Writing Plays/Screenwriting/Screenwriting

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Question
Hello,


I was just wondering: when you do screen writing, do you just write the script itself or is it more like a play, where you describe what the character does while talking, what others are doing, etc?

Thanks

Answer
Ike,

A script has only three things; sluglines, action (narrative), and dialog.

A slugline indicates location (INT OR EXT) and time (DAY OR NIGHT) -

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

Action (narrative) - provides only enough information to establish atmosphere.  You can describe actors' actions only to the extent that moves them from position to position.  You write.  Actors act.  Do not include stage directions.  You write.  Directors direct.

Dialog is just that.  Keep dialog in a screenplay short and to the point.

The exception is, and there always exceptions, if an actor's action is important enough to drive the story forward; include it.

Screenplays are not plays.  They are designed for the camera not the audience.  Plays are written in such a way so that the playwright may convey his vision of the play consistently across many venues and performances.  Screenplays are written to be created once for the camera.  

Writing Plays/Screenwriting

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John M. Lovett

Expertise

I answer questions regarding film production and screenwriting. I will answer questions dealing with screenwriting style, ideas, film production, format, and agents.

Experience

Sixteen years working in the motion picture and television industries as a screenwriter, producer, and military technical advisor. Have two produced movies TWO WEEKS and CATHY MORGAN. Worked with Digital Ranch Productions, Warriors Inc, and Nichols Productions.

Education/Credentials
CSUF, BA, 1980 UCLA, Certificate in Screenwriting, 2009

Past/Present Clients
Warriors, Inc.
Dreamworks Interactive
Legacy Interactive
Silvertouch Pictures
Synergy Group
Nichols Productions

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