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Scarlet Screenwriter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scarlet Screenwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2017 at 5:11am
Originally posted by ottersdaughter ottersdaughter wrote:

Sounds like lots and lots of reading the really good stuff and lots and lots of practice...I can do that :)


I had a mentor who said the best way to learn good screenwriting was to read screenplays ... good, bad, classic ... ones you've seen and ones you then go see ... they are ALL online ...




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ottersdaughter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ottersdaughter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2017 at 9:53am
Originally posted by Scarlet Screenwriter Scarlet Screenwriter wrote:


I had a mentor who said the best way to learn good screenwriting was to read screenplays ... good, bad, classic ... ones you've seen and ones you then go see ... they are ALL online ...

I've read a bunch, but it hadn't occurred to me to read one and then go see it, but that makes perfect sense! For finding scripts, I know of simplyscripts and IMSDB, any others I could bookmark?

Did your mentor say why she recommended reading bad ones? I can see doing it as a sort of "what not to do," but if that's the only reason, wouldn't it make sense to wait a while on those so I can actually recognize what the issues are?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NilesPerry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2017 at 10:29pm
Originally posted by ottersdaughter ottersdaughter wrote:

Ok... any tricks for recognizing and revising out the stuff that belongs in a short story but not a screenplay? And how much of that can you get away with in the real world before being classified "amateur"?

It's really very simple -- ask yourself: "Can the camera see this?" If the answer is no, then it probably belongs in a short story or other narrative form.

Here's an example:
Action in the screenplay reads, "He reaches the top of the stares, then stands there debating whether to go left down one hallway or right down the other."

What the camera sees: A guy reaching the top of the stares and hesitating momentarily before going left or right. Unless he actually SAYS, "Hmmm, I wonder if I should go left or right," we have no way of knowing what's going on in his head.

This may not be the most stellar example, but I think it gets my point across.

PART II:
The same goes for dialogue. DON'T have a bunch of talking heads telling us what's been going on. SHOW US what they're talking about. Look at it this way: In Erin Brockovich, when her car is broadsided, how dramatic would that have been if we only saw people talking about, "Did you see that accident? It was pretty bad," as opposed to actually seeing the car collide with her car? Sure, it's cheaper on the budget to have a bunch of people stand around and talk about stuff than it is to destroy a car in the middle of an intersection... but it's also BORING.

My two-cents worth. If it helps, fine. If not, just ignore it. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NilesPerry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2017 at 10:35pm
Originally posted by ottersdaughter ottersdaughter wrote:

Originally posted by Scarlet Screenwriter Scarlet Screenwriter wrote:

I had a mentor who said the best way to learn good screenwriting was to read screenplays ... good, bad, classic ... ones you've seen and ones you then go see ... they are ALL online ...

I've read a bunch, but it hadn't occurred to me to read one and then go see it, but that makes perfect sense! For finding scripts, I know of simplyscripts and IMSDB, any others I could bookmark?

Did your mentor say why she recommended reading bad ones? I can see doing it as a sort of "what not to do," but if that's the only reason, wouldn't it make sense to wait a while on those so I can actually recognize what the issues are?

Scarlet's mentor must have been the same guy I had. I would only add... read every screenplay you can get your hands on, good AND bad. Read the good ones and watch the films and try to see what made them so good. Then do the same with the bad ones... what made them so bad? My recommendation is anything by Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat, The Big Chill, Raiders of the Lost Ark) is a good start... he knows how to tell a great story, he knows how to write a great screenplay. Most of his work is available online.

SimplyScripts is one good site. There's also The Daily Script and the Drexel University Script Library. Lots and lots of really great and really bad screenplays for you to download and read... all for free. Smile
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