How To Write A Short Film Script – Tips

How To Write A Short Movie Script Fast

I posted two videos for this post, presenting ideas from two different kinds of movie professionals. The first delivers 10 tips for writing a short film script based on a budget of ‘zero’, or at least, very little. Mark Hertzler makes some very good points, the biggest one being the fact that, if you are the writer AND film-maker, then what you write is directly affected by your resources. Basically, you try to make do with whatever you have at hand and really cut down on the expenses. It sounds a bit lame, but some of the best award-winning short movies were made with a seriously short budget, so the process is not to be scoffed at. Interesting enough, although the second video is promoting a film writing course, it touches on the same points, namely, if your film script would be very costly for the producer, it won’t get made – period! Expensive casts of thousands, fantasy science fiction, weird costumes and exotic locations are out. I like the look of the course he proposes, but seriously – $47 a month for beginning writers is a bit too salty, at least in my view. By far the most interesting proposal I’ve seen for help with screenwriting comes form a script writer called James Lamberg and the course is called ‘Movie In A Month’. He’s the guy you’ve never heard of but is responsible for over 30 commercially successful movie scripts, and his testimonials are phenomenal. He’s also got he best guarantee on the net – write and sell a movie script within 12 months or your money back. ‘Nuff said. On with the next reel – 10 Tips For Writing A No-Budget Short Movie. Video Transcript: Hello and welcome to the debut episode of the screenwriters show. I’m your host Mark Hertzler. Now seeing as this at the very first episode, let me tell you a little bit about the show. Like you probably are yourself, I’m an aspiring screenwriter and I’ve written dozens of screenplays from shorts, feature-length, TV and everything in between. I’m also a film major at a CSU university. I’ve always been a fan of the film shows around YouTube and while some of these cover segments on screenwriting. There’s no one definitive channel for all your screenwriting needs and that is what I’m trying to set out to remedy. We’ll be doing regular episodes with screenwriting tutorials […]

Writing A Movie Script

Writing a movie script

This is the second video from Dr Allen, Film Studies Professor, Pittsburgh, PA, where he explains the last 5 of his 10 principles of writing a movie script. You can see the first video here. Number six – this is something where it’s almost like icing on the cake. You want to ground each scene through things that you add that are relatable, quirky and unique to your own voice. These are those little touches that go beyond cliche, that go beyond the work of an amateur and that add just that special something, that special detail that separates you from an average writer and shows evidence of you being a great writer. So an example of that would be the dialogue scene between Jules and Vinnie Vega in Pulp Fiction. They’re talking about a Royale with cheese and what things are called in Europe versus America and it’s a it’s a very quirky scene. It’s also a scene that’s unique in Tarantino’s voice, because the year before with Reservoir Dogs Quentin Tarantino got to go to the Khans Film Festival and he got to go to Europe. While he was there clearly he made certain observations about these fast-food joints and about where you could take up here in a movie theater, and where you could get drugs and things like that. These details then spill over into the dialogue between Vincent Vega and Jules, between John Travolta and Samuel Jackson. How To Start Writing A Movie Script Step By Step These are quirky details that ground the scene, that make these characters more realistic, more relatable and it gives an edge of believability and uniqueness to Tarantino’s writing. That John Travolta and Samuel Jackson would both be nominated for Oscars for their performance is just another indicator that these subtle touches took Tarantino’s writing of Pulp Fiction from being average to extraordinary. If you do these things in your own writing, add those little details that personalize it that that somehow put your own touch, whether it’s a note about how a character dresses or a note about just those little things, that you observe in your day-to-day life – it has to be something that only you can put in. It can’t be something that you got from somebody else or something that you’re copying. It has to be unique observations that you’ve made yourself. After all […]

