Scriptwriting links and help 2010-01-26 17:56:06
Because of the potential market for user-created scripts amongst Flash artists (I know there's long been a denial about this and that writing is essentially the element that can taken or left, but for the sake of getting collabs ready, let's be positive here), I thought it might be handy to post a couple of links that can help with scriptwriting and also let anyone else suggest sites/software.
This is more or less about the technical stuff in scriptwriting, and I'll warn you that I'm still learning myself. It might be cool to get some links to sites where professionals talk about what producers and so on tend to go for, but that's obviously not everyone's goal.
Firstly - Celtx, a program I've boned about (yes) on the BBS before, and I have little reason to doubt it at this stage. The greatest feature of the program is that it's so very easy to format your stuff in it, a drop down list letting you choose which pieces of text should be what; enter and tab generally act as hotkeys for moving through your scripts too. The site offers some video walkthrus, not many of which may be useful, but the feature overview video is a good place to get started There are additional features which may be useful or may not be - I'm guessing that at this stage, they will be less useful, as sharing them requires Celtx Studios, which unfortunately isn't free. Still, scripts can exported as text files in Celtx anyway, and they can be uploaded somewhere for artists or whoever else.
Script Formatting by Matt Carless - a PDF that goes over a couple of things in scripts and how exactly they should be formatted. Some of it won't matter here, but some of the knowledge is useful nonethless. For example, you've got a guy talking on the phone. Did you remember to put '(hangs up)' when he's done? I've made that mistake before. The file is from the BBC's writers room website, which might be useful in general.
Oh yeah, one big thing from pg.7 of the file:
"As a rule, scene numbers are not included on a spec film script. They generally only appear on shooting scripts along with camera and technical directions (which should be avoided in a spec script)."
Some scripts online and in books have directions like 'the camera does TECHNIQUE A', or something similar. At the beginning, you're not supposed to do this. I'm just adding it in because I got this wrong at first, as did a few others.
Simply Scripts - it's always helpful to read some scripts before you try and make your own, and this website has a considerable collection of material available. See also, the Internet Movie Script Database. It might help to post some scripts that are generally considered to be very good later in this thread, but I don't know. I'll just post the link to the Groundhog Day script here for now, not just because I love the film (and I do love it), but because... well, it's often considered a great screenplay. I mean come on, it's a guy living the same day over and over with little excuse as to why! Originally it was going to be more explained - I'm glad they changed it.
FilmScriptWriting.com is new to me, but it looks like it has a huge chunk of stuff on how to develop characters, plots and ideas. Going off the name, it probably favours film scriptwriting techniques, but there's a lot transferrable over to teleplay writing and so on.
Those are some I've used before, but I want this to be extended to suit the userbase here - the idea is that this thread can be used as a bank now I suppose, and links can be rated by you guys. Any more 'good script' suggestions can be added too.
inb4 Casablanca - maybe next time!
Hope you found this helpful so far :) If not, then you can tell me what would be more helpful for the time being or something.