Script Annotation

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A guide to actor's script annotation.

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Script Annotation

  1. 1. Script Annotation<br />For Actors<br />
  2. 2. Why Annotate?<br />Purpose of Script Annotation:<br />Helps Actor understand the character’s motivations<br />Helps actor’s characterization be more believable<br />Helps actor memorize lines contextually<br />
  3. 3. Parts of Annotation<br />Intention<br />Action<br />Subtext<br />“Beats”<br />Blocking<br />
  4. 4. INTENTION<br />Intention: What is the OVERALL GOAL for your character in the scene?<br />“I want to convince him I love him”<br />“I want to persuade the jury”<br />“I want to caution this character against a foolish decision”<br />---all examples of INTENTION<br />
  5. 5. ACTION<br />Action: What does your character WANT at any given moment?<br />Always stated as “I want” or as action verbs<br />“I want him to listen”<br />I want her to go away”<br />“I want to kill him”<br />“I want to figure this out”<br />---all examples of ACTIONS<br />
  6. 6. SUBTEXT<br />Subtext: What your character is ACTUALLY THINKING, as opposed to what he/she is actually SAYING<br />Hitman: “What time do you close?”<br />(subtext: what time can I come back and kill you?)<br />Storekeeper: “Now. We close now.”<br />(subtext: please get out, I’m afraid you might kill me!)<br />
  7. 7. “BEATS”<br />Beats: Units of action in dramatic text (from Stanislavski’s “bits”). Notated in the script with this symbol: /<br />Example: “I left no ring with her, what means this lady?/Fortune forbid my outside have not charmed her!/She made good view of me…so much so that sure methought her eyes did lose her tongue, for she did speak in starts distractedly/”<br />
  8. 8. Annotation<br />WHERE DO THEY GO IN A PAGE OF SCRIPT?<br />INTENTION is written at the top, so you are always reminded of it<br />ACTION in the left margin<br />SUBTEXT in the right margin<br />BEATS written in the text<br />
  9. 9. Blocking<br />Blocking: where your character MOVES on stage<br />Left and Right are abbreviated “L” and “R”<br />Downstage is “DS” “DC” “DL” “DR”<br />Upstage is “US” “UC” “UL” “UR”<br />When “crossing” (moving), use the letter “X”, such as “X DR to table”<br />
  10. 10. IMPORTANT:<br />ALWAYS WRITE YOUR ANNOTATION IN PENCIL! Your notes/directions will change!<br />BRING A PENCIL TO EVERY REHEARSAL!<br />

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