Pitching• Get your idea out there!• Networking – Parties – Friends of friends• Always have a pitch on hand for your idea.
Pitching• Refine your idea to one sentence.• What is the essence of the film?• The clearer you are, the better.• Verbal - short - 3 minutes maximum.
Pitching• What is the title? – If need be, use a working title• What is the theme? – A broad sense of issues that are being discussed• What is the story? – Do people want to know the ending? Is it interesting?• What is unique?• Why you?
Pitching• What is the catchiest thing about this project?• Genre• Where does the story come from?• Why? – Why now? – Why do you love it? – Why do you want to make it?
Elevator Pitch• Think of an elevator ride - you want to be able to pitch to somebody in the same time it would take to ride an elevator with them.
Treatment• Written in simple present tense• Each paragraph is a scene• No dialogue – If there is any dialogue, it should aid in conveying the tone• No camera directions• Capitalize the names of characters the first time they are introduced• Capitalize every sound• Indent (5 spaces) every new paragraph• Flush left
Beat Sheet• A beat sheet is another way of laying your story out• Can be done or after the screenplay - often done after the first draft of the screenplay• It is composed of beats, which are the smallest unit of screen story-telling• A beat is a moment in which something happens – Could be action or something dramatic (an explosion, a fight, etc.)• Beats are represented by a bullet point or a number
Beat Sheet• More than one beat can happen in a single setting or scene• No required length - is as long as it needs to be• Written clearly and simply as possible
Screenplay• Here is an example of a screenplay.
Screenplay - basics• Scene - screenplay is made up of scenes. A scene is a unit of drama.• A scene helps achieve coherence. – Advance story/show conflict/develop character/create suspense, etc.
Screenplay - basics• Dramatic action is action in pursuit of a goal 1. The protagonist has an 2. Objective which is opposed by 3. The antagonist out of which arises 4. Dramatic conflict
The Screenplay• The main thing you need - FORMAT – Screen is a genre where format holds a lot of importance• Programs for formatting: – Final Draft – Celtx (Free! But misbehaves) – Word (for the brave)• Remember - about 1 minute per page of screenplay.
Formatting - History• Screenplays were first typed on typewriters - hence the Courier font• This is how the timing standard was set• And this is why it is still the same format to this day - to keep the timing.
Screenplay• Now, a screenplay written by Steven. For real! Kind of.• This will help answer formatting questions in a creative way.
The Screenplay• Screenplays are a bit of an odd genre to write in• Very specific brand of writing – Sparse/brief• Watch out for risk of offending – Actors – Directors
“No-nos”• All rules can be broken, but here are some loose ones to follow for screenwriting: – Don’t write in camera angles or directions – Don’t write in lighting cues – Don’t write in nuanced acting (specific facial expressions) – Be aware of budget – Be aware of special effects