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84

Killing a minority character isn't a problem in itself. The problem is that western media (particularly film) has a long tradition of killing of minority characters and leaving white protagonists to complete the plot. It is a habit that is rooted in racism, and not one that you want to add weight to without due consideration. Now, if this character's ...


32

There are two simple rules when it comes to writing which trump all else: Always write for the reader (or in this case viewer). Never let anything get in the way of your writing. The second rule is what we are dealing with. This rule follows the theory that you should never compromise your writing - even a little - to achieve some other goal. You write ...


12

The main difference between usage in the terms "screenplay" and "script" is the function of the document. The script that the actors use during filming contains primarily dialogue with minimal stage direction. This is similar to the 'spec scripts' given to agents and producers to generate interest in the work. The primary focus here is on telling the story, ...


10

In the context you've provided, OFF Marie, left stewing now means "this is the last thing the camera sees before it moves off her to the next shot." These are framing directions to the camera person. Look at the parentheticals: PAMELA And it’s not an apartment, it’s a house that you live in? (off Skyler’s nod) Do you own outright, or is there a mortgage,...


9

I had the same dilemma recently with one of my older stories (i.e. 6-7 years old), which is in need of redrafting. One of the supporting characters, a black woman, dies halfway through; this is a pivotal moment in the plot, as it drives the (white male) protagonist to make a decision that drives the rest of the story. I considered swapping some of the ...


7

It's not always so different. There are just a set of rules in hollywood, there isn't really in bollywood. So in bollywood you write as you please and so sometimes it looks more like the hollywood-style, one minute per page format, and other times like a stage-play-script. Sometimes in bollywood there is no dialogue but just a treatment and then someone else ...


7

Why is the character black? This Wiki contains a chart, based on the US Census bureau and self-identified race, that shows 72.4% of Americans identify as White alone, and 12.6% of Americans identify as Black (or African American) alone. 4.8% identify as being of Asian descent. (In the US Census, one can check any race and then separately self-identify as ...


7

Some phenomena we see are statistical in nature, and racism is one of them. It isn't a single event, it is a tendency. There is a reason why it is so closely related to stereotyping. Black people die in real life. One black guy dying in a story of fiction is just an isolated event, and not racist in itself. For me, it doesn't even matter if his race is ...


7

It’s not necessary in the body of a scene to inform us as to the setting, the time of day, or whether it’s an interior or exterior, as this is already known from the scene heading. If a legend, such as a locale or a date, is to be superimposed upon a scene, then standard format dictates it be placed within quotes and preceded by the word “SUPERIMPOSE:” (...


6

A character that is off screen speaks from off screen. Voice over refers to a n̲a̲r̲r̲a̲t̲o̲r̲ who narrates the story (e.g. in a documentary, where the narrator never appears in the film).


5

The short answer is, yes, although there's no rule about it, studio readers do seem to start on page one. Readers looking for scripts for their employers to film look for a lot of things: That there's a basic concept at work in the script, that the three-act structure is being followed... there's a list to be ticked off, and every studio will require their ...


5

Typically, the advice for sample scripts is to write a sample for a close competitor of your target. It may sound counter-intuitive, but it shows that you can write in the immediate ballpark of what they are looking for, but without raising issues with a) your conception of the characters not aligning with theirs and b) the possibility that you might ...


5

Yes, it's normal to leave out unimportant dialogue and descriptions. Would the dialogue move the story forward? Does it give the reader insight into the characters? If not, it's probably best to leave it out.


5

Maybe it is easier for you to decide, if you make a distinction between your feelings as an author on the one hand, and the impression on the readers, and the feelings you invoke in them, on the other. What would be the advantage to you, as the author, to use the name of a well-known university? Do you fantasize that every reader will have the same picture ...


5

You are asking for legal advice, on whether you slander or libel the college in question, which even a lawyer would have to read everything you write about the college in order to provide you with advice. I am not a lawyer. However, as you can see from the TV series "Suits", it is important to their story line that ALL the lawyers in the law firm Mike works ...


