March 26, Question: Having spent 20 years writing plays, TV pilots, that old thing now similar in popularity to the LP called a Movie of the Week we used to call them MOWsand then 15 years of writing screenplays, I just completed my first book, called Between a Rock and a Hot Place. There are, of course, the obvious differences:
The image on the screen stops, freezes and becomes a still shot. Genre The category a story or script falls into - such as: Header An element of a Production Script occupying the same line as the page number, which is on the right and.
Printed on every script page, header information includes the date of a revision and the color of the page. Heat Positive gossip about a project on the Hollywood grapevine.
High concept A brief statement of a movie's basic idea that is felt to have tremendous public appeal. Hip pocket A casual relationship with an established agent in lieu of a signed, formal agreement of representation.
Hook A term borrowed from songwriting that describes that thing that catches the public's attention and keeps them interested in the flow of a story. In the Round A type of theater space in which the audience is, usually in a circular configuration, on all sides of the playing area.
Indie A production company independent of major film studio financing. Intercut A script instruction denoting that the action moves back and forth between two or more scenes. Intermission A break between acts or scenes of the play to allow for set changes, and for the audience to go to the bathroom, stretch and buy concessions.
Interrupt When one character cuts off another character's dialogue, sometimes marked with an Left On stage, the actors' left, assuming they are facing the audience.
Short for Stage Left. Lights Fade A common stage direction to end a scene or an act. Line Difference between story writing and screenplay software When a director or playwright gives an actor a specific way to perform a line of dialogue.
Literary Manager The artistic officer of a theater in charge of at least the first stages of reviewing scripts for possible production. She may have dramaturg responsibilities as well. Literary Office Usually headed by the literary manager and often staffed with interns and in-house or freelance readers.
Typically the place to direct script submissions and inquiries. Locked Pages A software term for finalized screenplay pages that are handed out to the department heads and talent in preparation for production. Logline A "25 words or less" description of a screenplay.
Lyrics The words that are sung by characters in a musical. Without sound, so described because a German-born director wanting a scene with no sound told the crew to shoot "mit out sound.
Manuscript Format The ideal submission format in the United States and in a number of other countries, with character names centered and CAPS before their dialogue, and indented stage directions.
Master Scene Script A script formatted without scene numbering the usual format for a spec screenplay. Match Cut A transition in which something in the scene that follows in some way directly matches a character or object in the previous scene.
Miniseries A long-form movie of three hours or more shown on successive nights or weeks on U. Montage A cinematic device used to show a series of scenes, all related and building to some conclusion. Movie of the Week Also known as an "MOW," a movie made primarily for broadcast on a television or cable network.
Multimedia Writing and filmmaking encompassing more than one medium at a time which, script-wise, usually refers to CD-ROM games or Internet-based programming. Multiple Casting When an actor plays more than one character. Musical A play in which songs and music are an integral part of the dramatic structure.
Musical Numbers Page A page in a musical script, usually following the Cast Page, that lists the musical numbers, divided by act, and the characters that sing in them. Notes Ideas about a screenplay shared with a screenwriter by someone responsible for moving the script forward into production, which the screenwriter is generally expected to use to revise the screenplay.
A similar paradigm exists on stage, with notes coming most often from the dramaturg or director. A key difference between stage and film is that the playwright still owns his script and has final say on revisions. Writer can hire consultants to receive feedback notes to help improve the script, prior to submitting it to an agency, production company or theater.
Numbered Scenes Numbers that appear to the right and left of the scene heading to aid the Assistant Director in breaking down the scenes for scheduling and production. Abbreviation for Off Camera, denoting that the speaker is resident within the scene but not seen by the camera.
Abbreviation for Off Screen, denoting that the speaker is not resident within the scene. Off Short for offstage.
Typically written as off next to a character name when a character speaking dialogue is offstage while she speaks. One-Act Play Technically, a play that has only one act, but in more common usage, a play that is not an evening unto itself but instead usually runs no more than an hour.A fully revised guide to turning your movie idea into a treatment that can persuade even the most jaded movie producers.
As Hollywood insiders know, the first step in selling your story idea for film or television is preparing a treatment, the brief pitch that sells the concept to a busy producer or agent.
A "Screenplay by" credit is appropriate when there is source material of a story nature (with or without a "Screen Story" credit) or when the writer(s) entitled to "Story by" credit is different than the writer(s) entitled to "Screenplay by" credit.
[The following post on how to write dialogue between two characters is an excerpt from our screenwriting book: Master Screenplay Dialogue: The Ultimate Practical Guide On How To Write Dialogue Like The Pros.] Learning how to write dialogue between two characters is one of the key skills you’ll need to master writing dialogue overall.
Jeremy Robinson examines the differences between the genres of science fiction and fantasy. Knowing these differences is critical for any screenwriter or author in these genres.
Hollywood screenwriter, psychotherapist and author Dennis Palumbo unlocks the secrets to writing effective mystery stories. If you write your screenplay well, your description of a great battle will explode in the reader’s ears, your dialogue between two lovers will cause the reader’s eyes to tear up, and that emotional speech you write from a great leader will leave a lump in your reader’s throat.