How To Write A Script For A Short Film – Screenplay Tips

How to write a script for a short film template

Like many novel writers, I often find myself thinking in terms of moving images. I visualise my story and play a short movie in my head – so why not write the story in the form of a short film instead? The format isn’t like writing a novel. Show, not tell is obviously more important, and there are also certain formatting rules that have to be strictly followed. After deciding to outline a screenplay for an idea I had for a short movie, I researched the internet for ‘how to’ articles and videos about writing movie scripts. Normally, I go for free resources, and as they say, ‘you pay your price and take your chance! I have natural aversion to paying for script writing courses … … when there’s so much free advice on the internet, until I came across ‘Movie In A Month’, a DVD course put together by James Lamberg. If you’ve never heard of him, it’s because he has mostly ghost-written over 30 commercially successful movies for USA and UK audiences. Apart from the fact that the course is sent by physical DVD (quite rare nowadays) the testimonials from professionals are an eye-opener. I guess the lessons are DVD based because of the amazing guarantee that comes with the package, which I’ll get into right now. In short, I have never seen such an impressive guarantee for any product offered on the internet. Basically, James promises that you will sell a movie script within a year of taking the course! If not, simply return the DVD in good conditions and get refunded 100%. That’s not all. As well as showing you how to write a movie script fast, guidelines are given for submitting it in the right format, and even who to send it too to ensure it gets noticed. Check it out below and oh, by the way – it’s perfect for beginners who know nothing about the industry. How To Write A Script For A Short Film – Josh’s Tips Video Transcript: Hey guys what’s up? It’s Josh WRD here bringing you a brand new video. Today is episode 2 of ‘How to make a short film’. This episode we are talking to you guys about script writing tips and tricks, and some inspirational links and just places that I found that have really helped me write my first scripts. I spent the last like four […]

Online Script Writing Courses – Are They Any Good?

Online Script Writing Course - featured

Whenever I look for any kind of product online, and digital products in particular, I always look for a full refund Guarantee. It just makes so much sense to hedge your bet, knowing that you’ll get re-imbursed if it doesn’t work out for you. An online script writing course is not exception, and of course e-learning platforms like Udemy offer such a refund for all courses, although it has to be said that not all courses are of the highest quality. When I came across an advertisement for a course entitled ‘Movie In A Month’ presented by James Lamberg, I had to go back and read the sales copy again. Did it really guarantee that I would sell my movie script after taking the course? Well, yes it did! This is the best guarantee I’ve ever seen. Basically, James teaches how to write a screenplay including all the elements that producers are crying out for, with guidelines for submission – but that’s not all. He also provides a current contact list for agents and buyers looking for scripts that are ready to go. Here’s the guarantee: “If you don’t sell your movie script within 12 months of purchasing the course, simply return the DVD and I will refund the purchase price 100% without questions.” It’s well-known within the film industry that over 99 percent of spec script submissions are rejected before they pass through the first reader. This person is often an intern learning the trade, and they have a simple set of guidelines to follow before they let a submission through. It’s very rare for a script itself to be submitted – those days are long-gone. The procedure for movie script submission involves writing a pitch or query letter, crafted to present the important feature of the movie. The creation of this letter is quite a job in itself. Writer’s often find this the most difficult part, much harder than writing the script. Of course, this is covered in Lamberg’s course. Unless the letter describes the movie in the right way and in the right tone, your script will never be read. Scripts that simply aren’t ready are a big turn-off for producers at all levels. This is one of the biggest failings of new screenwriters – scripts are submitted too early. The first draft, even though you might love it, is never as good as it good be. […]

Script Writing Course – Screenwriting Classes

Screenwriting Course Featured Image

After successfully writing, editing and publishing a novel, I decided to delve more into the structure and process of movie script writing. Like many people, Youtube was my first stop, before considering signing up to a script writing course. Although there are some gems (like the video embedded below), it has to be said that the 80-20 rules comes into full force here, except that it’s more like the 90-10 rule. Basically, this means that about 90% of the free screenplay writing tips you find are below average. They simply regurgitate the rules presented y such luminaries as Michael Hauge, Syd Field and Blake Snyder. Oh, these rules are solid for sure, but if we really want to re-read them, we’d simply buy the original books. There is no getting away from the 3 act structure for movies, novels, plays or any medium that tells a story. As authors, we create a character that the audience wants to follow, place him or her in a setting that complements the story, and place obstacles in their path to success. Aristotle laid it out and we have honed the process to perfection. So if the rules of movie scrip writing are available everywhere, exactly what are we looking at in a script writing course? The creation of self-editing for novels made it possible for millions of people to make their novels public, which ultimately means that the vast majority are below par. A similar thing has happened in the screenplay writing business. Due to the appearance of script writing software and other free resources, film agents and producers are inundated with a mountain of spec scripts every day. I have it on good authority that the pile of scripts is first vetted by an assistant, so how do they proceed? The script is consigned to the trash bin if: it isn’t bound in the right format the title shows ‘it’s been done before’ font format isn’t standard title page doesn’t have the right information screenplay format doesn’t conform to the industry standards And this is before the man that matters actually gets to read your brilliant script! There’s more to movie scripts than writing a great story – much more. The ideal course would cover the whole process, from conception to submission and tell you who to send it to and show you how to present so that it gets noticed and read. After […]

