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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Screenwriting Class  ›  Capitalization of sounds and props. Moderators: George Willson
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  Author    Capitalization of sounds and props.  (currently 304 views)
Warren
Posted: January 17th, 2019, 7:13pm Report to Moderator
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Thought this was worth sharing/discussing.

I lifted it from a screenwriting FB page with permission from the writer.

He is a successful, paid writer/actor.

Here is his IMDb if anyone is interested in who these comments belong to:


https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0844554/

"Got a personal message asking about capitalizing sounds and props and putting in perspectives of what is seen, close ups to reveal… Or pull backs to reveal… using camera term visuals to advance story… thought it would be better to answer it here.

Ready?

A spec script… is not a shooting script… it’s not a sold script… it’s a script you got paid to write… it’s your original script you wrote on your own (I’m not counting ridiculous fan film scripts that are colossal waste of time) and…

Its purpose is not to go immediately to the screen as is (sorry). It’s MEANT TO BE READ. For the reader, hopefully a producer or rep, of your film or pilot to PLAY OUT the way you want it to be in their heads. It’s all about story. Nothing else.

But Bob, I read scripts where the sounds and props are capitalized. Those WERE NOT the spec versions of the script. Those are capitalized in the SOLD GREENLIT scripts so the sound and prop departments know what’s expected of them in production and post production.

There are NO sound and prop departments in your spec. There’s no one to alert to these things because they don’t exist. And they won’t until your script is sold and greenlit. All capitalizing these things does IS take WHOEVER is READING out of the STORY and making them think, “What the fuck?” Not a good thing. Don’t do it. Strictly an amateur move.

Camera terms. First of all… There is NO director to offend. By the time a director is hired the producer will have had the script rewritten half a dozen times or more. If they leave the camera terms in, (some have for me), no director is going to care and will do what they want anyway when they rewrite it another dozen times.

Personally, I use things like Pull Back and Close Up or Drone Shot, if I need for the READER to see what I want them to see. I use them very sparingly and only to tell the screen story I’m trying to tell. And yes, there are other ways to do it that don’t use these terms… and feel free to use those. But, if you’re telling a story they can’t put down, they don’t care. Don’t use them every page. Only to advance the story. Gurus will say “Never do this, they’ll set your script on fire.” That’s bullshit. You’re describing a MOVIE. It’s visual. Again, you can do this sparingly and no one will care.

Ok. Gurus… let me have it." - Bob Saenz



To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

My Website

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Warren  -  January 17th, 2019, 11:56pm
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eldave1
Posted: January 18th, 2019, 12:16pm Report to Moderator
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It is interesting.  

I think he is technically incorrect.

SOUNDS

Most spec scripts have key sounds capped and most screenwriting resources/books instruct to do so. Guess if there was some source someone could quote that says never CAP these I would listen. His logic is also flawed. e.g., "There are no sound departments at the time you write the script so don't cap sounds." Is akin to saying there are no cameras when you first write you script so never use a POV shot.

MY OWN GUIDELINE

Cap sounds when needed to establish tone or the nature of the character's reaction to the sound.

e.g., if my character is in the kitchen at a dinette I probably wouldn't CAP the whistling of a teapot. Conversely, if my character is in the living room fighting with his wife I might go with the WHISTLING of teapot if it interrupts that fight. Gunshots are another obvious one - if in my mind they making the character react (startled) that BANG is going to be CAPPED.

CAPPING PROPS

Same as above. I do think this is way overdone - but shouldn't be viewed as forbidden. CAP them when needed to establish tone or the nature of the character's reaction to seeing the object.

CAMERA TERMS

Generally agree with the sentiment - but hate seeing it in the form of a rule. Most of the camera terms I see are not needed.  Same for the "We sees, We hear...and when used I prefer the you to the we.

Something I copied from the internet long ago.


Quoted Text
INT. BEDROOM — NIGHT

You open your eyes. You slap your feet on the ground. You peer
through the darkness. And with your first waking moment, you
know you are screwed.


And I loved it.

TITLE CARDS AND CREDITS

I never understood why writers put these in, simply because they derail the read IMO.

My least favorite platitude is that write a script this way or that way because it is a visual medium. IMO that is horseshit. Movies are a visual (and audio) medium. SCRIPTS are an imagination medium.

Whatever it takes to get your reader to imagine what you are trying to convey use. If that involves CAPPED sounds or props or the use of a camera direction than so be it.



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Warren
Posted: January 18th, 2019, 3:26pm Report to Moderator
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The longer I do this screenwriting thing the less concerned I get about 'rules'. And the more produced scripts I read, it's really easy to see that there are so many ways to write a screenplay. These days I generally do what I feel is best for the story.

I thought this was an interesting comment because this guy is actually making a living from screenwriting. That being said, I go back to my previous comment about how varied scripts can be.

Just food for thought


To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

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Max Ruddock
Posted: January 18th, 2019, 4:02pm Report to Moderator
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I tend to only read produced scripts for a few reasons, and like Warren I've seen so much variety in how the writers tell a story.

Personally, I just go off what I see coming from professionals rather than what so called gurus say nowadays.
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FrankM
Posted: January 18th, 2019, 4:44pm Report to Moderator
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There is a problem with only looking at produced scripts... you generally don't know what it looked like when it was a spec. Some are commissioned and never had a spec stage.