4

I'd write it in the script. You have to hire someone to read the lines, and it's audible dialogue which the characters and audience have to hear and react to. GREG I've got the tea. Where are the biscuits? JOHN Upper cabinet to the left of the sink, bottom shelf. RADIO ANNOUNCER And now, we present for your enjoyment the dramatization of Neil Gaiman's ...


4

A screenplay is a script written for a screen, whether television or feature, but it's only used when the specifics of what's being worked on might be in question. Formatting is very similar for both types of projects, the difference has to do more with pacing, the number of locations, acts and scenes than actual formatting differences. Also a stageplay ...


4

For this script at least, the numbers correspond to the scenes. Each number in the left margin appears at the beginning of a new location. At a guess, this could simply be to make writing easier for the screenwriter, or perhaps to correspond to clapperboard information. These possible uses are only guesses, however. As seen in @Reed's comments, this is ...


4

Once I saw a great video about the way the movie The Predator introduces the individuals of the raid party. A group of mercenaries is on the helicopter which is taking them on the mission spot. Killing time, they all prepare for the mission in their own way. The macho guys makes some racist jokes; the quiet one stays silent shaving, ignoring the others; the ...


4

Since you're editing the question, I assume you’d like more input. (Did not realize this was screenwriting, should perhaps delete this.) I’d say, don’t throw us a laundry list of traits. Interweave it with action. I am going to assume you have only four people in a room, and the reader knows none of them, and we need to come up to speed on all of them ...


4

Unless racial issues are part of the plot, simply don't assign any race to any character whatsoever. If pressed, say that each character is full-blooded Fictionese, but that you are agreeable to casting non-Fictionese actors to play the roles.


4

It is just EXT. BRETT'S HOUSE - DAY You are over thinking it. It doesn't make a difference if he owns it, rents it, whatever. He lives there. Nobody gets confused. Who cares if he owns it or not? If ownership of the house is immaterial to the plot, then do not specify. Never write ANYTHING that does not make a difference in the story on the screen. Further,...


4

The biggest limitation of most modern chatbots is only replying to the last message stated. They can give great responses, that seem funny or clever, but only to the last sentence said. So when you write your AI don't look at the conversation as a whole. Look at the last sentence ignoring the conversation and reply to just that. Also don't forget that your ...


4

According to http://www.storysense.com/format/flashbacks.htm, you should bookend it with "BEGIN FLASHBACK" and "END FLASHBACK" as action lines, and then treat it as any other new scene, even if it is the same location. Changing tense is not necessary. BEGIN FLASHBACK INT - ROGER'S HOUSE (1980) - NIGHT [flashback scene] END FLASHBACK ...


4

Keep in mind, a script is a technical document intended to aid actors and the director in creating a play or a movie. It is not (directly) for the characters or the audience. The characters might know her as "Wolfe," and the audience might need to get in the mindset of the characters, but what the actors and director most need to know is who is speaking at ...


4

My favorite podcast is probably Writing Excuses, with the tagline "Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart." They manage to signal the entire tone, plus an idea what to expect in the re-usable tagline, which lasts about 5 seconds. There's a little more to how they structure their opening, but it is amazingly concise and ...


3

Whether to outline a story thoroughly or not at all is a question that's been asked for a long time. But some general information may help. If you're writing on your own, you can write however you like. There's no reason you can't just start typing a screenplay and, when you're done, edit what you've written into shape. There are a couple of advantages ...


3

A screenplay is a preproduction tool, whereas a script is a production/post production tool. From the filmmaking side, being on set, we refer to the printed copy as a script. The script is a tool that the actor and rest of the crew use while on set at a particular location, and is often only a portion of the entire screenplay. Directors, actors, continuity ...


3

Frequently, greetings and farewells are simply left out, for time compression in the screenplay. Every second counts. Watch any sitcom, like The Big Bang Theory; and this seems natural enough. Also often, the greeting is given by one person with a comic line, insult, or reference to what is already happening in the room or something that we saw happen ...


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