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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Series  ›  After Effats Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: January 12th, 2013, 1:46pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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After Effats by Chris Ramos - Series, Comedy, Drama - After being bullied nearly his entire life for being fat, and after losing weight in a summer camp; Nathan, a high schooler, tries to readapt to society even when life doesn't give him the best conditions.  31 pages - pdf, format

After Effats - Before Dress-Up, After Party by Chris Ramos - Series, Comedy, Drama - This time, Nathan and his friends attend Melanie's dress-up party, where interesting stuff happens - from people throwing up, to people coming out. 32 pages - pdf, format

After Effats - Before Home, After Coming Pt.1 by Chris Ramos - Series, Comedy, Drama - Homecoming is coming too soon, and questions are floating everywhere. CC and Minny get in a small fight; while Miguel finally asks the big question. 35 pages - pdf, format

After Effats - Before Home, After Coming Pt.2 by Chris Ramos - Series, Comedy, Drama - The homecoming dance has finally arrived, and Nathan has to face his biggest fear - the revelation of the note. CC and Allan try to find a way to spend time alone, Minny tries to protect Nathan from Wayde fishy intentions, and Allison gets the biggest hit, but from who? 34 pages - pdf, format


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Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  August 21st, 2013, 5:29pm
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Trapper
Posted: January 24th, 2013, 2:37pm Report to Moderator
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Hello Chris,
I read the first act only and I'll make some comments but I'm new at this so take that for what it's worth. First of all, it was a good effort.

The actions are long, complicated and very despcriptive. They need to be very short and simple. Action lines are best less than four lines. Actions can be broken up to make shorter lines.

The teaser is really a flashback. I think it can fit into the scheme of the story without being identified separately. Perhaps using a SUPER would be better.

I felt the whole scene in the psychologist's office wasn't really necessary to the story as it was presented. Perhaps it could be re-written to discuss bullying in school, or perhaps even better, to arrive at the conclusion that he should attend the camp to start with, rather than to summarize the results of the camp...the results will be reflected at school anyway.

Lots of small typos. Just proofread carefully.

Good effort! Like all others, it will improve everytime it's re-written.

Clabe



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Chris Ramos
Posted: January 24th, 2013, 8:04pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Trapper/Clabe,
Thank you for taking the time to read, and to comment.

Actions are in fact very complicated, I don't like that either but I rewrote them as understandable as possible.

They're also descriptive, but actions are supposed to be descriptive -- remember you're writing a picture. People are going to be watching, not reading.

So description is really important and necessary. Read some of the professional scripts in the "Oscar Scripts" section. Here are some links to my favorites:

Django Unchained --

http://twcguilds.com/assets/screenplay/django/screenplay.pdf

Les Miserables --

http://www.universalpicturesawards.com/assets/lesmis/pdf/lesmiserables_screenplay.pdf

As you can see, action and description are very important.  

The teaser is not really a flashback because what the audience is looking at, is what's happening at the time, it's in present form.
No one is telling you about the protagonist's life; you are looking at his life as he lives it.

And really, the camp scene happens a night before ACT ONE. I think the protagonist talks about that in the first line of dialogue, and while making the video.

You want to stay away from flashbacks as much as possible. If they're not necessary, then don't use them.

The psychology scene is basically just an explanation of why the protagonist is making videos, and also for the audience to understand that he had problems to an extent where he had to receive therapy.

I also don't want to write about him before the camp because that could be, and as a matter of fact it was, explained in five lines of dialogue.  

I wrote about camp because that's where he met the other protagonist. And I don't think the audience would like it if the primary protagonist just said "I met him at a camp."

Once again you're writing a picture, dialogue won't explain how they specifically met and how their first conversation went. It's different from people just picturing him fat.

Typos -- I wrote it in six hours. Yes, I wrote the whole thing in six hours. But since I was done with it, I just uploaded it. Then I revised it again twice, then I uploaded it again. Maybe there are more errors that I didn't catch, but believe me, the majority of it is corrected.  

Unless you read the uncorrected version.  

But anyway I appreciate you reading it, and commenting.

Thank you,

Chris



Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.

-- Frank A. Clark


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danbotha
Posted: January 24th, 2013, 11:05pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Chris Ramos
So description is really important and necessary. Read some of the professional scripts in the "Oscar Scripts" section. Here are some links to my favorites:

As you can see, action and description are very important.  


Hey Chris, I haven't read the script, but I have to just jump in here very quickly just to give a quick pointer.

