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  Author    Constructive criticism  (currently 43579 views)
JSimon
Posted: June 2nd, 2015, 8:39pm Report to Moderator
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You simplify things because, and I'm sorry to say this again, but you like things broken down to neat little rules. But the fact is that circumstances vary and so what is a general rule does not apply in every circumstance.

It's true that a screenwriter must learn to conserve words, lines and space. It's something we learn in our early scripts and it's important.

But there ARE times that you need to artificially stretch the white space to convey the feeling of the time involved in the scene.

I'm not necessarily suggesting creating orphans, but you may have to use some technique which violates your maxim of conserving lines. A clever writer will do this when needed.

Yes, it's done in pro scripts, but it's not a matter of copying a pro script. It's a matter of writers coming to that same common sense conclusion on their own when as a writer they're trying to properly convey to a reader the time involved in the scene.
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 2nd, 2015, 11:06pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JSimon
You simplify things because, and I'm sorry to say this again, but you like things broken down to neat little rules. But the fact is that circumstances vary and so what is a general rule does not apply in every circumstance.

It's true that a screenwriter must learn to conserve words, lines and space. It's something we learn in our early scripts and it's important.

But there ARE times that you need to artificially stretch the white space to convey the feeling of the time involved in the scene.

I'm not necessarily suggesting creating orphans, but you may have to use some technique which violates your maxim of conserving lines. A clever writer will do this when needed.

Yes, it's done in pro scripts, but it's not a matter of copying a pro script. It's a matter of writers coming to that same common sense conclusion on their own when as a writer they're trying to properly convey to a reader the time involved in the scene.


Dude... really?  Did I not just say the same fucking thing?

OK, I give up.  You continue to want to argue every single little point you can possibly argue.

Write however you fucking want to.  Seriously...that's great.  Write in lines like, "Shit!", or "did he really just see that?", or how about, "did that really happen?".  If you think these kinds of ploys work for you, or if yuo want to purposely place poor, little, innocent orphans into your action/secription lines to pad the runtime...please do.  Thta's great.  That's super smart.  You'll sell scripts like there's no tomorrow.

Enjoy your rules and continue to try to polute the other writers into thinking this makes some kind of sense.

Great job, leading the blind...



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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rendevous
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 12:25am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale


Ren, hopefully, you can do the simple math...if not, I tried to lay it out there for you.


Oh I see. It's about math now. Do tell.

My breath is bated. My goat is tethered. Just off to get a pen, and a pad too. I'll be sure to pass on all your  pearls of wisdom to my local writing group.

Please, enlighten us all. Should I get my calculator? Probably not.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Any scene in any script should play out (in average) to 1 page equalling 1 minute of film time.  Whether you know it or not, it doesn't on a line by line or even page by page basis, and that's based on exactly what each line or page contains.


I didn't say that it did. But it can sometimes. That's your problem. You neglect to add script format and rules are flexible. Format is just a method to convey story. The story is the important bit.

But you're out by page one again, so you'll never know what the story was. No time, you see. Too busy. You're probably off saving animals at the vet. Or helping out at the local orphanage.

And you're babbling again. Always desperately reaching for another point to change the subject away from the fact you're way off. Add that up, Descartes.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Dialogue "can" take up more space on the page than it does on film, especially when you have multiple characters speaking in short, quick lines.


Fascinating. You'll start going on about gardening next. Have I told you about my roses?


Quoted from Dreamscale
Action "can" take up more time on film because of the visuals involved, but a big setpiece scene can also take up alot of space on the page, if the writer sets the scene and action correctly.


Wow. I was never sure. Thanks. Just writing it down now.

Your posts "can" bore the arse off. Why not go on about fonts, or the amount of letters on a line next. You seem to have forgotten your theme about math. It "can" happen occasionally. Now hurry up and get to some sort of decent point. I'm peckish, I might just open a "can" of soup.


Quoted from Dreamscale
All in all, in most cases, it's a great rule of thumb to plan for 1 page equalling 1 minute of film time, over the course of the entire script.


Yeah, thanks again, I know it is. I told you about it in my previous post.


Quoted from Dreamscale
But...what in the heck (no swearing) does that have to do with orphans?  Answer...nothing.


It's got a lot to do with it. You're scared to admit it. As I said earlier, format is flexible.

