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 Course

Online script writing course info

Okay, week one introduction to screenwriting. Hello my name is Jane Pugh and I will be your tutor for the online script writing unit study block – I really hope you enjoy the course. Our first week’s work is threefold. In part one we will discuss what is script writing, what does the script writers do, and how do they do it. Finding ideas and choosing your subject. Research and where inspiration comes from. In part two of this week’s session you will begin to write and develop a portfolio of ideas. In part three we will look at the major theorists and the Guru’s who claim they can help you write your script, plus useful websites and inspiring information. For this session you will need a notepad and pen. There are a total of four exercises I would like you to complete. One is ongoing . You can either listen to the lecture in full and then completely exercises, or pause the lecture to complete the exercises as you as you go along. https://youtu.be/Vmak0TZzs-sVideo can’t be loaded: Week 1: Screenwriting – Introduction to Screenwriting (https://youtu.be/Vmak0TZzs-s) Online Script Writing Course – Screenplay Mastery So let’s begin at the beginning with the idea. We have a voracious appetite for stories in all forms because we aren’t, we are trying to understand ourselves and the world around us. Writers and their stories help us on that journey. So what does a scriptwriter do? The script writer writes feature film scripts and scripts for television drama. As well as online content, the script writer must generate generate ideas that are fit for the marketplace. They want interest a producer or a broadcaster in the first instance and will capture the imagination of the audience in the second. The ability to generate ideas is akin to the nonfiction industry, where ideas are considered first and only when the idea is accepted and commissioned does the actual script writing begin. So a script writer generates ideas. It is therefore well worth keeping abreast of current trends, spotting gaps in the market and creating new areas of interest. This applies to all types of screenwriter, whether they are generating original work or writing for an existing television drama series. It is important for you as a screenwriter to know the business side of the film and television industry, so I want to spend a short time […]

Screenwriting Workshops Online – Writing Screenplays

Screenwriting workshops

Today we’re going to talk about 5 of my 10 principles for great screenwriting. For me screenwriting is kind of like a seduction, where you’re trying to lure your audience in and persuade them to a certain point of view. You get them to like certain characters and you get them to sympathise with your perspective storytelling is like a trance. It goes back to the ancient times when people would sit around campfires and tell stories.   There’s something about storytelling that mesmerises us, that we get obsessed with something about hearing a great story that requires our entire concentration. We forget about everything else and become mesmerised with the narrative, with the situations, with the characters – almost as if what we’re hearing is real. It’s like a trance, a trance that lulls us to sleep or a trance that lulls us into the perspective that the storyteller wants us to buy into. Best Screenwriting Workshops – Five Principles Of Great Screenwriting This can be a good thing but this can also be a bad thing, depending on what it is the storyteller is trying to say. With these ten principles I’m going to teach you how the Masters have woven their stories, their narratives and hopefully you’ll be able to do the same. Number one – make your characters likable. The more likeable your main character, is the more likeable your story is. If you do a test and you write down your five favorite movie characters of all time, then you write down your five favorite movies of all time, without fail I guarantee you that there’s going to be a tremendous overlap. Chances are your five favorite characters, maybe not all of them, but the majority of them, are going to correlate with your five favorite films. Because essentially what a film is doing is selling us a character. Therefore it’s essential that if you’re going to make a great screenplay a great film, you’ve got to center it around a great central character. The more engaging your protagonist is going to be, the more engaging your story is going to be. Number two – give your story /script a strong re-watch or re-read factor. The great stories are classics not just because they’re great stories. They’re classics because they last and why do they last? They last because they have a strong re-watch re-read […]

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. […]

How To Sell A Script To Hollywood – Producer’s Perspective

How to sell a Script to Hollywood

Let’s cut to the chase – as long as movies are made, producers will need fresh original stories. You’ve got an idea for a movie. In this video I’m going to explain exactly what you need to do to sell it. Since we rarely ever see the screenwriter, or read the scripts of the movies we watch, there tends to be this unnecessary mystery surrounding that aspect of the film industry. Where movie ideas come from, or how screenplays are chosen, or how to get your idea through the door and it’s led to a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about what producers actually need and why amateurs and dreamers tend to think of it a little bit like a lottery. If I could just get my idea into James Cameron’s hands, he’d love me and shower me with instant fame and fortune, but long-term, struggling writers tend to think of it a little bit the same way. If I could only master the story formula, or find that tip, or secret trick that’ll swing the doors open and land me an agent and ignite my magical screenwriting career. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJxS4p8ZzZcVideo can’t be loaded: How to Grab a Producer’s Attention in 15 Seconds — Episode #2 of The Producer’s Perspective (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJxS4p8ZzZc) Well, to turn that dream into a reality let’s pull back the curtain and see how this really works. Selling your movie idea ultimately involves two basic steps. Number one – turn your idea into a production ready screenplay. Number two – get that screenplay into the hands of its ideal producer. Now, that may sound terribly obvious, but in truth it’s really not. Look closely at those words. It’s not just a screenplay, it’s a ‘production ready’ screenplay and it’s not just a producer it’s your project ‘ideal producer’. See, our goal ultimately is to make a movie and movies aren’t just an idea. They’re a carefully crafted story, rich and complex, and compelling enough to engage an audience’s imagination for about two hours. Since we can’t shoot an idea, someone has to turn that idea into a screenplay that costs time and money. Remember – the screenplay is not our ultimate goal. Screenplays only exist to be turned into a film. It’s not just a story, it’s also the blueprint for the production process, a very pragmatic working document that will guide and be used by a whole […]

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 […]

How To Write A Good Screenplay

How to write a good screenplay tips

Writing a movie script is one thing, but knowing how to write a good screenplay is a horse of a different colour. It isn’t enough to know all about the mechanics of formatting correctly, or even throwing in some sharp dialogue (or so you think!) Let’s agree that a good screenplay is one that sells and leads to a commercially successful movie. What makes a script good? What are the magic ingredients? How do these great screenwriters get their inspiration? There is no magic, except the kind generated by dedication and hard work. If you wait around, looking out of the window, expecting that flash of inspiration, you’ll be waiting a long time. It happens, but it’s rare. For the vast majority of writers, the seed of an idea pops up in the mind and grows over a period of weeks or months. Whatever he or she is doing, the the idea is being nurtured in the back of their mind. Before getting down to some serious script writing, each scene is planned carefully to create the naturally flowing story crafted to capture the hearts of the audience. How To Write A Good Movie Script – Two Perspectives From Professionals Video Transcript: My writing process has evolved over the years but I’m always very much concerned with outlining and giving a shape to it before I dive in. Whenever I’ve tried to just take a run at it I find myself writing myself into impossible corners and having to back up and rethink things. I tend to think very much about structure and organization and I do a lot of preliminary sketches and notes and put post-its on the wall to figure out where certain scenes are before I actually dive in. I don’t do outlines. I don’t plan where I’m going because I like to be surprised by what I’m writing. The greatest twist in the history of cinema I would suggest humbly is Darth Vader saying ‘I’m your father’. I love writing things when one character says something and you’re like ‘well that’s a joke’ and then you, you know, you go that way and I think outlines you know prevent that happening. Obviously most people do them and that’s great and if that works for you then brilliant but it’s me personally. I like to be surprised and in order to do that, that can only come […]