View Full Version : traditional screenplay-to use or not to use?


jeremywallace
02-09-2004, 02:31 AM
I am going to begin work on a screenplay for my indie film. However I do not want to use the traditional screenplay format. Is this suicide or could it work?

indietalk
02-09-2004, 03:18 AM
If it's not a spec script, you could write it on toilet paper. If I were you though, I'd stick to the standard format if you want your actors to be able to read it. You don't want them reading other peoples lines and getting lost.

WideShot
02-09-2004, 03:28 AM
Use traditional screenplay format, its what every crew & cast member is used to seeing. And if you don't it won't look official or professional, but I don't know if that's what you want. If you'd like, since you're the director, go ahead and make it a shooting script, if you're so inclined. They tell you not to do this, unless you're going to produce it yourself.

clive
02-09-2004, 06:45 AM
Is there a particular reason why you don't want to use industry formats?

Script conventions are just that, conventions. It is possible to make a film without ever using them. In fact, it is possible to make a film without ever writing a script, by outlining the story on file cards and then getting the cast to devise the individual scenes, from the outline. British film maker Mike Leigh uses this technique. It's a technique that works best for directors with lots of time, money, a committed cast and theatrical experience of devised work with actors.

However, most of the script format conventions are there for a reason. They are there to make the script easy to read, easy to breakdown for call sheets and so that you can look at the number of pages and make an approximation of how long the piece will run.

The thing to remember, is that the script is used for a multitude of reasons, to help you direct, to inform the actors of their roles, to help the Art Director keep track of props, the First AD to do call sheets and anyone else with a role in production. In post production the editior will use the script to keep track of the edit.
More inportantly, the script is the thing that you put in front of people who will fund you.

All of these people will expect you to use industry standard script formats.

Therefore, by not using them, you are saying right at the beginning of your project, I will never need another human being to use this script as a source of information.

If you are doing self funded animation, this may be true. If this is a no budget short, that you are going to do with your mates, this maybe true. Otherwise, you might want to reconsider your choice.

WideShot
02-09-2004, 09:42 AM
doh!

*** MR. MOD DELETE THIS ONE, K?

WideShot
02-09-2004, 09:43 AM
Screenwriting in a nutshell (fantastic): http://www.screenwriting.info/
Learn screenwriting in 20 mins: http://www.oscars.org/nicholl/format.html

Once you get the hang of it you'll see traditional format IS very helpful to the whole crew, is very easy to write, and is pretty simplified.

jeremywallace
02-10-2004, 02:33 AM
Screenwriting in a nutshell (fantastic): http://www.screenwriting.info/
Learn screenwriting in 20 mins: http://www.oscars.org/nicholl/format.html

Once you get the hang of it you'll see traditional format IS very helpful to the whole crew, is very easy to write, and is pretty simplified.Awesome websites. If you got anymore websites that might be useful that would be great.