I was talking about pacing. So there's a few lines that have one or two words on them. Big deal. What will you put in all that saved space? If you're so desperate for space you could lose a few lines of dialogue. That'd save you way more. You talk about orphans as if they are a huge problem and sacriledge. A few don't make the slightest bit of difference.


Quoted from Dreamscale
And for features vs. shorts?  Really?  Again, try to do the math.  If you need to, use a calculator. It's pretty simple, 3rd or 4th grade stuff.  Every line you waste is 1 line you won't have as you near your page limit.


Really. I like the line about the calculator. It wasn't the slightest bit patronising or condescending. Worthy of Wilde.

Orphans take up one line, Fermat. Read what I said earlier about dialogue.

I mentioned feature length scripts as you were hugely exaggerating the amount of space you'd save. You're just obfuscating the point. Which is frankly typical. You can't bear to be corrected, or contradicted. Dedums.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Thank you very much!  I'll be back each night this week and look forward to seeing all your smiling faces in the audience.  


Oh. You seem to think you're at a comedy club. I can't wait until you start cracking the jokes. Now, I'm off to do some logarithms.

R


Out Of Character - updated


New Used Car

Green

Right Back

The Deuce - OWC - now on STS

Other scripts here
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 10:18am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from rendevous
Oh. You seem to think you're at a comedy club. I can't wait until you start cracking the jokes. Now, I'm off to do some logarithms.R


Dude, the true comedy is in your words. The problem is that it's not when you think you're being funny, though.  Your replies and nuggets of info are on the same level as a movie like "Up from the Depths" - so fucking bad, it's hilarious.

Can't wait to hear more from you, Renny.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Max
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 10:39am Report to Moderator
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Is all this really necessary?

This thread has turned into people trying to ONE-UP each other.


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Dustin
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 11:40am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Quoted from Max

This thread has turned into people trying to ONE-UP each other.


Oh no it hasn't.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 11:43am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin


Oh no it hasn't.




My scripts  HERE

The Elevator Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.  Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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Max
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 11:49am Report to Moderator
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It's just banter lads, just banter.


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JSimon
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 12:57pm Report to Moderator
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I happened to read Bert's script Mighty Fire today(will comment there later). And I read Dream's comment there. It really serves to illustrate the problem.

Bert is not a newb. He's a veteran writer and every single word is chosen carefully. He is perfectly and fully aware of every line he uses and he has a reason for using it.

It seems to be a again an example of Dream stopping his read on page one. His comments take Bert to task for "wasted lines".

Look, this kind of analysis is useful to new writers. But with veteran writers, they are using those lines precisely the way they intend to.

New writers overwrite things. Too much description, inefficient sentences, and yes, orphans. As a result a 100 pages script can easily become a 120 page slog to get through...not just because of the length, but because of the density.

Thus the maxim to learn how to conserve lines.

Which Dream takes and turns into a law. That's misguided, and EVERY veteran writer knows it.

Once you learn how to become almost perfectly efficient with your language and your lines, you may want to dedicate some of the lines to achieve some other effect. In the script Mighty Fire, Bert wanted to set the tone for his location, New Orleans, by putting a little flavor in his action lines at the beginning. It was clearly a conscious choice. Most readers reacted well to it. Only one reader was bothered by it. Predictably. So it was a smart choice.

Bert used this description: a man who knows where he's headed.

Of course that's technically unfilmable. And of course Bert, a veteran writer, knew this when he wrote it. He did not do so capriciously. It cost him a line of space, and it was a line he was willing to spend out of his budget of lines. And it's not even truly unfilmable. If he had said "a man walks down the street thinking of killing his wife when he got home"...that's unfilmable. But we can picture the man Bert describes. He's a man on a mission. Perfectly fine.

This is the problem with taking general rules and turning them into laws as though this were computer code.

Is it a problem for Dream to point these things out? No. And it can be helpful. But it IS a problem when he stops on page one of scripts written by quality writers and insults the writer by calling it crap. Pia has a longer IMDB list of scripts filmed than everyone here combined. But he stopped his read on her OWC on page one! Ah, Houston we have a problem when that happens. When a reviewer calls a script crap for reasons that have nothing to do with the story or the clarity of the writing, that's a problem. For new writers, I suggest following his advice...until you level up. Then you'll see for yourself what makes sense and what doesn't.
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DanC
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 1:26pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JSimon
I happened to read Bert's script Mighty Fire today(will comment there later). And I read Dream's comment there. It really serves to illustrate the problem.

