Jump to content


Photo

Writing down non-dialogue directions


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 David Edward Keen

David Edward Keen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 146 posts
  • Student
  • New York City

Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:01 AM

Not sure if there's a place in this forum for this but lemee know if not then where's a good forum:

 

When writing my screenplay for the short, non-dialogue directions of camera are recorded on paper how? All the things, many there are, that are shown, the montage sequences etc....is the shotlist where you would start recording the ideas? 

 

Or would you write it into a script as you might with stage directions?

 

There are lots of these events in my short, and I'm learning how best to go about it. I could just take a shotlist template and just start writing there, revising as i go but is that how people generally do it?

 

Anyone start out writing it in prose style?

 

cheers!


  • 0


Support Cinematography.com and buy gear using our Amazon links!
PANASONIC LUMIX GH5 Body 4K Mirrorless Camera, 20.3 Megapixels, Dual I.S. 2.0, 4K 422 10-bit, Full Size HDMI Out, 3 Inch Touch LCD, DC-GH5KBODY (USA Black)

#2 Timothy Sewell

Timothy Sewell

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Other
  • Hove

Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:43 AM

It's a long time since I wrote a screenplay - and that was in the UK - but I was told that I shouldn't add camera movements per se (unless absolutely crucial to the story) as that was the province of the director/DoP. Obviously things may be different now/in the US industry and if you are also the director I expect it's entirely up to you!


  • 0

#3 aapo lettinen

aapo lettinen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 913 posts
  • Other
  • Finland

Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:03 AM

if you are a filmmaker doing both the writing+directing and also the DoP's work, then it might work if you directly write down the camera directions without writing the script first. 

otherwise, I'd recommend just doing a standard script first and then translating it to images and camera movement. the main benefit is that it is much easier for others to understand the story you are trying to tell and also it is much easier for both you and them to see if there is any story/motivation related problems in the script which need to be corrected. if starting directly from the camera movements you will forget the story for most part and the film may turn out havin OK looking single shots but it will most likely have incoherent story and lots of problems with character development and motivating their actions. it is also very difficult for others to follow what you are planning and if there is any better approach for things if you confuse the script with camera and lighting instructions etc (which will change anyway when the film is actually being made so are also kind of irrelevant to plant at the early stage)


  • 0

#4 David Edward Keen

David Edward Keen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 146 posts
  • Student
  • New York City

Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:20 PM

thanks guys

 

it's a teensy tiny production. there's no need to communicate the ideas to another, so I'll probably write it out in prose, then go to a storyboard, which i was thinking of having a friend rough thru with still shots since i draw like pooka. Then shot list. It's more for the organization and discipline so I'm not sitting there thinking 'maybe let's try this' on the set. That's not gonna work


  • 0

#5 Gregg MacPherson

Gregg MacPherson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1778 posts
  • Other
  • New Zealand

Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:28 PM

Anything really strong in a film could be usefully included in the screenplay.  I immediately thought of the Fancher/Peoples Bladerunner script,  which to be fair,  was written with a lot of collaboration with a director who is a brilliant visualizer.  Take a look at the first page or two

 

http://www.dailyscri...r_shooting.html


  • 0

#6 David Edward Keen

David Edward Keen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 146 posts
  • Student
  • New York City

Posted 22 April 2017 - 12:58 PM

Gregg---that is absolutely tremendous. Thanks a lot for the reference. 


  • 0

#7 Gregg MacPherson

Gregg MacPherson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1778 posts
  • Other
  • New Zealand

Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:15 PM

The drawing thing is very powerful.  Famous pencil artist Escher said that anyone could learn to draw.  The kind of sketches that will be useful visualizations often look like scribble,  but may express an idea or feeling or a sense of relationship or a geometry relating objects or a sense of the perspective, the lens.  See if you can find some pages by Eisenstein developing his ideas.  Expressive prose and expressive sketches.....


  • 0

#8 George Ebersole

George Ebersole
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1509 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 22 April 2017 - 11:50 PM

You don't put down camera directions in a script unless you plan on directing or shooting it yourself, or the shoot is germane to the story.  That is to say if you need close ups to further the narrative as part of the story structure, then you put down things like "CLOSE SHOT".  Otherwise, like I said, you don't put down camera directions.

 

That's about all I'll say.  I did spend a good chunk of change to learn the craft.  If you're really wanting an online screenwriting resource, then cruise over to www.zoetrope.com

 

It's Francis Ford Coppola's website.  He sells both his wine and movies there, but also hopes a very lively and active forum / BBS where they talk nothing but screenplays.


  • 0

#9 Gregg MacPherson

Gregg MacPherson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1778 posts
  • Other
  • New Zealand

Posted 23 April 2017 - 12:19 AM

I'm hoping David might find something inspiring in the work of exceptional people.  I would not want to be steering him towards the normal or the formulaic.

 

As he says in the first post,  he's writing towards his own film.


  • 0

#10 Gregg MacPherson

Gregg MacPherson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1778 posts
  • Other
  • New Zealand

Posted 23 April 2017 - 12:37 AM

To be clear,  I'm not calling Coppola normal or formulaic...


  • 0

#11 George Ebersole

George Ebersole
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1509 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 27 April 2017 - 04:39 AM

I'm hoping David might find something inspiring in the work of exceptional people.  I would not want to be steering him towards the normal or the formulaic.

 

As he says in the first post,  he's writing towards his own film.

 

I've read a few bad screenplays at Zoetrope.com, but most of the stuff there is (or was) posted by seasoned professionals.

 

As for formulaic ... well, define formulaic.   Most films are about the guy getting the girl and/or beating the bad guy.  

 

Ever since Amazon studios opened its doors for business activity on Zoetrope has dropped off a lot, but I think traffic has picked up some.  


  • 0

#12 Gregg MacPherson

Gregg MacPherson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1778 posts
  • Other
  • New Zealand

Posted 27 April 2017 - 05:11 AM

George.

Read David carefully.  Ask for any needed clarification,  and give him the most useful advice that you can.  Sounds fun.

 

You quote me,  but sound as though you don't read me.


  • 0

#13 Gregg MacPherson

Gregg MacPherson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1778 posts
  • Other
  • New Zealand

Posted 27 April 2017 - 05:35 AM

David,

See if you can find the book Eisenstein at Work: Jay Leyda, Zina Voynow, Ted Perry..... Hopefully it's in the film school library...It gives a very direct sense of how Eisenstein commenced his realization with words and sketches..Let us know what you think...


  • 0

#14 George Ebersole

George Ebersole
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1509 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 27 April 2017 - 08:32 AM

George.

Read David carefully.  Ask for any needed clarification,  and give him the most useful advice that you can.  Sounds fun.

 

You quote me,  but sound as though you don't read me.

I did.  I'm not sure what you're getting at.

 

*EDIT*

I re-read the thread, and I still don't see a problem here.


  • 0

#15 David Edward Keen

David Edward Keen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 146 posts
  • Student
  • New York City

Posted 10 May 2017 - 04:45 PM

Thanks all...helps a lot


  • 0



Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

The Slider

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Glidecam

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab