make a movie, even though it's not required, you should really consider having
a script. Most
movies, except those made in Hollywood, have scripts. Here is the actual shooting
script we have been using to shoot our movie. It took us years to finish,
in bits and pieces, but most of it was written in chunks a month or two long.
It's possible to spend less time on a script, but it will suck. This is good,
because it will make more money that way.
We learned a lot of valuable lessons in writing and revising this script,
some of which we will pass on to you now:
The script should be about 8 1/2 by 11. Smaller paper will make it longer,
in number of pages, but this is an ILLUSION and will not actually make your
movie longer. Fudging the margins like in college doesn't work here.
Use ordinary fonts. Fancy fonts, like "Cosmic" or "Alien Fart,"
will make the script seem more interesting at first glance, but it doesn't
actually make the movie any better. Using creative fonts--fonts which portray
a certain "attitude" or "emotional" impression--in order
to provide visual cues to guide the actors' performances, does not
work. Surprisingly enough, it actually pisses them off.
Number your pages correctly.
White paper works best. Not only is it more visible during night shoots than,
for example, black paper, it is also more visible during daytime shoots as
Do not use emoticons in a script.
Spelling is not important. You are an artist. If people cannot understand
your work despite spelling errors, and punctuation and grammatical errors,
then they do not deserve to read your work. Being able to write "intelligently"
just makes you look like a dork.
Be original, but don't show off. There are some fifty or sixty scripts being
passed around now that are entirely in Klingon. This is NO LONGER an original
Characters in movies can do anything--anything--on a computer. If you
get stuck on a plot point, just have someone "feed something through"
a computer, thus solving the problem. This can be suspense-building to the
audience, because in real life computers don't work.
It is not necessary to write "LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!" at the beginning
of every scene in your script.
Keep in mind when writing that no more than twelve characters can be talking
simultaneously in a scene without it starting to become difficult to follow.
Keep it to about eight at all times, ten when you need to save screen time.
It is not yet permissible to have an unsympathetic gay character.
Writer's block is a common problem. If faced with it, try the following creative
exercise: transcribe one of your favorite movie scenes, and type it into your
computer. Study the way the scene works. How do the characters interact? What
makes it tick? Then run a "Search and Replace," changing their characters'
names to the names of your characters. Paste it into your script.
Expect the unexpected. With fledging scriptwriters, dramas are often much
funnier than comedies.
The stealing of ideas is a problem in the film industry. If someone steals
your idea, stay calm. Wait for the film to come out on video. Steal a copy.
Having a girlfriend/boyfriend interferes greatly with writing a script. Dump
him or her. Or if you really want him to leave you alone, marry him.
Write what you know. It is common in Hollywood to write 120 pages about nothing.
we hope this short list has helped you. It is time to move on to the next
stage of our tour of Moving, the next critical element in making a