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Old December 23 2010, 05:05 PM   #38
Andymator
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Sir Rhosis wrote: View Post
Back to the writing:

Having read a number of fan film scripts (and pro scripts do it to, often) my beef would be with overwriting. Often you get something like:

EXT. SPACE

The Enterprise cruises slowly THROUGH THE FRAME, from right to left, at an angle bisecting the geometric balance of the galaxial plane. We MOVE IN SLOWLY until CAMERA is square on the mighty vessel which PASSES DIRECTLY UNDER CAMERA. CAMERA SWIVELS and ROTATES and REGAINS image of ship as it now MOVES AWAY from our perspective, and grows smaller moment by moment.

Or something much like that. For Chrissake, just say:

EXT. SPACE

The Enterprise cruises by.

or even simpler:

EXT. SPACE

Enterprise flyby.

The same goes for all scenes. There is often excessive description of every bridge establishing shot. What every single character at every station is doing is described (and what they're thinking, too, believe it or not). Instead of all that, just list the characters present and say something like "all intent at their stations."

"Don't direct on paper," is a maxim I have often heard. Which doesn't mean that you can't write with flavor and verve!

Sir Rhosis
Do you mind if I ask why exactly you have a beef with this?

As a television director I really enjoy alot of texture and description from writers in their scripts. It allows me to really feel the tone and visualize the story as I'm going through it, like reading a good book. Obviously the first example you gave above is a bit rediculous, but that's just bad structure and lack of literal focus.

I find the best thing about getting a whole lot of material to work with is that I don't have to use it if I don't want to. It's only there to help me understand what the writer is visualizing when crafting the story. The better I understand the concept, the better I am at the execution. I suppose the downside is that it takes a little longer to read them, heheheh.
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