Bert is not a newb. He's a veteran writer and every single word is chosen carefully. He is perfectly and fully aware of every line he uses and he has a reason for using it.

It seems to be a again an example of Dream stopping his read on page one. His comments take Bert to task for "wasted lines".

Look, this kind of analysis is useful to new writers. But with veteran writers, they are using those lines precisely the way they intend to.

New writers overwrite things. Too much description, inefficient sentences, and yes, orphans. As a result a 100 pages script can easily become a 120 page slog to get through...not just because of the length, but because of the density.

Thus the maxim to learn how to conserve lines.

Which Dream takes and turns into a law. That's misguided, and EVERY veteran writer knows it.

Once you learn how to become almost perfectly efficient with your language and your lines, you may want to dedicate some of the lines to achieve some other effect. In the script Mighty Fire, Bert wanted to set the tone for his location, New Orleans, by putting a little flavor in his action lines at the beginning. It was clearly a conscious choice. Most readers reacted well to it. Only one reader was bothered by it. Predictably. So it was a smart choice.

Bert used this description: a man who knows where he's headed.

Of course that's technically unfilmable. And of course Bert, a veteran writer, knew this when he wrote it. He did not do so capriciously. It cost him a line of space, and it was a line he was willing to spend out of his budget of lines. And it's not even truly unfilmable. If he had said "a man walks down the street thinking of killing his wife when he got home"...that's unfilmable. But we can picture the man Bert describes. He's a man on a mission. Perfectly fine.

This is the problem with taking general rules and turning them into laws as though this were computer code.

Is it a problem for Dream to point these things out? No. And it can be helpful. But it IS a problem when he stops on page one of scripts written by quality writers and insults the writer by calling it crap. Pia has a longer IMDB list of scripts filmed than everyone here combined. But he stopped his read on her OWC on page one! Ah, Houston we have a problem when that happens. When a reviewer calls a script crap for reasons that have nothing to do with the story or the clarity of the writing, that's a problem. For new writers, I suggest following his advice...until you level up. Then you'll see for yourself what makes sense and what doesn't.



I see what you are saying.  But, I have a few questions:
1.  When Bert writes "A man who knows where he's headed" couldn't that be a cue for the ACTOR to walk arrogantly?  There are different ways to walk down a street or interact with people.  While those words are unfilmable, the actor knows the motivation for the scene, if not the entire story.  So, isn't that kind of aside important?

I always was under the impression that a screenplay was about the story, including what and how the characters act.  I'm not saying that we say "he raises his left and and sips the tea four times," but, to say he proudly walks down the street as opposed to he gingerly walks down the street is a huge difference.

Having filmed my thesis myself, it is hard for the director if you are too specific.  Saying he has an AC/DC shirt on with a multi-colored tie, gray jacket, and black pants with stripes, red socks and blue sneakers is certainly overkill.  However, wearing an AC/DC shirt, heavy metal spike band, long greasy hair, ripped faded jeans, and smells of refer does tell a story.  We can infer that he likes heavy metal, loves AC/DC, most likely doesn't like authority, and might have a drug problem.  The director can easily put the cig in his mouth.  

I guess my point is that what one person might see as an aside or not important unfilmable might be another's depth of a scene or character.  It might be unfilmable, but, at the same time, the actor might know exactly what the writer envisioned for the role.  Especially nowadays where a person living in the Outback could option a story that is produced in Seattle, but, shot in Vancouver, Canada.  Since it is unlikely that the writer would fly out to Seattle or Vancouver, the only way to get their vision would be to let them know.

I wonder how many times a bad movie from a great script happens b/c the vision the writer has wasn't conveyed clearly enough to match with what the director felt.  

If I envision a smarty pants heavy metal junkie with a good heart, but, the director sees a down to earth introvert who dreams of bunnies on unicorns, you get a very different movie.  


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

Thanks
Dan
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 1:34pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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JSimon just literally cannot stop talking about me.  Dude, what is it with you?

He also can't stop bringing up rules and now laws, even.

