CLEAN UP YOUR ACTION!

house-cleaning2

So, everyone has at least one friend who has the gift of the gab…I had such a friend, who shall remain anonymous at this time for safety purposes…mine!

So, this friend of mine was really into cleaning. Spring cleaning, to be exact! She’d start by rattling off a list of cleaning products she was going to utilize. Next, she would take me on a journey upstairs to the bedrooms and bathrooms, then continuing downstairs with the living room, dining room and finally the kitchen. By the time she was finished, I was exhausted!

Although, I wasn’t into cleaning like she was, I couldn’t help being drawn into her guilty pleasure…it was as if I was there.

And that leads me into my next TIP…

“SERIES OF SHOTS”

A “Series of Shots” is just that…it presents a scene in one location in a series of camera shots.

For Example:

SERIES OF SHOTS

1. Sinister Clouds devour the sky.

2. A menacing lighting bolt strikes a tree, ripping a limb off.

3. Colossal ice pellets plummet to the ground, blanketing the street.

4. An out of control Jeep skids to a stop, just short of the falling limb.

 
A Series of Shots are usually ACTION scenes.

Like my friend, who for some sick reason, loved to clean, and then proceeded to TELL me about it…A Series of Shots does the same, but instead of TELLING, it will SHOW the audience by placing the scene in short dramatic shots.

Okay, that’s my TIP for today. Now…the challenge for you is to go ahead and try to write a scene with a SERIES OF SHOTS.

Until then…Write On!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exit…Stage Right.

snaggle

In 1959 Hanna Barbera created a cartoon character named Snagglepuss. He was a pink mountain lion whose trademark line was ”Exit. Stage Right “ or “Exit. Stage Left.”

So, what’s Snagglepuss got to do with this Blog? Well, nothing but I’m going to use his line “Exit. Stage Right” to lead into my next TIP.

When your character is HEARD but not SEEN you will use:

O.S. (Abbreviation for Off Stage).

For example:

INT. TAU’S HOUSE – KITCHEN – NIGHT

The family is seated around the dinner table, ready to eat.

MOTHER
Where is Tau?

TAU (O.S.)
I’m doing my homework!
Save me some chicken!

Although our character Tau is not physically present with the family at the dinner table, Tau is still included in the scene.

Okay, that’s my Tip for today, until then…Write on!

 

SLUG LINES…YUK!

 

(aka: Master Screenplay Heading)

SLUG LINES…YUK!

Today’s Tip…what happens after “FADE IN?”

It is sometimes referred to as a Master Screenplay Heading, but is most widely known as a

SLUG LINE

The Slug Line informs the reader, actor/actress, director, etc., on where the scene is located (inside or outside), the location, and finally the time of day.

INT.    (abbreviation for INTERIOR or that the scene takes place inside).

EXT.   (abbreviation for EXTERIOR or that the scene takes place outside).

HOUSE                  (location of scene)
TAU’S HOUSE     (specific location of scene)

DAY         (When scene takes place)
NIGHT     (When scene takes place)

So, if you put all these elements together, it should look like this:

INT. TAU’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Or

EXT. HOUSE – DAY

Okay, that’s the Tip for today.  We’ll take it slow for now…as there may be folks who have never written a script.

Until then…Write On!

 

 

FADE IN…FADE OUT.

fade in

So…your story is ready to be told, but how do you start?

If you are not familiar with the set-up of a screenplay, the first words to go on your script will be:

FADE IN.

Now there are some folks who don’t like to follow the rules and may not choose this as a lead into their script…and that’s okay.   However, for the sake of following the Master Screenplay Format, we will use this to signal the beginning of our screenplay.

The last words to go on your script will be:

FADE OUT.

As you may have already guessed, this signals “THE END” of your story.

Everything in-between FADE IN and FADE OUT,  is YOUR STORY.
We’ll discuss the “everything in-between” on the next post.

So that’s my Tip for today!  For now, visualize what your story is about,  just as you want it to be seen on the Big Screen!

So, you wanta write a screenplay?

It\'s within your reach.Talofa everyone!  This is technically my first post, so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.  Let’s start with first things first. 

First tip of the day is…have a great idea for a story.  That’s easy, you think, until you start writing and your great idea is only a couple of pages in length.  That’s fantastic!…if you were submitting a short story for a magazine, but for a screenplay, every page counts because each page is approximately a minute in time.  A feature-length flick is usually 120 minutes in length (there are 90 minute features, but rare these days),  therefore, your script should be 120 pages (or 90)  in length as well.

So, before you start writing, keep this in mind! 

Okay…that’s my tip for  today!  Check back for more of Tau’s tips for scripts!

Write On!