Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Movie Script Writing : Avoid These Screenplay Mistakes

Screenwriting For Authors -- Avoid These Newbie Mistakes

Author:Danek S. Kaus

Screenwriting is vastly different from writing a novel or true-story book. It is a different medium and needs to be treated as such. It is a difficult form that even few authors are able to master.

[caption id="attachment_126" align="aligncenter" width="650"]Movie Script Writing : Avoid These Screenplay Mistakes Movie Script Writing : Avoid These Screenplay Mistakes[/caption]

With this in mind, here are a few of common mistakes of new screenwriters. Hopefully, this article will help you to avoid them and make your script or book into a movie more enticing to Hollywood.

STARTING TOO LATE - Novels can and often do begin at a leisurely pace, with scene descriptions, character backgrounds, etc. Because screenplays generally run a maximum of 120 pages, much of it white space, a screenplay has to get moving sooner.

UNNECESSARY DESCRIPTION - Screenplay description is minimalist, just enough to tell the reader where we are and a general tone of the place. Leave the rest up to the director and/or art director.

STATING THE OBVIOUS - one tendency of newbie screenwriters is to have characters tell us what we just witnessed on the screen. For example, if we are watching a track meet and John crosses the finish line first, it is unnecessary and boring to have a character say 'John won the race.'

FORMAT - Screenplays follow a strict format. The first thing a producer or Hollywood Reader (whose job it is to read scripts for their bosses) does is check the format. If it\'s wrong, even a little, they throw away the script without further attention.

LENGTH - Feature Film scripts are usually 90 - 120 pages, though close to 100 is usually preferred. The reason is that one page of a screenplay is considered to translate into one minute of screen time. Industry execs will generally not read a script that is of improper length.

TOO MUCH DIALOGUE - One big newbie mistake is to write page after page of dialogue. Movies are primarily a visual medium. There should be a good balance of dialogue and physical action, favoring action. Action does not necessarily mean gun fights and car chases. It means the characters are doing something.

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About the Author

Danek S. Kaus is a produced screenwriter with another film in development. Several of his scripts have been optioned by movie production companies. He can help with your screenplay or adapt your book into a movie. He also offers professional script analysis

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