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Prompt for the piece was something like this:
5-page scene in screenplay format about two people who live together, one of whom wants to go out, while the other wants the first person to stay in. Emphasize visual elements.
After doing this, I started using these two characters (at an earlier point in their relationship) for other little scenes and sketches for class.
Feedback is loved especially comments!
Possible areas for feedback:
- Do the visuals contribute to the story in a meaningful way for you? (Or do they seem like filling?) How so? Other visual-related feedback?
- How is the pace? (Keep in mind that in some parts you're reading information consecutively that would be processed audiovisually and simultaneously.) Particularly: pace of plot development via dialogue?
- Please let me know if I've screwed up on formatting, etc. Still pretty new to screenplays!
Been out of DA for a very looong time... sure do missed a lot of nice things...
...the other prompt for this application? eh, not quite as inspired
glad you enjoyed!
good luck with your studies! theater acting, production, both?)
Slugline should just be INT. FRONTIER LOG CABIN - EARLY MORNING
You can indicate Winter in the action description if it's important, but it doesn't really belong in the slug line. Same with Arizona. Just extraneous information. If you aren't outside, it doesn't matter anyway.
Also, try and keep action to four lines or less -- just makes for a quicker read, easier on the eyes. Try to condense things where you can, ie, "tries to get the fire burning a little more brightly", I would just say "stokes the fire with a stick". Cut the bit in brackets that follows, audience can work that out. Also where you says "starts putting on his boots" just say, "puts on his boots". It's something everyone does, but my development guy regularly gives me hell for it. You don't "start to" do something unless something interrupts you and keeps you from finishing it.
I would put CRUNCH in caps as well (p1).
Give Wayne and Pratt ages when they are introduced. Also someone mentioned that you never say Pratt's name, that's probably a good one to throw in.
At the end, you actually cut outside and don't indicate it -- that would be a different slug line.
That said, I really enjoyed the relationship between the two and you got a lot of punch and personal history out of a nice tight scene. Dialogue was sharp. And gotta love a good cowboy story.
Congrats on the DD!! Every script I see get one now fills me with glee.
I don't know if perhaps I've picked up bad habits but I was under the impression that names, regardless if they are just before a piece of dialogue, are always in CAPITOLS. Maybe worth reading up on first though just to check as I wouldn't want you to format incorrectly.
Also I noticed that the character PRATT doesn't have his name mentioned once. The issue with this is that the reader knows who this character is but an audience watching the scene would not, meaning that we may relate differently to him. A technique often incorporated would be to call him MAN or SHORT MAN (or whatever is appropriate, obviously making sure the characters are distinguishable) until his name is mentioned, from which point on he would always be called PRATT.
Just a couple minor things I noticed but I'm aware that a lot of people have different writing styles and maybe your way of writing is fine and it's me that's wrong (wouldn't be surprised haha). Just some things to think about. Really good interaction between the characters though and congratulations on the DD Good to see screenplays getting some noteriety
From what I've read in screenplays & on the internet, it seems like capitols only for dialogue AND for the first time a character appears on screen (but not subsequently). Could be wrong though, I'll check that out...
Hmm, thanks for pointing out that Pratt's name never comes up. I will either have to work that in or decide it is unimportant. Thanks!
Have a nice day and Happy Holidays!
However, while I am thrilled to read this, I am not an expert on this style of writing. In fact, I consider myself well below novice. But, despite my lack of experience, I would like to point out a few things that I think could make this a better script.
Firstly, and to answer your first question, I enjoyed some of the visuals but a lot seemed unnecessary. Like filler. It slowed down the reading of the script and didn't add to the hypothetical film this scene would be a part of. Remember, as a writer of scripts and screenplays you aren't (usually) the director. The director will read the script, and decide upon the scenes and shots. Don't push your own idea of what each shot should be into the story. Likewise, an actor will read the script and decide upon minor character action. It's best not to step on any toes and let them do this.
An example of this is when Wayne is starting to leave, and Pratt is lying down to sleep. You don't need to describe his face, or go through his exact motions.
Secondly, I would just like to say, you're characters are powerful and interesting as is your setting, but don't describe them on the script itself. When writing scripts there is usually a separate document, or catalogue, which has all the details of character, setting, prop, etc. Put everything in there.
Just one or two scene-relivant details on the script itself, please.
On a similar note, about formatting, you don't need to put words like 'shoots' in caps. Caps are usually reserved for things that appear in the catalogue.
And finally, I just wanted to say, don't stop. You're writing is good, dialogue amazing, and characters fascinating. Also remember, there are a lot of different ways to write scripts and if I said anything that you think 'that's dead wrong' don't second guess yourself. You're probably right.
I hope that helped.
Part of the reason that this screenplay bit in particular has lots of visual details is that the prompt for the application specifically asked for an emphasis on visual details in the scene (presumably not because that's what you actually put into a screenplay, but because they want to see that you think visually and not just verbally, and how you do so). I agree with your point entirely without the context of the prompt.
Thanks for the formatting tips. Most of what I know I gleaned from one shot at ScriptFrenzy, so I'm definitely at the below novice level myself
Happy writing to you, too!
2. I don't see any problems with the pace. It seems to be a good speed. I could process the scene audio-visually in my head.
3. No mistakes from what I can see. I'm not really trained in screenplays although I have written a monologue before so I kind of have an idea how it works.