How To Write A Movie Script Fast – Script Writing Course

how to write a movie fast

When beginning to write, most people want to write stories, either in the form of a short story or a novel. Many of us naturally visualise the stories we write – basically we run a movie in our minds. It makes complete sense to write a great story as a screenplay. Again, most enthusiastic new writers are in a hurry and want to know how to write a movie fast! Without a doubt, speed isn’t the only criterion. Writing screenplays that sell are really what it’s all about. How to combine the two, that’s the question. The two videos below give the points of view of two professionals, a busy independent film maker and a script writer. Both know how to write a good screenplay and firmly believe, with organisation and commitment, anyone can write a screenplay in a month or so. How To Write A Screenplay In One Month – Is It Possible? Normally, you should be suspicious of headlines such as the one above, and so was I, until I came across a course offered by a seasoned professional script writer with the right credentials and a killer guarantee. I’m going to write it bold, because it’s hands-down the best guarantee I have ever seen on the internet: I absolutely GUARANTEE that you’ll secure your first movie contract within the year. If you don’t, simply return the course within 12 months – and we’ll refund every cent you paid! Checkout James Lamberg’s course here:      On with the show! Both of the professional talking below give screen-writing tips I can readily relate to and address issues that all writers face. We tend to be introverted and perfectionist, and really want even our first draft to be just right. This approach can be stifle that great idea that made us put pen to paper in the first place. Writing a great script fast can release a writer from the the shackles that bind, allowing him or her to write rubbish, as long as the ideas are flowing. the script can be tidied up later, there’s no need to beat ourselves up before we’ve even  pushed out a first draft. The first draft is the time for creativity, not grammatical or syntactical perfection. The second draft of the script will be more considered and this is the time for a more objective and critical approach. Advice On How To Write A Screenplay […]

Script Writing Basics

Script writing basics

Script writing is an art form in itself but by no means does it have to be complicated. We’re going to talk about today, we’re going to talk about script writing with the mechanics of script writer, not the art form of storytelling.   Those are two different things. In a later segment we will get into the art of storytelling but right now we’re going to concentrate on the mechanics of script reading. And like I said the four things you want to concentrate on is who your characters are, what they do, where they go and what they say. Screenwriting Basics – The Basic Screenplay Outline Video Transcript: Hello. Welcome to maverick movie-making and today we’re going to talk about scripts. Script writing is an art form in itself but by no means does it have to be complicated. We’re going to talk about today, we’re going to talk about script writing with the mechanics of script writer, not the art form of storytelling. Those are two different things. In a later segment we will get into the art of storytelling but right now we’re going to concentrate on the mechanics of script reading. And like I said the four things you want to concentrate on is who your characters are, what they do, where they go and what they say. That’s it, those are the four things. If you know a lot of people get intimidated by writing because they maybe they can’t put words on paper, or maybe they’re not very good at grammar or spelling. That’s okay. Don’t let that be a reason to stop you from making movies. Because all script is, a script is just a blueprint to your movie, so if you’re the one shooting your movie you can do whatever you want. If you you can write down on a piece of paper ‘characters go from A to B’ – it’s it’s not a hugely complicated ordeal. There are many different types of scripts but for the Maverick moviemaking we are only going to concentrate on two types. We’re going to concentrate on the shooting script and the spec script. The shooting script is the blueprint for your movie. So basically if you’re a maverick movie maker, shooting script right now is where you want to live. That’s going to be your world for a while because it’s all you got […]

