Tag: screenwriting

5 Classic Movie Scripts Every Screenwriter Should Read

Want to be a good screenwriter, but do not know where to start? We will tell you how to take the first steps towards your dream. Be attentive and keep the tips, they will definitely come in handy!

What Is a Movie Script and What Do You Need to Know About It?

The script of the film is a kind of skeleton, based on which stunning pictures and the greatest works of cinematography are created. Relatively speaking, the script is all information that will be captured in the future and transferred to the screens. This is a step-by-step “instruction” that includes all the dialogues, the places where the action takes place, all the characters involved, and a brief description of their emotions. Creating a movie without a script is impossible.

Why Is It So Important to Know and Read the Works of Famous Authors?

Creativity is part of the experience of predecessors, your own insanity, as well as the ability to see what the majority does not see. With this recipe, real talent is born and developed. But we have to remember that such talent needs constant boosting and nourishing. The study of literature, famous cultural figures, as well as their works, give an idea of how to apply your own talent in the best way. That is why the first and only right step for a person who wants to take a path in the field of screenwriting mastery and become a successful and sought-after screenwriter, is reading scripts that influenced the world cinema industry in one or another way.

Every well-known screenwriter has found their own way of knowing all aspects and possibilities of screenwriting. Each of them has learned from the masters of the past. And you have to follow that path too.

It may seem to you that this is like plagiarism. However, we must immediately clarify that this is not so. Studying existing scenarios helps the novice screenwriter understand how to put theory into practice. Because you can be as good as you want in theory, but you need to know how to put such theoretical knowledge into practice.

Here are the benefits that you can get by reading scripts:

  • A newcomer can see what a real script should look like. Not how it is presented as a template in the theoretical literature, but what text is actually taken as the basis for filming.
  • Get inspired from various techniques of writing. Each scriptwriter invests in the script skills that they have developed over the years. Reading the scripts of different authors, the novice writer discovers the world of new and old techniques that were used to write. Having a wealth of examples of creative techniques, it is much easier to build your own.

Reading Literature is the Way to Great Achievements

It is important to remember that in addition to screenwriting, you must not forget to read additional literature that will help to deal with the techniques of writing.

For example, we recommend reading this article which briefly describes how to expand an idea into a ready-made script, as well as steps that will help develop creative thinking. Save the recommendations in order not to lose them.

Also, as recommended The New York Times, read the work of the author and marvellous screenwriter Syd Field, “Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting”. In this book, each reader will be able to find step-by-step instructions for writing their own creation. The author tells and most importantly, proves that everyone can learn everything. It is only important to strive to achieve the goal. Syd Field will guide you through the whole journey, from the very inception of the idea to the ready and valid scenario.

His works have been translated into many languages. However, if you were unable to find it in the language you need, then you can always contact The Word Point for help. Here you can translate absolutely any kind of document, ranging from scenarios, and ending with any financial papers.

5 Movie Scripts that Anyone Who Wants to Take Place in the Niche of Famous Screenwriters Should Read

 

The great creation of the famous Charlie Kaufman hardly left any viewer indifferent. The film considers such a thing as love. What is it? How do we understand, that the rapid heartbeat is exactly the feeling that is called “love”? Is it possible to deliberately cross out all the feelings from the soul and where can that lead to?

  • Winner of the British Academy Award in 2005 for Best Original Screenplay;
  • Golden Globe nominee in the Best Screenplay category, 2005;
  • Winner of the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, 2005.

 

How to use something that wasn’t intended to be public? Who is pleased to recognise their own desires in a character when they are completely different from generally accepted norms? David Lynch skilfully wields human “flaws”, as well as features of the psyche.

  • Nomination for Golden Globe Awards for Best Screenplay, 1987;
  • Nomination for Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay, 1987.

 

This is a good example of where the attempts to live as you want can lead. The script describes understandable, but at the same time mysterious characters, that are not so easy to reveal. Looks like reality, isn’t it?

  • Winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Script, 2000;
  • Winner of the Oscar award for best screenplay, 2000.

