The Blank Page: Fatal Mistakes: Boring Action-Descriptions

When I first decided that I wanted to have a go at “film-making” rather than just recording events as they happened, I knew that one of the key things I would need would need would be a script. However, I’d never really looked at a script before, and didn’t know what should be in it.

I’m somewhat embarrased to say that what I produced and gave to my actors was not really a script at all. What I gave them was just the dialogue, with no indication of what was happening, or why. Naturally the actors found it very hard to work with such vague information. If I had not been both writer and director, it would never have happened at all.

To avoid mistakes like that, it’s important to read lots of scripts. It’s also vital to practice writing the stuff that goes in between the dialogue (known as “action description”) so that everyone involved gets the same feel for what the production is all about.

Derek Haas at The Blank Page has some useful tips on how to improve your action descriptions. Read more at The Blank Page: Fatal Mistakes: Boring Action-Descriptions.

Simply Scripts – Free Movie Scripts and Screenplays

If you want to write a script, one of the most valuable things you can do is to read other scripts. Read lots of different scripts, and study them to see what you like, what you dislike, and makes them tick.

The trouble is, scripts can often be hard (or expensive) to come by. So I was impressed to find Simply Scripts – Free Movie Scripts and Screenplays. A web site all about scripts and scriptwriting, with a huge collection of scripts and transcripts to choose from.

Read more at: Simply Scripts – Free Movie Scripts and Screenplays.

Writing: Plot and Story

I’ve been absorbed in videoblogs recently. However, while this kind of ultra-short, deeply personal movie is fascinating, it’s not the only kind. I also get the itch to write longer stuff, with more creative input and less “reality TV”. Sometimes I just want to tell a story.

If you also have that itch, you might appreciate Writing: Plot and Story, an interesting article about structure and progression of plot and story in movies and TV.