Where To Sell A Screenplay

Where to sell a screenplay information

Hi, its screenwriter Philip Hardy and today I want to talk about websites that allow you to pitch your feature screenplays and your pilots, and I don’t mean the guys that fly air-planes. To relive, industry people, some of them allow you to do written pitches. Others have more sophisticated means of doing those and you would think with all the people that are out there writing spec screenplays, un-produced and aspiring writers that are out, there trying to sell the that script and make the next tent pole picture, there would be more of these sites. Because it’s a very lucrative business – that is not the case. There are really only four of these websites that are considered to be worth a damn and that’s because they have the perceived value of industry types that are being paid to hear your pitches or read your pitches, whatever the case may be. I’m gonna review those four websites in no particular order. First let’s talk about the Blacklist. The Blacklist has been in business now I think four five or six years, maybe longer and what they do is, they have a web hosting site for screenplays. They charge $25 a month for you to upload your script and hopefully there are people that will read that script after it’s uploaded. Where to sell your screenplay – How to sell a movie script However the best way to get attention is to pay $75 a pop to get your screenplay read and reviewed by other screenwriters and I guess in some cases industry people, but I suspect it’s more frustrated writers that are trying to sell their specs replays that are reading your spec screenplays and reviewing them. Sometimes those people can be rather nasty with what they say about your work. Other times I guess, in much less instances, they will gush over your work and they give you a score and if you get a score of a ten above and you get several of those reviews, suddenly you may be a hot property on the Blacklist. At the end of the year the Blacklist, they put together a list the top approximately 75 unproduced screenplays and that gets a pretty broad attention from folks out there in Hollywood land. There are several Blacklist writers that have gotten signed to agencies after having top-ten script, let’s say. […]

How To Write A Screenplay For A Movie

How To Write A Screenplay For A Movie

Video Transcript: How To Write A Screenplay For Beginners Film Courage: What is the first step in writing a screenplay? Richard Walter: Getting your butt in the chair and hands on the keys and seeing where it goes. I believe you have to have an outline, but then you have to throw away that outline. It will take paths that are surprises to the artist that created it. I’ve never known anyone who wasn’t surprised by lines of dialogue that characters seem to invent by themselves, twists and turns in the story. I remember asking Neil Simon “Do you laugh at your own jokes?” And he said “Sure I do, the first time I hear them.” And I think that’s fantastic that he actually hears them. It’s as if someone else is telling them…telling these jokes to him. And that’s the experience of a lot of artists. I wrote…I sold a TWILIGHT ZONE episode years and years go about a muse, some sort of composer of commercial jingles and his muse that proposes…I’ll spare you the story. How to write a screenplay for a movie pdf   If I told you the story you’d think “Hey, what a good story!” But the thesis underneath it was the notion that muses don’t desert their artists. It’s really the other way around. You have to be available. It’s never easy to get into. And you have to own that. And you have to know that. Not sure that answers ‘What is the First Thing You Do?’ Usually something occurs to you that seems kind of odd. Imagined if this happened or that happened? I remember when our first child was going to be born we went to birth preparation classes which were held at Cedars Sinai. And everybody was supposed to bring a pillow. So suddenly outside you know, Beverly Blvd. near San Vincent [in Los Angeles] all of these couples, all of the women are quite pregnant and everybody is carrying pillows “What’s that about?” Imagine you drive past the bus stop and there are like 60 people at the bus stop and they all have accordions. I don’t know they all have accordions for some reason. “What could that be?” You start to think about that and also you don’t think about it you just sort of let it simmer and cook and the notion will come to you. And […]

How Do You Write A Movie Script?

How to write movie scripts post

Okay, so we have Act 1, Act 2, Act 3. This is your basic story formula. So what happens in Act 1 that makes it different from 2 and 3? Here’s how it works. You have a formula, let’s say it is a boy meets a girl. And in Act 1 that’s what we’re going to describe. The meeting, what happens to them, who they are and that information. In Act 2 you’re going to have boy loses girl. And here in Act 2 you are going to describe all the problems that they are having in their relationship and he loses her. He’s found her and he’s lost her. In Act 3 boy gets girl back. How do you write a screenplay outline? The 3 Act Structure That is the basis of your story. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. Okay, I can hear you, what you’re saying. You’re saying to yourself well my story’s not a love story. I don’t have any boy meeting girl. It doesn’t matter and you’ll see how the same format it used for any situation. Let’s say you’re going to write a Western instead. Okay, so you might say – the farmer buys a farm. And, following our formula as we did before. The farmer, what happens here, he’s going to lose the farm, right? And what’s going to happen in Act 3? I can hear you saying it before I do. The farmer gets the farm back. So you see, it doesn’t matter what your story is. The idea is the same. The format, this is how it follows. How do you write a screenplay? Creating Great Characters Okay, so using our formula we’ll now discuss what happens next in Act 1, Act 2 and Act 3. Under Act 1 here’s what I want you to write. The next thing you are going to do once you decide what your concept is going to be, is I want you to introduce your main characters. This is all what is happening in Act 1. In Act 2, I want you to develop these people and tell us more about them, show us some of the challenges they’re going to face. And, basically build them up. And, in Act 3 I want you to resolve the character’s problems that happened in Act 1 and Act 2. I want you to […]