 

This is a story that deserves the attention of everyone. It tells how strong the power of a word is, as well as a vivid example of how words should be supported by deeds.

  • Winner of an Oscar winner award for Best Adapted Script, 1963.

 

This is difficult-to-perceive and emotional story based on cruelty and love. This scenario is an excellent reference to how the encirclement can affect the person and deprive the right to choose even own destiny.

  • Winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Script, 1973;
  • Winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Script, 1973.

Summarising

Remember that it is always difficult to start something new. The first steps are not easy. However, if you have a goal, then you need to make enough effort and continue to go towards it, despite the difficulties and obstacles. Your efforts will not be ignored.

Filed under: Filmmaking Career, ScreenwritingTagged with: , , , ,

[Book Review] Crazy Screenwriting Secrets by Weiko Lin

Introduction

A good script can provide the recipe for a good film. Screenwriting itself is a craft which can be attempted by pretty much anyone, but it can be very difficult to master. A decent script can transform or take away from a film’s appeal. While a movie can be universally popular, not every film is internationally successful. While Hollywood system films still dominate the film industry, it is harder and harder to ignore new markets across the world which yearn for something new, something fresh – and I would argue, that it all starts with the script. So, what makes the script of a film interesting? What does it need to achieve? Why does script form the foundation of a film? And how can we bring new and different stories to a international audience?

Crazy Screenwriting Secrets is a book which tackles the question of global film appeal and examines it through a screenwriting lens. It’s written in a comfortable and interesting way, expressing the core practical tenets of scriptwriting. The book also gives an introduction into practices of both Hollywood and Chinese film industries with a thesis of global inclusion – which is one of the reasons why I enjoyed the book so much! Weiko Lin, the author, is a writer and producer who has written major film projects in both Asain and Westen markets. He has also taught at many prestigious institutions including UCLA, Northwestern University and Taipei National University of the Arts. Weiko bridges the gap between the Chinese and American film industries in order to find both an interesting and unique global filmmaking viewpoint.

 

Content: An Universal Outlook With Practical Solutions

Lin organises the book into two parts over five chapters. The technical side of screenwriting covers things like Story Ideas, Characters and the Screenplay, etc. The second part looks into the actual practical side of the craft. That is to say, he looks at concepts such as the U.S. market and how to work within it, as well as the Chinese film industry and its own brand of global appeal. The book goes through the tools that you need in order to write, how to construct a script and how to work in both the Hollywood industry and the Chinese filmmaking industry. It also lays out the craft of screenwriting through explaining various practical elements and discussing how to practically achieve them. He explains what industries standards to use (Final Draft software etc.), methods to conceptualise story ideas and how to present your script in the best way possible to potential buyers.

Weiko also takes the reader on a short trip around the scriptwriting profession- explaining the workflow from screenplay to screen, a couple of managerial agencies that he recommends as well as film schools that he has either been an alumni at or has connections too. It’s not a full list of recommendations or a comprehensive guide for a writing career but it can give you an understanding on what to look for. Furthermore, he briefly touches on legal concepts such as copyright rules for scripts and the Writers Guild of America union which are a small but essential part of a practical real world guide to the craft of scriptwriting.

My favourite ideas of the book must come from the section about the global appeal of Hollywood structure and how it can be used to for maximum effect for ‘universal movies’. Citing examples such as Slumdog millionaire, Brokeback Mountain, Get Out, Crazy Rich Asians, etc . Weiko explains that these films have critical and blockbuster success because of the few things they have in common. They take advantage of a culturally and ethnically inclusive storyline, they don’t preach to their audience and simply put, are good movies! Weiko also briefly mentions the unique aspects of the Chinese film industry, how it is organised, what material can (and can’t) be used in a screenplay and the particulars of Chinese networking. I really enjoyed this section of the book – as alongside this, Weiko also mentions various different examples of recent Chinese films which are critics’ favourites and what is popular in terms of box office appeal. As someone who is very much interested in the emerging Chinese film market, it’s a great opportunity to see what new gems to look out for.

