Scripting of Deadline

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Scripting for any screenplay is generally the same process, with some formatting changes. However, there are also ‘rules’ around how to write for short film.
I want to improve on my writing skills, and to do so, I’ll be researching script writing specifically for short film.

Short films

Screencraft points out that short films are the most important moment in a character’s life. “These minutes, hours or days decide everything.” [1] With short film, because you don’t have long to put across your point, you have to really prioritise every action. That the character does, and everything they say. everything has to move the story on. They also mention, although it’s obvious, that film is a visual medium. It can be easy to forget to make a script about what the audience will see, because as a writer you’re focused on what will be read. However, showrunners are responsible for all of these aspects of production, so it works well to be a showrunner for short film.

Raindance also has a guide on how to write a script for short film. They remind the reader that it’s important to keep a short script practical. It’s unlikely that a short film will have the budget for lots of special effects, so keep the script achievable. [2] It can be easy to assume that because it’s short, you can achieve bigger effects. However, it can get overwhelming for the viewer, so keeping it simple is key.

John August makes a good point of keeping the story balanced. “…but rather that if you delay any longer, your story is going to feel lopsided: too much setup for what was accomplished.” [3] This is important because if you spend too long adding substance, the story will be slow in the beginning but then rushed at the end.

For my project in particular, I want to be able to communicate to the viewer visually. This is hard to do through a script, but is possible, and it brings a script to life. Speaking of the script for Whiplash, lightsfilmschool adresses visual writing. “Short, kinetic sentences foreground specific images: the metronome, Andrew’s blistering hands, the drumsticks. The scene is about “Andrew practicing like mad” until “CRAAACK”, his right drumstick “SNAPS IN HALF.” You can hear that sound, right?” [4] This explains how you can simply take a script to the next level with just a few changes.

How will this affect my work

With Deadline, I’ll be focusing on bringing my script to life with interesting writing, working visually with the explanations so that the reader can see what I’m seeing in my script. I want to be able to create a script that reads easily, is balanced, but also makes the reader want to turn the page.


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