general paradigm that writer's should not do anything that might be construed to step on the director's or actor's toes, whether that be a camera placement, parenthetical or other convention.



Okay, so I misunderstood you, too. And I agree for the most part with Rick, I think you're asking for something that already exists. I think there is a difference between writing visually, and directing on the page. If you're going to direct - with a ton of SMASH CUTs and camera angles, then yes, I don't think anyone would disagree that you are stepping on the eventual director's toes, and you should just go out and film it yourself...

If you're writing visually - for instance, for me, I don't just describe the action, I write what I see in my mind's eye, and if that includes a relevant color blouse or drapes or a particular way that we see a character, because it's imbued in the narrative - then so be it.

AJR


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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eldave1
Posted: July 14th, 2019, 1:32pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ajr


Okay, so I misunderstood you, too. And I agree for the most part with Rick, I think you're asking for something that already exists. I think there is a difference between writing visually, and directing on the page. If you're going to direct - with a ton of SMASH CUTs and camera angles, then yes, I don't think anyone would disagree that you are stepping on the eventual director's toes, and you should just go out and film it yourself...

If you're writing visually - for instance, for me, I don't just describe the action, I write what I see in my mind's eye, and if that includes a relevant color blouse or drapes or a particular way that we see a character, because it's imbued in the narrative - then so be it.

AJR


It's the latter


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: July 14th, 2019, 1:35pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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5390
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Quoted from ajr


Okay, so I misunderstood you, too. And I agree for the most part with Rick, I think you're asking for something that already exists. I think there is a difference between writing visually, and directing on the page. If you're going to direct - with a ton of SMASH CUTs and camera angles, then yes, I don't think anyone would disagree that you are stepping on the eventual director's toes, and you should just go out and film it yourself...

If you're writing visually - for instance, for me, I don't just describe the action, I write what I see in my mind's eye, and if that includes a relevant color blouse or drapes or a particular way that we see a character, because it's imbued in the narrative - then so be it.

AJR


It's a style choice. If you're good enough to carry a camera angle or two, then do it. I have to admit to having done this myself very, very rarely in a screenplay. I write for an animation company and it's a requiremnt that I use camera shots in the script. Those are written in a different format to a screenplay... more like a corporate video script layout. However, parenthesis is one tool I utilise quite a lot in a screenplay. They can be used to convey mood, to underline something, or even as a quick action line. I love them.


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Warren
Posted: July 14th, 2019, 5:08pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JEStaats


3. Write a comic.


And have very deep pockets. It's a bloody expensive process, but really enjoyable.

I definitely donít have deep pockets but I'm slowly chipping away at it.


To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

My Website

My IMDb
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Dustin
Posted: July 14th, 2019, 5:20pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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https://www.dropbox.com/home/Screenplays?preview=Under+the+Bridge.pdf

The above link is a script I wrote recently for an actor friend... although he didn't want this in the end as it was too violent. Anyway, it's only 5 pages, but if you skip to the end you'll see I've used a camera shot... and I think it works.

The only people that I've ever known get hung up on stuff like that are other writers - usually because they do it different.


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MarkRenshaw
Posted: July 15th, 2019, 3:10am Report to Moderator
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The revolution is already here, you just need to work the system. The writer can put in every camera angle and tell every actor how to act in every scene. Itís the old show and tell - you just show them, what you donít do is tell them.

If you are working directly with an independent director/producer on a project, they donít care how you write the script at that point. You can write it in Morse code if you wanted to, as long as they understand what is going on in the scene and are on the same page (pun intended). They work so closely with you anyway, they know it inside out.

The advice, writers write and directors direct (as well as writers write and actors act) is mainly aimed at unknowns sending spec scripts to competitions and production companies. It is commonly used gauge for how amateur the writer appears to be, not necessarily true of course but it is a perception.

This is because professional screenwriter use various ways to secretly insert camera angles into their screenplays. What they do is simply describe the action in such a way that it can only be done from a certain camera angle but without describing the angle. For instance - in one screenplay (JONAH HEX), the action in one particular scene is described thus:

Stiff, pale FINGERS, grimy nails, slightly curled into an aborted clutch, leaving knuckle-wide trenches the mud..

As you can see here, this scene cannot be done without a close up of his fingers in the mud. The writers (Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor) have therefore sneaked in a few camera angles without actually saying so.

If a spec script uses the above, the script reader will be more impressed than:

EXTREME CLOSE-UP Ė MANíS FINGERS
PULL BACK to reveal etc.

They are also less likely to be taken out of the story, which is the key thing to avoid in all scripts. Anytime the reader leaves the story, the more likely it is you will lose them.

It a similar story with directing the actors. Professionals usually write the action which lays out what the actor does without being intrusive. For example:
DECK CADET
(bored)
I hate mopping floors.

Well, you donít really need to add the (bored) there at all and the dialogue is exposition. Imagine if you were an actor reading that? It really is an intrusive method.  So how about an intro to the cadet that lays it all out in a way the actor will appreciate like this:

A DECK CADET mops the floor. Since the birth of civilization someone has been mopping, and till humanityís dying day, there will be someone pushing a mop. Ė This is from the pilot script for the TV show The Expanse. Now this is an unfilmable but is there any doubt how the actor is going to act for the entire scene after reading that line? Plus, itís a far more interesting read than a (bored) cadet and doesnít take me out of the story.

So writers, my advice for you is to tell the director how to direct, tell the cinematographer how to light the scene, tell the actor how to act and even the sound guy what sounds to use; tell everyone how to do everything, but do it by being a writer. Put it all in the story.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: July 15th, 2019, 9:01am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1


That was not my concern. I have no issue with Directors or Actors changing what is written in the script. I expect that changes will almost always happen and I expect in most instances it will happen for the better or at least be born of necessity (e.g., budget constraints, etc.).  