 

Style: A Foodie’s Approach To Film

The book is also blessed with a style which is both easy to digest and refined. It’s is a nice length, and does not go into irrelevant detail – in fact, I could have had a second helping of it! Weiko uses recent and popular film examples in order to illuminate his points about how best to go about organising genre and structure. It also is written in a way which pays homage to its cultural roots as food is used to draw an analogy between it and scriptwriting in multiple, illuminating ways. To put it simply, you can’t have a good three act structure without a decent recipe to make it!

What if you walked into a McDonalds and the Big Mac was missing from the menu? Or it takes thirty minutes to get your meal? The Big Mac is a staple and that’s not the speed you expect from a fast food restaurant. It would be frustrating. The same goes for movies. There is a certain build up and momentum the audience has come to expect from films just as they expect a certain menu, food preparation, and promptness from a restaurant franchise.

Weiko’s passion for both food and film is consistantly used to ground the book in an easily digestable way. Both the Chinese and American cultural and social understanding of film shine within the book to create something unique and global. Finally, it primarily focuses on the essentials which makes it the book an easy recommendation to either beginners or writers from another medium looking for a good introduction into the craft of screenwriting.

 

Conclusion

Weiko Lin is a writer with a deep passion for film and food, which is reflected in the book itself. It combines the cultural footprint of his background with a lifetime of valuable experiences for a tasty and unique approach. While other screenwriting books may be more detailed or have more in-depth examples, this is a great start for a script-writer looking to write in a style which takes advantage of the increadly successful hollywood story construction and a global outlook on filmmaking.

If you are interested in learning more about scriptwriting or just want to learn more about film, please take a look at our short courses section on our website. Currenty, we are running a few things geared towards writing in film such as the weekend Script Analysis for Directors course, the weekend Script Supervision Masterclass and a 5 part series on scriptwriting starting at the end of July.

Filed under: Book Review, Filmmaking, Filmmaking CareerTagged with: , , , , ,

Top 13 Sites For Independent Filmmakers

In recent years, the content of the internet has transformed itself from a controlled and manufactured environment to a vast expanse of user generated content.  Internet users can log on and create their own subjects, themes, and arguments to the sites they frequent.  This idea gave birth to sites like Facebook, and Twitter; as well as creating tools like wikis, forums, and blogs.  This new type of social media forged specific online communities where people with similar interests could share and collaborate freely on ideas.

Independent filmmakers have an ever-growing presence on social media sites such as twitter, facebook, youtube, and various blogs.  This presence has resulted in a wealth of shared knowledge for filmmakers worldwide.  These sites have become a hub for the independent filmmaking community, and are a vital resource many young writers, directors, and producers alike.

Here’s a list of thirteen sites that are excellent resources for independent filmmakers in no particular order.

Filmmaker

Filmmakers on a tight budget know perfectly well how difficult it is to stay on that budget.  Filmmaker.com’s blog contains helpful articles regarding a wide array of topics from industry news, to new software updates, and to helpful tips.  Members of the site can post on the forums and exchange information on filmmaking as well as their own projects.  The forum is an ideal place for independent filmmakers to seek knowledge from their peers.

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Film Riot

Film Riot is a video tutorial site with a comedic twist.  Host Ryan Connolly covers every subject from how to make a music video, to using CGI, to how to cast your film.  This site is a delightful departure from the typical monotonous tutorials usually found on the net as the humorous videos take a narrative structure making them actually enjoyable to watch.

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Follow Film Riot on Twitter
Check out their YouTube Channel

Go Into The Story

Good screenwriters know how important it is to know every trick of the trade there is (even if they do not use them all).  Go Into The Story ditches all the fancy graphics and cluttering advertisements and opts for the bare essentials of screenwriting.  Blogger Scott Myers, a screenwriting professor at the University of North Carolina, posts advice and how-to-guides daily to aid young writers in the creative process.  The blog also sports an extensive list of other great websites and blogs that serve as great resource as well.