Don't EVER try and mimick what the pro's do when writing a SPEC screenplay, especially the Oscar-winning" ones. There is a big difference between you and them. They are professionals, giving them full permission to include as much description as they like. They have a script that they know is going to be produced, so the writing ultimately isn't that important.

You, on the other hand are a spec script writer. You haven't made it in the screenwriting world... yet. Therefore you have to impress people with the way you write. Including unnecessary detail doesn't improve the read in a spec script. People will be more inclined to drop the script and leave it alone that way.

Unfortunately, that's the way it works. Forget about being just like the oscar-winning writers. They don't play the same game that we do. They had to write like we do at some stage in their life, but at the moment, keep your descriptions short and to the point. Don't waste too much time on things we don't care about.

If you want to read a professional screenplay that follows the same rules that spec scriptwriters follow, have a look at Frank Darabont's "Shawshank Redemption". He was a spec script writer before he went big and "Shawshank" was mainly written the way that scripts are supposed to be written. He's a legend, IMO.

Just a pointer. Don't copy the pro's when it comes to writing. Copy them with the dialogue and story. That's the stuff that they're brilliant at. I'm not saying stop reading professional scripts. Just don't try and word your action paragraphs with blocky descriptions like they do.

All the best,

Dan

P.S. I will get around to this eventually.


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danbotha
Posted: January 24th, 2013, 11:07pm Report to Moderator
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Additionally, Django was written by Tarantino... Don't copy him. Period. I've heard he's quite well-known for ditching the rules with writing.


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KAlbers
Posted: January 25th, 2013, 12:01am Report to Moderator
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Hey Chris,

I've only looked at the first page, and I'll try and read the rest later... but I felt the need to jump in too... only Because I know all to well the need to overwrite description. But I also learned that if you want your story read, it is best to make it as quick of a read as possible, while maintaing the compelling story elements to it....


Quoted Text
  remember you're writing a picture. People are going to be watching, not reading.

You are absolutely right, you are writing for the screen, which is why it's important to show and not tell, which I found you did in your first couple of action paragraphs.

"A bunch of TEENS make a circle around a small bonfire as they happily sing, out of tune, to an awful guitar tune. *Not having other option*, a few forcibly eat the *so called refreshments*, which consist of oatmeal raisin cookies, fruit, vegetables, and water.

NATHAN BRIGHT (17), wears a bright green neon shirt that reads CAMP LIGHT, and drinks a cup of water. Nathan is not the hottest guy in the world, *but he has his attractiveness hidden there, somewhere*. His sight is lost in the fire, which makes him the kind of guy that is there physically, but not mentally.

*Bold - You are telling not showing... eliminating the telling and choosing good, specific, descriptive words that "show" us what we are seeing, opposed writing "Poetry" like description more suitable for a book than script format.

"Fifteen TEENS circle around a small bonfire, happily singing out of tune with an awful guitar tune. A few Teens force oatmeal slop down their throats, making faces as they do.

NATHAN BRIGHT (17), a mediocre looking kid, wears a bright green neon shirt that reads "CAMP LIGHT", he drinks a cup of water, as he stares into the fire, the only one not singing along with the others."

This is just an example, and I'm sure it can still be improved on, but it shows what we are seeing while not being as wordy.

"to an awful guitar tune" - Is this meant as the guitar is played badly too, or the tune they are playing an awful one?

To echo Dan's thought, if you can bring in the millions of dollars at the box office by name alone, then you can write the King James Bible as a script.

I'll try and read the rest, but I thought I'd just put in my two cents, since I've been there man.

I only say this because i believe it will help you, not only improve your writing but will help get people to read your story.

Cheers
Kev


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RegularJohn
Posted: January 25th, 2013, 12:22am Report to Moderator
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Hey Chris.

Action and description ARE very important but it'sin the way you use them.  Your goal with a spec script is to tell a story and too much detail can really damage the flow of the plot.  Description to me is like a seasoning that should be sprinkled throughout your script instead of blots of it in your action lines.  Kev sited some examples on your first page which I agree with.

Some of your details are unfilmable, others are just unnecessary.  Also, I'd never trust a Quentin Tarantino script but that's just me.  I'll try to get some notes to you in the near future.


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Chris Ramos
Posted: January 25th, 2013, 1:08am Report to Moderator
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Dan, Kev, and John... I guess. Hi!! Since you all talk about the same thing, and I don't have time to answer individually because of school, I will answer the three of you in one post.

Thank you first of all.

You have no idea how happy you make me!

I've been killing myself trying to write descriptive action!!

Weirdly, I just learned what a spec script is.

I won't trust Tarantino.

I will take your suggestions in the second script of this same "series".

Thank you for commenting.

Chris



Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.

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