My rant was against the general paradigm that writer's should not do anything that might be construed to step on the director's or actor's toes, whether that be a camera placement, parenthetical or other convention.




Ok, well in that case, I largely agree.

I think there are times when it's hard/next to impossible to portray what you really want to portray without using Camera directions.

For instance in one script I really wanted to make it clear that I saw the whole scene taking place in one shot.

I'm the same with "We sees" and "We hears" as well. Sometimes it is the best way IMO.


Actors directions are a little different...they generally hate being given road maps telling  them what they should feel at a certain point. It often leads to bad acting where they are forced to "represent" a certain emotion at a given time, rather than organically going with the flow and feeling what they feel as the scene plays out.

You see that a lot in cheap horror films where the actors are trying to display intense fear on demand, and it often feels awkward. It seems like bad acting, but it's really bad writing because they are being forced to hit emotions to a timescale.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: July 15th, 2019, 9:09am Report to Moderator
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@Mark.

I agree.

I've started using more prose in my writing simply as a way of telling the Production department, actors, Cinematographers etc what I want without having to explain it all.

They read it, get their own ideas..which are the ideas I planted..and everyone is already on the same page.

Writers will say it's overwritten, but it saves time later because the crew instantly get what I'm going for without long explanations.

Case in point: The Hyper Epics comic which visually was exactly like I pictured. That was because I described it fully. Screenwriters will always say it's overwritten, but I only care about getting the visuals across to the creative team. I respect writers opinion on the story, but they often don't get the need for the info for the collaborative team .
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eldave1
Posted: July 15th, 2019, 10:12am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from MarkRenshaw
The revolution is already here, you just need to work the system. The writer can put in every camera angle and tell every actor how to act in every scene. Itís the old show and tell - you just show them, what you donít do is tell them.

If you are working directly with an independent director/producer on a project, they donít care how you write the script at that point. You can write it in Morse code if you wanted to, as long as they understand what is going on in the scene and are on the same page (pun intended). They work so closely with you anyway, they know it inside out.

The advice, writers write and directors direct (as well as writers write and actors act) is mainly aimed at unknowns sending spec scripts to competitions and production companies. It is commonly used gauge for how amateur the writer appears to be, not necessarily true of course but it is a perception.

This is because professional screenwriter use various ways to secretly insert camera angles into their screenplays. What they do is simply describe the action in such a way that it can only be done from a certain camera angle but without describing the angle. For instance - in one screenplay (JONAH HEX), the action in one particular scene is described thus:

Stiff, pale FINGERS, grimy nails, slightly curled into an aborted clutch, leaving knuckle-wide trenches the mud..

As you can see here, this scene cannot be done without a close up of his fingers in the mud. The writers (Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor) have therefore sneaked in a few camera angles without actually saying so.

If a spec script uses the above, the script reader will be more impressed than:

EXTREME CLOSE-UP Ė MANíS FINGERS
PULL BACK to reveal etc.

They are also less likely to be taken out of the story, which is the key thing to avoid in all scripts. Anytime the reader leaves the story, the more likely it is you will lose them.

It a similar story with directing the actors. Professionals usually write the action which lays out what the actor does without being intrusive. For example:
DECK CADET
(bored)
I hate mopping floors.

Well, you donít really need to add the (bored) there at all and the dialogue is exposition. Imagine if you were an actor reading that? It really is an intrusive method.  So how about an intro to the cadet that lays it all out in a way the actor will appreciate like this:

A DECK CADET mops the floor. Since the birth of civilization someone has been mopping, and till humanityís dying day, there will be someone pushing a mop. Ė This is from the pilot script for the TV show The Expanse. Now this is an unfilmable but is there any doubt how the actor is going to act for the entire scene after reading that line? Plus, itís a far more interesting read than a (bored) cadet and doesnít take me out of the story.

So writers, my advice for you is to tell the director how to direct, tell the cinematographer how to light the scene, tell the actor how to act and even the sound guy what sounds to use; tell everyone how to do everything, but do it by being a writer. Put it all in the story.


Great post, Mark. Loved the last paragraph in particular.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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eldave1
Posted: July 15th, 2019, 10:14am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



Location
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films



Ok, well in that case, I largely agree.

I think there are times when it's hard/next to impossible to portray what you really want to portray without using Camera directions.

For instance in one script I really wanted to make it clear that I saw the whole scene taking place in one shot.

I'm the same with "We sees" and "We hears" as well. Sometimes it is the best way IMO.


Actors directions are a little different...they generally hate being given road maps telling  them what they should feel at a certain point. It often leads to bad acting where they are forced to "represent" a certain emotion at a given time, rather than organically going with the flow and feeling what they feel as the scene plays out.

You see that a lot in cheap horror films where the actors are trying to display intense fear on demand, and it often feels awkward. It seems like bad acting, but it's really bad writing because they are being forced to hit emotions to a timescale.


I think we are on the same page


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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eldave1
Posted: July 15th, 2019, 10:14am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



Location
Southern California
Posts
4901
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Quoted from Dustin
https://www.dropbox.com/home/Screenplays?preview=Under+the+Bridge.pdf

The above link is a script I wrote recently for an actor friend... although he didn't want this in the end as it was too violent. Anyway, it's only 5 pages, but if you skip to the end you'll see I've used a camera shot... and I think it works.

The only people that I've ever known get hung up on stuff like that are other writers - usually because they do it different.


Couldn't open this


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Anon
Posted: July 15th, 2019, 10:43am Report to Moderator
Been around a while


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Quoted from Dustin


If the director is worth their salt, they couldn't care less what the writer thinks.


Iím happy to say this is not my experience. And both directors are definitely worth their salt. But we all have different journeys.
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