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danielnoah
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Formatting Issues


angus wrote:
OK, this brings up another question...

The Screenwriting.info website states, "The CHARACTER NAME is formatted in uppercase letters and indented 3.5" from the left margin."

However on page 362 of Writing Movies it says, "The character name starts 4" from the left of the page."

So, is it 3.5" or 4"? Or are both ways correct and the writer just choses one way and sticks with it throughout the screenplay?

(I run into sources that contradict each other like this all the time and I find it very confusing...)


Full confession: I have no idea. The reason I have no idea is that it depends on the ruler of the word processing program you use. The other reason I have no idea is that I use professional screenwriting software, which absolves me from having to worry about all this stuff.

Here's what I suggest. Get your hands on page from a real, professional screenplay that you're certain is formatted perfectly. Retype the page on whatever word processing program you use and place it over the original, holding it up to the light to see if everything lines up. If it doesn't, keep messing with your document until it's perfect. When you've got it perfect - save the settings.

Here's a PDF of the screenplay for Adaptation, if you want to use that. Sorry I can't give you more specific specs - there's simply too much variation from program to program.
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danielnoah
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Formatting Issues

Hm... not sure. I use it. Maybe I'm out of date!
Ian
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Ian
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎03-15-2007
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Re: Formatting Issues

I just checked Trottier's Bible (kills me to do it - I hate that this guy elevates himself like that) and seems it's fine by him.

Here's what I say: It is a personal choice. Use it if you like it or don't if you think it's unnecessary.

Ask yourself this question: Will a producer turn down your manuscript if it has FADE OUT on the last page?

When we turn our attention to such things we miss the more important elements of screenwriting and storytelling. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Cheers,
Ian
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crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Formatting Issues

are we not learning about trimming the fat, writing only what is absolutely necessary, action and dialogue, what is seen and what is heard. Isn't FADE IN/FADE OUT bordering on SHOOTING SCRIPT stuff? I think it's just unnecessary...

to paraphrase Coglin's Law (from Cocktail): All things end badly, (and all movies fade out), otherwise they wouldn't end...

I don't think you need FADE OUT, just like you probably don't need CUT TO because as soon as you throw in a new SCENE HEADING, you know there's gotta be a cut. Aren't these the little details that first-draft screenplays can do without? not worth worrying over Do I or Don't I FADE IN/FADE OUT/CUT TO, right??

The movie is going to FADE IN in the beginning, and FADE OUT at the end, going to CUT TO scenes whether it's written specifically in the screenplay or not. I suppose there is some room to argue about DISSOLVE and SMASH-CUT TO and other such powerful and demonstrative transitions, if some grand purpose is served by noting them in a first-draft, but otherwise, like Ian says, just stick to writing the basic bare-bones of the story, What is Seen, What is Heard, get'er done! worry about the fancy flourishes and FADES once you have the $500,000 in your pocket and are hammering out the final draft :smileyhappy:
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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danielnoah
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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reality


crAZRick wrote:
...worry about the fancy flourishes and FADES once you have the $500,000 in your pocket and are hammering out the final draft :smileyhappy:




Five hundred grand, huh? If anyone's interested in the economic reality of screenwriting, say the word and I'll give you the scoop.
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angus
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎03-22-2007
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Re: reality



danielnoah wrote:

crAZRick wrote:
...worry about the fancy flourishes and FADES once you have the $500,000 in your pocket and are hammering out the final draft :smileyhappy:




Five hundred grand, huh? If anyone's interested in the economic reality of screenwriting, say the word and I'll give you the scoop.




Sure, let's hear it!
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crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: reality

ok ok


I'll take an even $1-million...
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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danielnoah
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: reality

One in 100 scripts that go out for sale sell. And those 100 are writers with big agents who can actually circulate the material to viable buyers. It's very, very difficult to sell a spec. I have never sold one, and I'm considered a fairly successful, working screenwriter. (I've sold lots of pitches, and been hired for assignments - but no spec sales.)

Still, let's say you get REALLY lucky. Write an amazing script that falls into the right hands and you get an offer. As a first time writer, they'd probably offer you WGA scale, which is $73,245. And you'd be a fool not to take it! What if you have two buyers? Then they bid against each other. And you might get upwards around $150,000. If you're the luckiest person in the hisotry of the universe and have multiple buyers, you could get as high as 3 or 4 hundred grand. Truthfully, the chances of this happening are about the same as winning the lottery. Even the most conservative scenario (the WGA scale) is lottery odds.

