Flash Frame Visuals Academy of Film & Television

Flash Frame Visuals Academy of Film & Television
Flash Frame Visuals Academy, Bangalore, India

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Interpreting the Script - Basics

Flash Frame Visuals Academy of Film & Television
Bangalore, India

Interpreting the Script - Basics
Now you are done with first draft of your Script. All your characters, situations, and conflict is all set. You read, reread and reread it again…something seems to be missing in that wide spectrum of interpretation. But what is that ‘something’? Let’s get to the root of it and find what it takes to interpret the script.

First things first. Kindly make sure that list of below mentioned things is right in place.

  • Epoch
  • Time of the day
  • Locations
  • Character details revealed by their words and actions
  • Words and actions used by characters

Now once this too is over, what you have in front of you is an overall script, right from beginning till the end. But that’s not how we go about the production part. There are few other smart ways to simplify the script further in order to sail through the production part smoothly.

Filmmaking students are ought to know these tricks, so as to become effective storytellers. At our film academy, students are immersed in the thorough process of understanding and interpreting the script, so that they are capable enough to find the flaws in their script, when re writing happens again and again. Faculty from the film department of Flash Frame Visuals Academy of Film & Television, train the students to convert complicated steps into simple ones. Here we go....

Break into manageable units

Divide the script or treatment into workable units by acts, locations and scenes. This helps you plan how each unit of the story must function and initiate the process of assembling a shooting script. For instance if you have five scenes in the same room, you can shoot them consecutively to conserve time, energy, irrespective of the fact whether they are widely spaced in the script or not.
The very minute production process actually starts; the same thing and flow of events should be conveyed to everyone including the actors, crew and the cameraman so as to avoid any last minute confusion. 

Action speaks louder than words

Truly cinematic films remain largely comprehensible and dynamic even when the sound is turned off. (Do notice the word ‘largely’). So whenever planning for a screen presentation plan it in a way as if largely it is meant for a silent film. That strong should be your visual presentation. This will force you into telling your story cinematically rather than just theatrically. So make sure that actors you pick up for your film should not be incredible in expressions alone, but also in body language, the way he is able to sink in the character et al. 

Character Establishment

An important aspect of considering the script is to trace each event and character backward to see that the requisite groundwork has been laid. It’s not just about introducing the character. It’s about laying a proper foundation of what that character is, his past, and few other coincidences with his life in order to create a dramatic arc in the story.

As Director and actor, once you know the subtext, you can develop behaviors to manifest the tensions between the inner and outer worlds, between what the character wants to do and what impedes him. 

I hope by now you will surely be entering the realm of proficient script writers. That's why script writing in a professional film institute like Flash Frame Visuals Academy of Film & Television, is an integral subject since it helps you to jot down all your thoughts on paper and helps you to sew all these threads together to form an interesting screenplay. 

Reference : Directing, Michael Rabiger

Article written by :
Aditi Keerthi Kumar
Head - Academics
Flash Frame Visuals Academy of Film & Television
Bangalore, India
E-mail : aditi@ffvacademy.com

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Common Q's and A's of Script Writing

Flash Frame Visuals Academy of Film & Television
Bangalore, India

Common Q’s & A’s of scriptwriting

“ As a scriptwriter one should give more importance to the plot not the character. Scriptwriting is just about writing the best story and nothing beyond. We can escape from primitive formats and write our own scripts the way we want”…different people and more different notions. Let’s have a quick glance and see till what extent these contradictions hold true meaning.

·      Write the best story the way you know. Don’t worry about anything else - False

If you are a painter or a poet concerned only for your art and you don’t care what anyone else thinks about it, you still can manage to go that way. But writing a screenplay is all-together a different ball game.
Writing a screenplay with a motive of just writing and not making it into a movie doesn’t hold much of a meaning. The script is unfulfilled as long as it’s on paper. If someone tells you “write the best story you can”, it’s meaningless. Of course you’re going to write the best story you can. Who’s going to write the worst story they can?

·      Leave the details to experts- True

As a writer you should not divert your attention from your main task and that is storytelling . Don’t get too much into the direction and the camera part of it. Leave it to experts. Don’t offend them by proving that you know much more than they do. Never forget that moviemaking is all about teamwork.

·      Less is more- True

         Avoid overwriting. Overly descriptive screenplays are not fun to read.  Limited description about location, action and character would do. Always remember less is more. All you are supposed to describe is core of action, and not all of it! Also remember that excess of details slows down the pace of the movie.

·      Script format isn’t really important – False

Anything that distracts from the story hurts the reading. Script is a specialized form. So stick to the format as much as possible. By doing that the form becomes invisible and the reader focuses on all his energy in just reading and visualizing the script.

·      Once a script has been rejected, it’s a dead meat– False

As a scriptwriter you should have confidence to pitch for your script, provided it’s truly worth it. If you believe in the script, keep trying. Try in different places. Change the title of the movie if you want.

·      Small budget films are easier to sell than big budget giants – True

Producers always welcome the scripts which doesn’t have unnecessary location budget, astronomical star salaries et al. Make you story so strong that even if its single location; it should hit the audience straight! Keep your locations simple and action basic, especially as a starter.

The more detailed version of the same, more Q’s and A’s are discussed at Flash Frame Visuals Academy of Film & Television. Here we thoroughly believe that just like Direction, Cinematography & Editing,  ‘Scriptwriting’ too is one of the major platforms for a successful film. So once again, happy reading.

            References : Ronal B Tobias

Article Written by:
Aditi KK
Head – Academics
Flash Frame Visuals Academy of Film & Television
Bangalore, India
Email : aditi@ffvacademy.com