Wednesday, April 20, 2005

On Writing a Lyric for Joss Whedon's "Angel" Series

On Writing a Lyric [Angel/Angelus] for Joss Whedon's "Angel" Series at first I hated the theme, then it grew on me, then I became OBSESSED with making a lyric for it that expressed both sides of the man/vampire. Now I love it. Miss Spike though, always.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

IMDB Msg Board Writers Shop Talk -- Re: For anyone familiar with Word...

You don't need special screenwriting software to format your script to the Hollywood standard. Word or WordPerfect is all you require.

This will sound semi-complicated, but it's not. Take your time learning the software you have, use the HELP files and PLAY with it, learn what you need to know about it. Word is your instrument, practice with it, and be patient.

This is what can be done with it.

Set up your paragraph [description, character, wryly, speech, etc.] by using the HELP files to tell you how to make double-indented paragraphs for speeches, centered CHARACTER NAMES, and the like. Save your formatting to FORMAT, STYLES. It'll show up on your regular menu ahead of FONT [Times Roman, Courier] and SIZE 10, 12]. The default style says NORMAL.

Once you've set your STYLES [description, character, etc.], whenever you click on a paragraph, then select the style, it will update that text as description, FADE IN, speech, etc. And, if you ever make changes to that style it will update throughout ALL your pages.

STYLES can be setup to AUTOMATICALLY UPDATE, too, so as long as you've changed that text to the appropriate style, it'll change without you having to supercheck.

Great for correcting or moving margins for brads and the like.

This info can be SAVED AS a master TEMPLATE, or you can just make a duplicate file, delete everything except samples of your description, speech, etc, then save it as your SCREENPLAY FORMAT file.

I hope this helps.

Neale Sourna
Remember -- PIE: Perception Is Everything

Re: Putting music in your scripts. Good idea???

F--k the director, and legal's music clearance. You're writing YOUR SCRIPT not the director's, who, by the way, is a hireling, who has nothing to do until you WRITE YOUR WORLD. You are God [see Nick Kazan quotes on such] for that script. If you want everything to be pink. Carnation pink, then it is. You can't help it if they hate pink, or just Carnation pink, or just don't get it pink or no pink. You can't dance hard enough or well enough to please everyone, especially someone you don't know.

Music's the same.

If you just want general mood music -- industrial rock, country western, etc., write that, but if your characters or milieu require specific music for meaning and character reinforcement, write it. A character who listens to George Clinton's P-Funk is not necessarily an Itzhak Perlman fan, and a specific song may say something specific to that emotional moment.

If legal can get the clearance, fine; if not, then they won't and the music director (MD) not the director will find a possible buyable substitute. Contrary to Hollywood's still prevailing idea that white guys can write everything about and for everyone else, without their input or flavor, is bunk. [see white guy written "Blade" BEFORE African American Wesley Snipes retooled it, it was not pretty and quite racist]

An African American, Asian, or Sri Lankan writer will hear different tunes in their heads for their script, the same as language. So, as long as the writer can identify the specific piece so the MD can understand what you're trying to communicate, do it. [see independent films "Love Actually" and "Luminarias" DVDs about their music clearance woes and wins]

It's YOUR SCRIPT, until you sell it away.

Songs can be reperformanced in the style of your favorite piece and save tons of cash. [Luminarias] Or the exact piece you want might become available at a reasonable price for YOUR work, if your production team is persuasive enough. [Luminarias -- Aretha, Ronstadt, film clip from Sam Raimi in "Donny Darko"]

Why should everyone bow and scrape to director's, especially those who can't write or write well for what they did in pulling all the people and film together? But not the writer, who pulled together memorable characterizations and situations for the producer, the director, the actor to get excited about? This year's big Oscar shouldn't've gone just to Clint Eastwood, but also to wonderful Paul Haggis of the exquisite "Due South".

Write whatever you need to write to feel excited, complete, and regretless about your work. Write for the one person you should know well, you.