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Follow Scott Myers on Twitter

Hope For Film

Hope for Film is the brainchild of the American independent film producer Ted Hope.  His credits include 21 Grams (2003), American Splendor (2003), and Adventureland (2009) to name a few.    Everyday Hope and various guest bloggers post advice and opinions concerning independent film.  Like johnaugust.com this blog is a great opportunity for beginner filmmakers to seek and discuss insight of an industry professional.

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Follow Ted Hope on Twitter

IndieTalk

Similar to Filmmaker.com, IndieTalk is filmmaking community in which filmmakers share and exchange ideas in a forum.  The forums are broken down into categories such as Cameras & Lenses, Screenwriting, Cinematography and Lighting, and Post Production.  The members on the forum typically offer advice on how to get around problems in filmmaking while not doing damage to your wallet.

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IndieWire

Similar to Twitch Film, IndieWire is convergence point filmmakers and film lovers alike. Fans of independent cinema receive information of films and festivals, as well as reviews and blogs.  Filmmakers can read articles covering topics such as production, distribution, exhibition, and festival strategy.

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Follow IndieWire on Twitter

John August

John August is an accomplished screenwriter whose credits most notably include Tim Burton’s films Big Fish (2003), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and Corpse Bride (2005).  He started his blog back in 2003 as an encyclopedia of information about screenwriting.  Since then it has expanded into a wealth of information ranging from career advice to the state of the film industry itself. Many of the blog posts are responses to reader-submitted questions, making it a great way for independent writers to get feedback from a working professional.

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Follow John August on Twitter

Raindance

Besides being one of Britain’s largest independent film festivals, Raindance also offers a treasure trove of information and how-to-tips for independent filmmakers worldwide.  Under the resources section of the site there are links to articles written by members of the Raindance team and industry professionals.  These articles detail the tricks and traps for filmmaking on little to no budget at all. Raindance also runs a film school with am innovative postgraduate film degree in association with Staffordshire University and the Independent Film Trust. They also have 7 regional offices in six countries which gives them an unusual and valuable perspective on new trends in independent film.

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Follow Raindance on Twitter

Shooting People

Shooting People is a network for filmmakers based out of London.   It serves as a means for independent filmmakers to connect with each other by using blogs, databases, newsletters, and podcasts.  Members of the site have premiered at Sundance, been nominated at BAFTA and the Oscars, and screened at Cannes.

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Follow Shooting People on Twitter

StudioBinder

Working in the film industry, it can often be hard to keep yourself and your crew organised. Thanks to Studio Binder, photo and video companies can now better manage their productions all on one platform. These companies can do everything from creating shooting schedules, call sheets, script breakdowns, and more that can be sent out to their entire team for easier communication. With more opportunities to keep everyone on the same page, your production is sure to be running seamlessly and efficiently.

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Follow Studio Binder on Youtube

Philip Bloom

Philip Bloom has travelled the world as a successful maker of short films, documentaries. adverts and much more. He is part of the new breed of digital cinematographers, using DLSRs to achieve that film look. On his website you can see his wide range of work, from his adverts with Kevin Spacey to his 5D Cinematography on the WWII Lucasfilm Red Tails.

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NoFilmSchool

No Film School is a site for DIY filmmakers and independent creatives run by Brooklyn based filmmaker Ryan Koo. It offers solutions to how to get the most out of the things you create in order to sustain a long career as a filmmaker, writer, director, producer, editor, cinematographers and much more.

View nofilmschool.com

Film Maker IQ

Film Maker IQ is a group of filmmakers who discuss a range of topics. With articles on things such as Make-Up Tutorials to Camera comparisons, they answer both  the whys and hows of filmmaking and help us understand the new media wave, without forgetting the old.

View filmmakeriq.com

Filmmaking Lifestyle

Filmmaking Lifestyle is a filmmaking and video production education site. They have all sorts of helpful resources and they’ve built up a solid audience of filmmakers and videographers.

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Who did we miss?

Add your favourite filmmaking website in the comments box below.

Filed under: Filmmaking Career, In Our Opinion, Promotion, Marketing and DistributionTagged with: , , , , , , , ,