A couple of people asked me recently about “templates” for script reports. In my experience, there is no definitive script report template. When working for script initiatives, screen agencies and some literary agents and production companies I have been supplied with *their* template, sure – but every single one has been quite different. Some are quite short and an “overview”; others are very detailed, with many different sections, some running as long as EIGHT pages when I’ve filled them in. Some look SOLELY at the story and craft of the screenplay; others look at things “beyond” like potentials for marketing,… Read More »How To Write A Script Report
How To Posts
What should you put in your writer resumé? “How do you put together a writer’s resumé? What should go in, what should be left out, what counts as relevant experience?” This is a great question I get all the time, so warrants a lengthier post. Many thanks to Gail over on the B2W Facebook page for asking. First up, the usual disclaimer … This post is based on my experience of writing my own resumé and reading other people’s ONLY. There is no *set* way of creating your writer’s resumé. However I’ve seen some very good CVs and I’ve seen… Read More »How To Put Together Your Writer’s Resumé For Submissions
It’s oft-said that it’s *all* about characters, so one thing Bang2writers ask me about over and over again is “how” to write a “great character”. Sorry, but there is no actual *way*. Lots of people advocate various techniques… But most are a variation on that fabled notion of “getting inside a character’s head”. Character questionnaires, talking to/visiting the very people you want to write about and what Dom Carver calls “method writing” are a good start in terms of representing one’s characters… but that’s all they are: a START. I don’t think “getting in the character’s head” is even HALF… Read More »How To Write Great Characters
How I became a script reader One question I get asked all the time is, “How do I become a script reader?” So, once and for all – here is the lowdown on how my consultancy Bang2write started – plus make sure you check out my course, Breaking Into Script Reading, back for its seventh year in 2021! As I’ve said before, I never actually SET OUT to become a script reader. I did the BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film & TV course at Bournemouth University and part of the course covered it. As I also detail in this post, when… Read More »How To Become A Script Reader
True Stories and ‘Truth’ How ‘true’ does a ‘true story’ need to be? On the surface, this might seem obvious – but it’s NOT! Bang2writer James Hickey asks this question: Do you know if there are any copyright laws or what-have-you regarding true stories one would read on the internet, or maybe have told to them? “Based on a true story” can be problematic… but only largely cos 9/10 it’s not really true. Take the movie Wolf Creek for instance. What was that based on? The Peter Falconio case *maybe*… But it felt like a tenuous link really, more in a… Read More »How True Does A True Story Need To Be?
Bang2writer David Bird has this question: How do I become a professional scriptwriter? This is a good question and one that could take all day, so I’ll try and keep it simple: Keep writing, keep connecting, keep building. It really is as simple – and as complicated – as that. It’s important to note however: Professional writers are NOT automatically those that are the most successful purely in terms of monetary gain. My Dad was an art student in his youth for a short time and he always tells the story that apparently Van Gogh sold just one painting while… Read More »How Do I Become A Professional Scriptwriter?
How To Format A Quote ANOTHER scriptwriting-related question – it’s been quite the week for them – but this time, just a kwikkie on format from Wade Glenn: I’ve seen a lot of films end their opening credits sequences with famous quotations that are thematically relevant to the film. I want to do this but I’m wondering … How do you format a quote in a script? and If I decide to use a quote, do I have to mention a credits sequence? Or do I just put it somewhere after “FADE IN”? There’s no real “rule” for quotes generally. That… Read More »How Do I Format A Quote At The Beginning Of A Script?
What Is A ‘TV Series Bible’? A TV Series Bible refers to the treatment, or pitch document that accompanies a spec TV pilot when it goes out on submission. Since there are spec TV pilot scripts flying all over the place, your bible needs to “stand out” from the rest of ’em. But how? Well, for me, that’s a no-brainer … You write the PERFECT spec TV series bible and hook the reader! Sadly, I’d venture a whacking 95% of spec pilots are let down by their accompanying TV series bible. In the course of this post, I will break down… Read More »How To Write A TV Series Bible That Sells Your Pilot
There once was a time when I would get only feature scripts to read and the odd novel; in the last two years then, I have received A LOT of TV drama series specs. This has been quite an education for me; I had assumed that people would automatically “get” the structure of television. After all (I thought), most people are surely only going to have time to go to the cinema once a week maximum or watch a film on DVD once every couple of days, whereas most people (especially those who want to be writers) must watch TV… Read More »How To Plot TV Series: “Story Of The Week” Vs. Serial Element
You should do your preparation! Bang2writers often ask me what is the “best” way to go about writing a screenplay or novel. My answer? There is no “best” way. But it’s definitely going to help if you’ve done your preparation first in the form of an outline, beat sheet and/or treatment. Here’s why preparation work helps you get rid of all the obvious pitfalls and crap FIRST, as it … GIVES your brain time to “breathe” and work out all the machinations of the plot and the character motivations and themes etc concurrently STOPS you writing a load of junk… Read More »Do Your Preparation: How To Write Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments