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Old 08-13-2017, 01:17 PM   #1
PostAce
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Question Fleshing out script ideas

I like to come up with script ideas, or very general plots for films, but I never am really able to flesh them out and make them into a full script. Does anyone have any tips for helping with that?
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:49 PM   #2
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Stop procrastinating - Just do it.
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:55 PM   #3
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Fleshing it out is actually the perfect idiom, because it's good to start with a skeleton, i.e. an outline. One you have a solid outline, you start filling in the rest, and you can compartmentalize, and work on different areas at once. You don't get lost because you have defined chunks you can flesh out until they all meet. Then, details and connective filler (or connective tissue if you will).

I don't know what the best resource for this is, but try this:

http://scribemeetsworld.com/2011/scr...r-plot-points/

and

http://noamkroll.com/this-simple-bea...n-record-time/

and keep in mind, just googling here, like you can.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:32 PM   #4
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I have the same problem. I've written one full screenplay, and dozens of outlines. I wish I had fleshed them out. 2 of my ideas I wrote actually were made into movies by someone else. If I had worked faster than I would have been first. There are so many people now, it's very easy to come up with the same idea as someone else independently. Some of my incomplete scripts are about 40 pages.

One trick is to obligate yourself into doing something. I gave myself a specific deadline once. I promised my friend a complete screenplay by his wedding as a wedding gift. That was the screenplay that got finished.

I've been told that giving someone $200 dollars and telling them not to give it back until you've written the screenplay works.

I did all sorts of annoying work at my previous job. They provided good tools for doing it. It's easy to hack your brain.They paid me to do annoying stuff. You don't have immediate incentives on writing. Find ways to force yourself to do it.

Find ways to motivate yourself other than your creative drive. I got the creative drive, but I daydream about ideas more than I do it.

My only wish is I had written a movie that took place in a room instead of writing a road movie.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by GilaVisata: My only wish is I had written a movie that took place in a room instead of writing a road movie.
I hear you! My second feature (DETOURS) was a road movie and there were many many (many!) days when I wished I had written something for 1 room, or at least for 1 house.
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Old 08-21-2017, 10:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by GilaVista View Post
I've been told that giving someone $200 dollars and telling them not to give it back until you've written the screenplay works.
I don't think it's necessary to go that great length just to write a screenplay. It's not that hard to stay focus. Just be determine, patient and ambitious.
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Old 08-21-2017, 11:21 PM   #7
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I don't think it's necessary to go that great length just to write a screenplay. It's not that hard to stay focus. Just be determine, patient and ambitious.
It isn't necessary, but it could be helpful. The reason I call this hacking is because the brain has long term incentivization. Money is an incentive that has been taught from an early age. I haven't done this personally, but heard from others where this works. Now I did make the promise that I would have that screenplay done by my friends wedding. That was very helpful as I didn't want to let him down. I've let myself down tons, but letting other people down is much harder to do psychologically. Motivation and pressure are strong forces. Having kids is a strong force for instance. That's why people around the world have pictures of their children by their desks. It is a motivational tool to remind them why they do what they do. It keeps them motivated.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:10 PM   #8
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I guess it's pretty much the same thing if you give yourself a personal deadline, stating that you want to finish this screenplay on this date. Because you would want to live up to your promises.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by PostAce View Post
I like to come up with script ideas, or very general plots for films, but I never am really able to flesh them out and make them into a full script.
The words "ideas" and "very general" are the ones that stand out to me.

What is the very core of the idea or plot? That's the place to start.

Then you need a fairly definitive ending. Yes, there's a very good chance that it will change - possibly many times - somewhere along the line, but having a firm destination gives you some place to go. Otherwise you're just wandering in a wilderness.

Creative "Art," be it composing/songwriting, writing of all kinds, painting, filmmaking, etc., is all about building things, ripping them apart, then reassembling them in new and interesting ways. It's about knowing when to kill your babies. It's about sublimating your ego. And sometimes it's about crawling into the dark, dirty, scary places inside yourself for inspiration or context.



One of my favorite directors, Frank Capra, and his favorite screenwriter, Robert Riskin, would take a hotel room (in Palm Springs, CA, if I remember correctly) and work uninterrupted until the script was done. Capra had the story structure and the key scenes, Riskin helped him flesh it out and wrote the dialog.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:51 AM   #10
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Also, a thing about writing outlines: It is a bit like a Coloring book. You have an outline. All you have to do is fill it in. You pick the colors and the shades, you get to decide where to leave it empty.


You also don't have to do it linearly.

There was this page I read on writing screenplays a while back. It taught me about the 8 film reels. And the beat draft.

Now before you know that you have to understand a three act structure, dramatic structure, and it's good to know the hollywood formula(though not important)

If you already have an outline good. Hopefully it follows the regular structure of Beginning Middle and End. Or Intro, Complication, Climax, Resolution. There are bunches of other ways to do it.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...yramid.svg.png

What the beat draft was nice is it is pretty free form. You just take your outline and write a few paragraphs about a very basic idea on how you want each part to go. A kind of non formal fatter outline to help you get the beats down.

The 8 reels was an interesting concept. Film reels generally have a finite length in terms of minutes. A Film reel is generally 1000 feet which is 11 minutes. In an 88 minute movie there are 8 reels to be thrown on a projector.
Generally, when writing a screenplay in screenplay format 1 page = 1 minute of film time. This is not exact, but it is a good rule of thumb. So, really you just have to write 8 chapters that are 11-15 pages a piece.

So start with an outline. Break that outline into 8 chapters. Get the ideas you want into 8 paragraphs in the beat draft. Expand each beat into a 11-15 page chapter. Then edit, edit, edit until your script is real tight. Now you actually don't want all the chapters to be an even 15 pages. Working on pacing is going to be a difficult task, probably the hardest task, but now everything is fleshed out.

Last edited by GilaVista; 08-29-2017 at 02:13 AM.
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