I'd love to see a pile of produced scripts in their spec form, though I can imagine that producers might hesitate to publicize the sausagemaking that goes into getting a script ready for production.


Family feature: Who Wants to Be a Princess? Latest draft (6/2019)
Horror anthology/feature: Glass House Latest draft (2/2019)
Sci-Fi short trilogy: Timmy
Comedy short: Feedback
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eldave1
Posted: January 18th, 2019, 4:49pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Warren
The longer I do this screenwriting thing the less concerned I get about 'rules'. And the more produced scripts I read, it's really easy to see that there are so many ways to write a screenplay. These days I generally do what I feel is best for the story.

I thought this was an interesting comment because this guy is actually making a living from screenwriting. That being said, I go back to my previous comment about how varied scripts can be.

Just food for thought


Agree 100%


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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James McClung
Posted: January 18th, 2019, 9:25pm Report to Moderator
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I've been out the game for a minute. Has capitalizing sounds/props been purported (recently or otherwise) as something you're "supposed to" do as a regular course of screenwriting? I've never heard that before. I've capped sounds from time to time for dramatic effect but never for the sake of following any supposed "rules." Can't say the idea strikes me as all that useful.


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Demento
Posted: January 18th, 2019, 9:37pm Report to Moderator
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No one really cares.


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Max Ruddock
Posted: January 18th, 2019, 10:02pm Report to Moderator
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I think Simply Scripts is great. It's just a shame that so much of what's on here (especially regarding reviews) is about really trivial things like typos or formatting choices.

If the story is compelling nobody in their right mind would be like, "Great story but fuck it, I'm disgusted by all those upper caps... Next!"
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James McClung
Posted: January 19th, 2019, 12:20am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Demento
No one really cares.


That makes two/all/none/however many of us.


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Dreamscale
Posted: January 19th, 2019, 9:54am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Max Ruddock
I think Simply Scripts is great. It's just a shame that so much of what's on here (especially regarding reviews) is about really trivial things like typos or formatting choices.

If the story is compelling nobody in their right mind would be like, "Great story but fuck it, I'm disgusted by all those upper caps... Next!"


Very, VERY few scripts have "compelling" or unique stories, and if there does happen to be one and it's written like a child wrote it, it will not be read.

Writing and formatting are super important when it comes to Spec scripts.

Those "Pro" scripts you're reading are so far removed from being Spec scripts.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Max Ruddock
Posted: January 19th, 2019, 1:01pm Report to Moderator
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Well yeah I think we can take it as a given that if it's written like something a child would write, it won't get far. But a few typos, even a handful in a 100 odd page script, isn't gonna put someone off. Same goes for formatting preferences.

I'm not saying it's not important, I just don't think we need to overly focus on the spokes when it's the wheel that's important. And that is the problem with so much of the feedback I've seen on here. Very little constructive feedback on character(s), their arcs, tone, theme etc etc... just a hell of a lot of pointing out stuff like typos, which is something the writer is likely to correct themselves when they get back to the re-write with fresh eyes anyways.
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FrankM
Posted: January 19th, 2019, 1:01pm Report to Moderator
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I think of the strict formatting of spec scripts as akin to how inexperienced job applicants are expected to show up in a suit and handle a bunch of greeting and follow-up rituals even if those things have absolutely nothing to do with performing the job. It demonstrates seriousness and gives the interviewer a reasonably even baseline for evaluating.


Family feature: Who Wants to Be a Princess? Latest draft (6/2019)
Horror anthology/feature: Glass House Latest draft (2/2019)
Sci-Fi short trilogy: Timmy
Comedy short: Feedback
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Dreamscale
Posted: January 19th, 2019, 4:18pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Max Ruddock
... just a hell of a lot of pointing out stuff like typos, which is something the writer is likely to correct themselves when they get back to the re-write with fresh eyes anyways.


Surprisingly, MOST writers, even good ones, don't know about many rights and wrongs when it comes to writing.  You'd be shocked, I think.

You see the same mistakes over and over again, and these issues are not being picked up by the writer or the peeps giving feedback.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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eldave1
Posted: January 19th, 2019, 7:46pm Report to Moderator
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It's always a bit of this and a bit of that.

Format has nothing to do with Story, Character, Tone, et al.  But it does matter to SCRIPT writing.

Stories can be told in a variety of ways - one of them being screenplays. There are certain standards one should learn and apply if they want to write stories in the screenplay format.

We're writing scripts here - so some of the rules do matter.  Sure, violate the rules when you think it helps with story, tone, character - but don't be ignorant of them either.

IMO, no script will ever be sold because it was formatted 100% correctly. No Producer is going to say, you know - that story kind of sucked - but the formatting, good God it was great - we gotta make that one.

Conversely - one does run the risk of that great story hitting the trash bin at page 3 if it is riddled with errors. And what worth does a great story have if it is never read.

Sure, you want reviewers to focus on the big picture things. Speak to your premise, plot, characters. dialogue etc.  But format pointers aren't evil. I also say this for myself. The better the story - the less I'm noticing on the format side. Cause I'm immersed. The crappier the story - the more I notice.  


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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