I attended an event on 7th March by GIFT (Girls in Film & Television) in conjunction with the EPL Library WIR Susie Moloney. This is an avenue of writing I want to explore, learn and master. After all every fiction author wants to see their story on the big screen.
The workshop focused on secrets of the golden rules of screenwriting, and the short film format. The presentation gave us information on how to write full and dynamic characters, how to structure a story, and how to format a script like a pro. Our host was Jana O’Connor, who instructs within Alberta schools for GIFT, 5 day workshops to teach young girls/women the world for film.
The intricacies of the production of a movie (or play) are a world away from the writing of a novel. There are 5 Golden Rules:
- Rule of Three
It may seem similar to the construct of a novel, however, the differences are in the format of the script. Although, it details such things as location and character name, it also includes parenthesis (a word, clause, or sentence inserted as an explanation or afterthought into a passage that is grammatically complete without it, in writing usually marked off by curved brackets, dashes, or commas.) These are clues to what day of day the scene takes place, any significant objects, if the actor needs to use a specific emphasis on how they say the line, such as sarcastically or frightened etc.
Intro: Interior of a log cabin, night time
Name: Character’s name in capitals – Malcolm
Each page represents 60 seconds of film so the scene and dialogue has to be concise – remember the viewer is seeing a lot of the things as a novelist we have to explain and include.
Take a scene from your novel and rewrite it as a movie scene – how much did you delete?
Resources given at the workshop were:
GIFT (Girls in Film & Television)
WIFTA (Women in Film & Television, Alberta)
No Film School https://nofilmschool.com/
YEG Film on Facebook
Celtx Script Writing https://www.celtx.com/index.html
And there are a lot of screen writing podcasts and videos on the web!