Not to be discouraging. Once you remove the expectation of the spectacular and sexy SPEC SALE, there are some very real carrots to reach for. The most common scenario is that you go out with a spec, no one buys it, but people like it, and one of them hires you to write an idea of theirs. This is how I got my first break in the business. It's a field called "development," and you should know about it.

For every movie that gets made, there are literally a thousand other screenplays that the studios flush down the toilet. The process is called development, and it's so named because it's how the studios develop material to be turned into movies. They lock onto ideas, hire writers to take shots at them, then decide if they are projects they want to move forward on. Usually they aren't. If they are, they usually fire the first writer and hire a different one to be a pair of "fresh eyes." If you hang in there long enough, eventually you will get lucky and get a screenplay made. At which point you enter the big leagues - a produced writer - at which point you will probably get hired to write only films that have already been greenlit. But until you're on the A List, you can make a very, very good living as an unproduced screenwriter working in development. It's also like a lottery - but one where they pay you to play.

Notice how much I mention luck. There's a formula for success I once heard, and I think it's about the best description of Hollywood that I've ever heard. Talent + Perseverance = LUCK. If you've got the stuff and you're willing to keep working hard and hanging in there, eventually you will be in the right place at the right time and it will happen.
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crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: reality= $73,245.16

[ Edited ]
oh ok... but, I'd still ask for $73,245.16 or $73,245.61 just because it has all the numbers 1-7 in it; hey, if 7 is a lucky number, and $70k is WGA scale, I'd want the 7-digits on the paycheck to include 1 2 3 4 5 6 7!

and, I'm not going to settle for less!!

(the ZERO in this equation would be ME!)

:smileyhappy:

Message Edited by crAZRick on 04-07-200705:38 PM

I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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posting some fan-fic screenplay stuff??

[ Edited ]
I know we're not really 'There' yet as a group, but I was wondering about posting some of the stuff (ie crap) I have developed into a screenplay; can I post bits and pieces of my stuff here for critical analysis, if it has no shot of being sold, ever?

the stuff I am referring to would fall under the banner of Fan-Fic; I wrote a few 'practice screenplays' just to work with the format and tinker with Movie Magic Screenwriter.

I wrote a version of Terminator 4 and Halloween 7.5 (fits between H20 and Resurrection)

I know the format won't transfer over to the board-post, but would there be any pushing/bending/breaking of copyright boundaries to post this fluff??

just curious, trying to develop my skills and demonstrate what are probably common mistakes by n00bs writing screenplays, not trying to show off...

so, what are the rules about such things?

Message Edited by crAZRick on 04-12-200709:33 PM

I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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danielnoah
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: posting some fan-fic screenplay stuff??

Are you asking about copyright issues related to characters you don't own? Or are you asking what the policy is on posting material that falls outside of the exercises?
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crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: posting some fan-fic screenplay stuff??

both sorta... I don't plan on profiting in any way from the fan-fic screenplays I wrote, but if all y'all want to read and critique excerpts or the whole works, I wouldn't mind sharing; I just wonder about laws and rules about posting such rip-offs 'for educational purposes only'
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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danielnoah
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: posting some fan-fic screenplay stuff??

I don't know for a fact, I'm fairly certain that you're free to post fan fiction on the Internet as long as you're not profiting on it. More importantly, I doubt George Lucas is surfing the BNU bookclubs, so I think you're safe on the legal front. As for the class rules, as I said to another user who wanted to post material outside the assigned work, I'm willing to try it. My advice: keep it short. The more you post the less likely you are to get responses from your peers.
Ian
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Ian
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎03-15-2007
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Re: posting some fan-fic screenplay stuff??

I would suggest you place a disclaimer at the beginning of your post.

Based on characters from 'film title here' by 'writer or owner of the copyright'.

Professional courtesy if nothing else.

Cheers,
Ian
New User
Wormy
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-18-2007
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Re: Questions for Daniel

I just transferred to a real university from my community college last semester, but am taking some summer classes back at my old junior college (I missed it). Having hated my last English class, I decided to take a creative writing course over the summer to cheer myself up. However, the only one I could find was a non-credit class taught by a published author which set me back about $200. From what I've gathered, this online thing is almost exactly what I paid for! Also, I know more about you from your introduction than I do the man who is teaching my summer course. Unfortunately, I just found out about this place, so my question (I do have one) is will there be another summer session? I still have time to drop my other class and get a full refund, and this seems more interesting to me.

Am I too late?
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danielnoah
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Daniel

Hi, Wormy. You're not too late because there are no sessions here. It's just free-flowing and ongoing. So jump in anywhere. And welcome.

daniel
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