It's getting kind of creepy, dude.  It's like every single one of your posts, you bring me into it and then you bring in your rules and laws you like to dscuss.

It's getting old.  Please try and move on to something else, other than me.  Is that asking too much?


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Max
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 1:37pm Report to Moderator
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Does Dreamscale have any produced credits? Would like to check them out.

I can't believe Pia actually got Rishi from Emmerdale into one of her scripts, lol.

That's quality.


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Dreamscale
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 1:50pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Everyone can feel free to completely ignore my comments and feedback.  I have no problem with that.

Instead, listen to the likes of JSimon and Rendevous.  Good luck...see where that gets you.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Max
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 2:38pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DanC



I see what you are saying.  But, I have a few questions:
1.  When Bert writes "A man who knows where he's headed" couldn't that be a cue for the ACTOR to walk arrogantly?  There are different ways to walk down a street or interact with people.  While those words are unfilmable, the actor knows the motivation for the scene, if not the entire story.  So, isn't that kind of aside important?

I always was under the impression that a screenplay was about the story, including what and how the characters act.  I'm not saying that we say "he raises his left and and sips the tea four times," but, to say he proudly walks down the street as opposed to he gingerly walks down the street is a huge difference.

Having filmed my thesis myself, it is hard for the director if you are too specific.  Saying he has an AC/DC shirt on with a multi-colored tie, gray jacket, and black pants with stripes, red socks and blue sneakers is certainly overkill.  However, wearing an AC/DC shirt, heavy metal spike band, long greasy hair, ripped faded jeans, and smells of refer does tell a story.  We can infer that he likes heavy metal, loves AC/DC, most likely doesn't like authority, and might have a drug problem.  The director can easily put the cig in his mouth.  

I guess my point is that what one person might see as an aside or not important unfilmable might be another's depth of a scene or character.  It might be unfilmable, but, at the same time, the actor might know exactly what the writer envisioned for the role.  Especially nowadays where a person living in the Outback could option a story that is produced in Seattle, but, shot in Vancouver, Canada.  Since it is unlikely that the writer would fly out to Seattle or Vancouver, the only way to get their vision would be to let them know.

I wonder how many times a bad movie from a great script happens b/c the vision the writer has wasn't conveyed clearly enough to match with what the director felt.  

If I envision a smarty pants heavy metal junkie with a good heart, but, the director sees a down to earth introvert who dreams of bunnies on unicorns, you get a very different movie.  


I don't think it's THAT unfilmable, if a man is walking like he's on a mission... or walking like he knows where he's headed it's like... a very solid stride, military fashion... a look of complete focus on the face, no wasted movement... just efficient stepping.

It works for me but it just depends on who you are.

The actor would know not to skip down the street for instance, he would know not to flail his arms around ect, or walk slowly ect.


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bert
Posted: June 3rd, 2015, 9:16pm Report to Moderator
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So, while studiously avoiding a very tedious discussion of orphans, it seems I missed a very interesting post.  At least, to me, anyway.  The primary focus being this seemingly innocuous turn of a phrase:


Quoted from JSimon
...a man who knows where he's headed.


I have to say, I agree with JSimon on pretty much all counts.  I did a few things in Mighty Fire exactly as he describes, for exactly the purposes he describes.  He gets me haha!  Which I find strangely gratifying.  So thanks for that.

As to the issue of Dreamscale, I know he dislikes my work for the most part, which is fine, because he is not my target audience.    

There are plenty of issues where Dreamscale and I have agreed to disagree.  He brings value with some of his comments, but many of his views are outdated.  He refuses to believe this because he adamantly refuses to read recent spec scripts.

He does watch a ton of movies -- and while that may be useful on some levels -- I consider it a flawed approach.  He disagrees with me, of course, as I disagree with him, but we pretty much leave it at that.

If you want to write a comfortable old Chevy that runs just fine, Dreamscale can get you there.  But if you want to write a Lamborghini that makes people drool, you are going to have to step outside of Dreamscale's comfort zone.

I don't discuss the "rules" much anymore.  I have discussed them to death over the years, and nobody ever changes anybody's mind, anyway.  Fact is, you have to change your own mind, which takes time and experience.

Read the new scripts that are selling.  Find those Blacklist scripts every year.  Decide for yourself what works and what doesn't work.  Then adjust your understanding of the "rules" accordingly.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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