Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Formatting - a Gross necessity

Music & Screenwriting are specific crafts. Creative. Confined, yet Freeing...

To write a song, you learn the basics: radio play is about 3-1/2 minutes. Standard format is Verse-Chorus-V-C-Bridge-C-C. Within verses you follow a meter. There is a type of crescendo for the chorus. The bridge presents a new theme.

You can stray from the format, but the structure is always basically there.

Same for screenwriting. You have 2 hours to tell your story to an easily bored audience. There is a definite format to storytelling: Act I, Act II, Act III. In Act I certain things must happen (inciting incident). In Act II a set of problems must occur. There is a climax and resolution that must happen in Act III. Each page of the script equals about one minute of film time, so 120 pages is your max.

120 pages to tell a 300-page single-spaced story!!??

The craft is more important than anyone not in the biz believes. We've all seen the movies that make us scratch our heads. What idiot producer OK'd that disaster? But more often, especially in recent years, the fierce competition has elevated the storytelling to a higher level.

I'm glad to know the format. I'm glad to know the limitations. I'm even glad for the competition that ensures I'll tell the story in the best way possible.

I'll be glad when my screenplay is finished!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.