Posts Tagged ‘script’

NED2: Script Workshop

Posted: December 6, 2013 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 12_14, Creative Media Production
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At this workshop writers & actors will meet each other and begin the creative process. The aim of the day is to develop a viable, interesting idea for a short film.

As Writers, we need to create:

  • A relationship with the actors – ie decide who we want to work with. To do this, we will find out as much as we can about each other.
  • We will meet the characters that the actors have developed – gathering the information to make character profiles. We can film this
  • Discuss scenarios – what situation will we put the characters in? Our job is to keep this visual, The actors job is to make it believable.
  • Workshop these ideas in front of the camera – it is important that we see how the performance might work in front of the camera and capture mistakes that might well be good.

At teh end of the day, you will have:

  • Actors Contact detials
  • Characters
  • Story
  • Treatment
  • Script ideas

Since a few of you have been asking what is happening, I thought I’d do a quick breakdown of what is happening. You will get a brief soon, but over the next few weeks we are focussing on basic skills to prepare you for the Project itself which, in short, is collaborating with actors to produce a short film about living in a small town.

You will help to develop a story around their characters, script it, plan it and shoot and edit. They will be available for a 3 week window of shooting (including Half Term), and for pick-ups and sound work.

You will need to manage it!

4/11  Assessment Week
11/11 Scripting Basic

Structure, Character & Formatting,

18/11 Testing a script: Opportunities & Describing for the camera.

Describe what you see…

25/11 Project Briefing: Mike Leigh & The Small Town.

And Role of the Writer

2/12 *Friday 6th* All Students!

Gathering Research for Script

Screen test of Characters

Workshopping the story

9/12 Story & Script Workshop
16/12  No sessions: Thursday / Friday off.


6/1 Final Script

Reading Workshop

(Each reader takes notes on each script read)

13/1 Commissioning Board

Green light best scripts

All to Pitch & Proposal

20/1 Pre Production & rehearsals

Blocking Workshop & Storyboarding

27/1 Pre production & Rehearsal

All folders complete

3/2 Filming Window
10/2 Filming Window

(Rome Trips)

Half Term & Filming Opportunities

24/2 Post

Pickups, ADR

3/3 Post

Pickups, ADR

10/3 Post

Pickups, ADR

17/3 Final Submission and Screening



Posted: November 2, 2011 by Alan Hardcastle in FdA 11_13
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So, you have your idea. As a first go, you should be keeping it simple. No car chases and convoluted plot twists involving multiple locations – this is all about using the studio as effectively as possible.

First thing you need is to turn that synopsis into a script.

Formatting a script can be quite convoluted. The basic thing to ask yourself is “how is it being produced?” This will influence the layout and how you write.

You need to write for the format of the production – so, if it is single camera, you can have lots of cuts, tell the story in close up and and have complex setups that need to camera to get into every nook and cranny to let the audience know what’s happening, because the nature of the single camera production is to get the right performance for the story.

If it is a multicam production, you tend to be capturing the performance that happens – live events, as live studio productions etc. There tends to be little room for subtleties, ECU or detail shots, just what happens.

The layouts reflect this. With a single camera, you need to focus on what we are seeing – describing the actions of the characters. Giving them good, realistic dialogue etc. The job of the camera is then to capture what is needed to communicate that visually. The first difference noted on a multi-cam script will be the big gap on the left hand side so that notes can be made for the individual cameras, as we now have multiple viewpoints to plan for.

The format can be explored easily via programmes like celtx, which can also help you plan the production. Otherwise, there are a variety of word templates you can use which allow you to set the elements using styles.

Next up, is your Storyboard. This is where you start sketching how the audience is going to see the final piece. Here is a section from “The DV Rebels Guide” about storyboarding. And a blank storyboard or two to get you started.

While this deals mainly with action / drama type scenes, you can use the same technique for as live studio shows. The kind of camera angles you are using will have a huge influence on how you audience perceive the final product – so think about them and plan how you are using them.

This only leaves the artistic design to consider – Set, Costume etc – do you need some woodworking friends to help you? Do you needs things made? It can be hard to source props, costume, sets etc, so even before your script is finished you will need to send people off to find these things!

And that’s before we start on cast…



Role of the Writer

Posted: October 30, 2011 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 10_12
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So, we start the scriptwriting unit. Finally.

In this unit you will be writing scripts for Actors to perform as part of their acting for TV Unit. You will meet with them, find out what they want, research it and write it for them. Then film it to test how well you can write.

But first, as always, there is the essay. You have 3 weeks to research “The Role of the Writer in the Commissioning Process”.

Luckily, we have some primary information – we will be visited by a Scriptwriter on 8th November. He will be able to answer a lot of questions for us. So, we need to prepare. 

You need to go out and find out the basics. Trawl the internet, look at books in the library, Read the brief on blackboard… all the usual stuff you do at the last minute. But do it so that when you have access to a professional, you don’t look like an idiot.

What is a commission? Look at the BBC Commissioning site, gather information to define what a commission is and how it works for the BBC.

How do you get Commissioned? This all looks very well, but how would I go about preparing all this stuff?

What is an Agent? Do I need one? How much do they cost? Do they pay me?

What is a pitch? How do I Sell the idea?

How does the writer fit into all this? What is the writers actual job? What does the writer actually have to do, other than just write?


So, go away and find out that basic information. Then we can pick a profesisonals brains!