Just because you have Final Draft…

Just because you have Final Draft, doesn’t mean that your opus is correctly formatted. The amount of scripts I’ve read lately (hey, I’m a producer as well, people send them to me), that are just plain not scripts. Makes me want to send everybody back to film school (or in many cases for the first time).

If you write your script like a novel, that’s not a script, that’s a treatment. Action lines are just that. Action. Not shots, not scene descriptions. But action.

If you write about what a character is thinking, just go and write that novel. A script is something that will be filmed. Unfortunately there is no RED camera for “thoughts”, we filmmakers still have to make do with simply filming what a character does, then the audience can deduct what he or she is thinking from those actions.

If you write that two characters are talking to each other… then that’s called dialogue. We tend to write those lines down so that the actors can memorise them. While a few actors are very talented at improv, most are not, so it would be best if you go ahead and write that dialogue. If it’s so unimportant that it doesn’t warrant writing down, my god, do you really think that it warrants filming? It doesn’t.

If you’ve taken the time to come up with a good story (and believe me, they don’t just fall out of the sky), then take the time to learn how to write a screenplay. Otherwise it just says to me, that either you are too arrogant to go to film school, or that you are just plain inexperienced.

Go on, show me that you at least care about looking like you want to be a screenwriter. Buy yourself a copy of The Screenwriter’s Bible.

Then, send me your script.

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3 thoughts on “Just because you have Final Draft…

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