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Screenwriting_1___Week_1_Lecture - SCREENWRITING 1 WEEK 1...

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Screenplay Essentials A screenplay can simply be defined as a story told through snippets in the form of images. It is written differently than a novel or any other form of writing; however a screenplay is after all a story that has a beginning, middle and end. The essentials of a good screenplay would be a beginning, middle and end as well as a protagonist which means a main (good-guy/gal) character an antagonist (or the anti-protagonist) and supporting characters. There are different styles of screenplays or teleplays. One would be the three act feature film screenplay and the other is the four act teleplay used primarily for TV shows. The teleplay is divided and timed differently for the purpose of inserting commercials. Due to these commercial breaks, writers developed a technique to keep audiences interested, by introducing cliff hangers at the end of each act. This practice would hopefully entice the audience member not to flip the channel. With a dark movie theater, the advantage is that the writer has a captive audience and can have longer acts with fewer cliff hangers. However, my advice is that the more twists and turns in a screenplay, the more appealing the story, the more successful the picture - - all this within reason, of course. In this class we’ll take a look at the basics of writing a three act screenplay. This type of script is mostly used in the feature film world. It normally lends itself best to 120 minute motion picture. Students always ask; what is the preferred length of a motion picture screenplay? The answer to that is that this is not an exact science and the length of the screenplay will be determined by each individual story. Typically one-script-formatted page will equal to one minute of screen time. MY ADVICE IS; DON’T WORRY SO MUCH ABOUT THE SCRIPT LENGTH OR ACT LENGTH AT THIS POINT. What’s more important is to develop good, solid characters and tell an interesting story. Eventually you’ll find a rhythm and the act break and page count will fall into place. As a general rule of thumb a 120 minute script will be divided as follows –
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Screenwriting_1___Week_1_Lecture - SCREENWRITING 1 WEEK 1...

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