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Question
Hi Barry

I am writing my first drama script and need to input a ANONYMOUS

character at beginning.  Revealing is name later on in the script. I have inputted as below: Would this format be o.k for a reading script. Many thanks Barry E - England

We catch flashes of his face, a MALE (40) as he moves ahead.

In the current scenes: He is ANONYMOUS:    

For now: He is EVIDENT as U.K.

Answer
Hi Barry,
Very interesting question.

The issues here are:
What do you want to do with this character throughout the screenplay?  Is it essential to keep his identity secret for a portion of the screenplay? Till when? And what is the relevance of the discovery of his real name?

When you are writing a screenplay, bear in mind that you are performing a special type of writing. First, your writing is not the final product. The main purpose of your writing is not to have it read to entertain the reader, the way you would if you were writing a novel.

The purpose of your writing is to inform those who are going to make your screenplay into a movie. That fact demands a special type of thinking.

As a screenplay writer, you need to limit yourself to presenting ONLY WHAT THE AUDIENCE WILL SEE AND HEAR.

Typically, you would name every character, but the audience will not see or hear that name until it is supered or subtitled  or spoken; therefore, you have no obligation to keep a name secret from the READER. You only need to keep the name secret from the AUDIENCE.

Second, as a screenplay writer, you have an obligation to the director, the cast, and the crew. You need to be clear about what is going to be seen and heard by the audience so that the production personnel can turn your screenplay into the final product--a motion picture.

If you give a character one name up to page 25 and another name for the rest of the screenplay, you will drive almost everybody in the production personnel crazy.  

You need to give your character whatever his name is going to be and portray his anonymity by the action and dialogue that you write.

All the best of success in your writing career.

Barry

Writing Plays/Screenwriting

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Barry Pearson

Expertise

I`m a credited writer on nine feature films. My latest movie, IRON ROAD, which stars Peter O'Toole and Sam Neill, opened as feature, then aired as a four-hour miniseries on network television. Sun Li, the Chinese star, won the best actress award at the Roma Fiction Fest recently. www.ironroadthemovie.com) I’ve produced more than 300 episodes of television drama, including 13 episodes of Deepwater Black, and 106 episodes of Katts & Dog (Rin-Tin-Tin, K-9 Cop in the U.S.). I've answered over 1200 All Experts questions!

Experience

I've been in the business of writing and producing feature films, television series, and MOW's for over 20 years. You can check me out at this URL http://www.createyourscreenplay.com/aboutbp.htm

Publications
You can find my books on Amazon. See DON'T LET ANYONE STEAL YOUR STORY (http://tinyurl.com/StoryStealers)which is a stripped-down readable summary of copyright, full of entertaining anecdotes and real-life examples. Read about the true horror stories that clearly show you what you need to do to avoid the misfortune of having your literary material stolen. Find out: * How to take simple inexpensive steps to protect yourself, before, during, and after you write your literary work. * How copyright law applies to writers of literary works. * How literary works enter public domain, and how you can use it to your advantage. * What aspects of literary works are protected by copyright, and what aspects are not protected. * How to create documentation that will prove your copyright entitlement in the event of an infringement on your rights. * How you can protect yourself if you are contracted to write for television. You’ll also get a FREE sample of an Option and Purchase Agreement, a contract used in the acquisition of rights in a literary property—a contract that you and your lawyer can customize for your property. Written by a writer, for writers, Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Story will help you protect yourself against plagiarists and anyone else who might infringe your right of sole ownership. ------------- Also on Amazon, my book of four short stories, THE TWENTY-BUSHEL RACER. A man’s redemption from bitterness enables him to become a loving father. A teenager discovers the importance of his attachment to the people in his life and the place where he is growing up. A man, who has for years considered himself a coward and a betrayer of his comrades, musters the courage to stand up against a pair of would-be assassins. Two young men, who grew up in the same town, meet unexpectedly, reminisce about a girl they both loved when they were boys, and unveil a truth that changes both their lives.

Education/Credentials
Master of Arts degree (Drama)

Awards and Honors
Among my awards are Best Screenplay, Best Picture, at the International Film & Television Festival of New York for THE LIFE AND TIMES OF EDWIN ALONZO BOYD, Best Screenplay, Feature Film, at the 12th International Film Festival in Sitges, Spain for PLAGUE, and a Special Jury Award, Feature Film at the San Francisco International Film Festival for PLAGUE.

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