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Writing Plays/Screenwriting/Questions Answered by Expert Anthony T. Carter

SubjectDate Asked
Question about Title Page5/27/2015
  Q: If a screenplay is based on actual events, is it proper to indicate that on the title page? How ...
  A: Sorry this so long to respond to, I had to do a bit of research on scripts and precedents. For all ...
Favorite novel.12/18/2014
  Q: It is difficult to answer but still do you feel Romeo and Juliet is the best novel by Shakespeare ...
  A: Honestly, it depends on what genre of Shakespeare's plays you like. And just for future reference, ...
Comedy Screenplay9/15/2014
  Q: I'm currently writing a comedy. There are good characters, effective jokes but when it comes to the ...
  A: I think what you should do is figure out, what you are trying to say or comment on. Most comedies ...
script writing6/27/2014
  Q: I read here your supposed to us V.O. when writing dialogue of a character that is strictly in ...
  A: Often times Voice Over is used to give a character an internal monologue or dialogue. Generally ...
Copyright6/22/2013
  Q: While I've had other works published, this is my first screenplay, titled "Stay." Is it necessary ...
  A: I would highly recommend copyrighting your screenplay and I would also suggest doing it with the ...
Over two hours= Great film, why5/15/2013
  Q: I've seen many films and I recentally reach on a conclusion that films which are longer than 2 ...
  A: Okay first of all, film length has nothing to do with how great a film is. If anything, a longer the ...
Time to write a screenplay4/10/2013
  Q: How much time should I take to write my first screenplay and how much for research and outlining? ...
  A: Honestly there is no set timetable for writing your first screenplay. You could perhaps have a ...
Similar scene2/5/2013
  Q: In my screenplay some scenes are similar to others movies not exactly same but similar. Is this ok ...
  A: I guess I would like to know if you mean similar in execution, similar in style or similar in ...
character name12/18/2012
  Q: how i choose the characters name in a script?
  A: There are many factors are involved in naming a character. A character can be named by physical ...
Up and Coming Confusion10/29/2012
  Q: Mr. Carter, I am a high schooler, nearly 16, and an aspiring screenwriter. I have written multiple ...
  A: Congrats on your writing. I guess, the first thing I would tell you to do is copyright your scripts ...
Playwriting Rights Query8/1/2012
  Q: I've already sent this question to James, but a second opinion would be great! I am looking to ...
  A: You would still need to get the rights to the characters, and just to cover yourself the story as ...
Writing a play about a famous person6/21/2012
  Q: I want to write a musical about the life of a famous person who is no longer living. Are there are ...
  A: I would first suggest seeking the estate of the famous person. Usually they control thier life ...
character names3/2/2012
  Q: I want to give a female character the same name as her famous great-grandfather. Will this present ...
  A: I'm not quite sure what you mean. But it could potentially be a problem if the character in question ...
Writing a Musical12/16/2011
  Q: I have recently embarked on writing my own musical. I feel pretty confident with the score, but as ...
  A: Okay forget about the italics for a moment. Let's focus on the plot, the story. Do you have one? If ...
The next step.11/21/2011
  Q: Mr.Carter, I've recently written a full length play and would like to know where to go from there: ...
  A: I think what you should do is gather some actors or even some friends, and read it a loud. Have a ...
MTSU11/15/2011
  Q: can i go to MTSU and still be a successful screenwriter?
  A: I say one thing, I don't know if you will be successful or not. And that term is very loose because ...
Writing Contest Questions- Thank you in advance!10/19/2011
  Q: I am an aspiring writer who recently came across a contest featured on my state's film office ...
  A: Hey there Ada, Copyright can be done online and or by mail. I would assume if you mailed it, it ...
unrest/annoyance in creating drama10/2/2011
  Q: I have been told that, if you want to make a film (a cinema film), you should have an ...
  A: Okay now I know what you mean. In a way, yes all writers write about things that concern ...
How To Determine Length8/23/2011
  Q: Carter, I am very interested in writing plays for theater, but I am somewhat confused on one ...
  A: It depends but usually it can be anywhere from a page equaling a minute to if it's comedy a page can ...
Changes to works during production8/1/2011
  Q: Mr. Hall, thanks for taking time to answer my question. I was wondering how much a director, ...
  A: Hey Garrett, I'm Anthony...but to answer your question. Technically and officially the playwright ...
script7/27/2011
  Q: Anthony I appreciate the replies I get from here. I just finish my feature film script. And I don’t ...
  A: First I would recommend copyrighting the script. That way you are protected, most agencies won't ...
Screen writing7/21/2011
  Q: Hey, I was wondering if you can get in trouble for copying someone else's dialogue from other ...
  A: Hey I will try and answer these questions the best I can. 1) Yes, actually you can because you know ...
different6/12/2011
  Q: I love to ask the questions below. Because I believe you are in position to tell me better. 1. How ...
  A: I will try and answer the questions. 1) For dual dialogue you write it as such: EVE ...
Performance Contract6/1/2011
  Q: I've written a Christian comedy stage show that I'd like to promote to other ...
  A: If the script isn't copyrighted I would say copyright it. But I am going to assume you've done all ...
Screenplay length5/30/2011
  Q: Mr. Carter, Thank you so much for taking time to answer my question! I am a young writer, working ...
  A: Hey Steve, Well to be honest I try to outline as much as the story as possible. I try to figure out ...
Introduction to "Showrunners"5/22/2011
  Q: I've been interested in television and movies ever since I can remember, and unlike my other ...
  A: Hey there Thomas, it's alright I will try and answer your questions. A showrunner is the person who ...
Question5/15/2011
  Q: I'm a young writer and one of my conerns is that what if you write a movie that's a little similar ...
  A: Hey Hector, I understand your situation, I think the best advice I can give you is two things. ...
Adapting plays5/13/2011
  Q: There's this (recently published) play that i really like and want to put on because it has great ...
  A: To put it quite simply, a dramatist is not going to release these rights. Mostly because then no one ...
Transitions5/8/2011
  Q: I always like your replies to the post you pros are doing this fine. Please I have some questions I ...
  A: Transitions are used to help in the establishing a scene, for its pacing or of a sequence of them. ...
How to Register5/5/2011
  Q: Carter. My country of origin is Nigeria. Because I will like to work with agents, producers there in ...
  A: Okay, I would register it with the U.S. Copyright Office then. Here is a link. ...
How to Register5/4/2011
  Q: I will love to know how to register your screenplay with WGA or copyright work or idea in U.S, if ...
  A: If I may ask, what is your country of origin? Most countries have their own motion picture industry. ...
Beginnings2/27/2011
  Q: My Name is Brad and I'm trying to write a comedy about a wedding and a broken family, I have the ...
  A: I guess it depends on what kind of play you are writing...if it takes place over the course of time ...
Getting a musical produced1/23/2011
  Q: I have been working on developing my own full-length play into a musical and have the whole libretto ...
  A: This may sound mean, and I hope it doesn't but here it goes. You are a bit naive and that is okay, ...
Movie Comedy Scene12/14/2010
  Q: Carter, I have looked through the library of past questions and cannot find anything similar to ...
  A: Mike I would honestly tell you to try and just create a story that revolves around that one scene. ...
Cut Scenes12/10/2010
  Q: In my screenplay there is a scene where the guy tells the girl that he likes her and she smiles. ...
  A: EXT. BACKYARD - DAY (AFTERNOON/MORNING ETC)) Details of the backyard. La la la la .... Guy ...
Database12/10/2010
  Q: Do you know by chance if there is a database of movie dialog somewhere? There are movies I don't ...
  A: There are two options I can offer you. One is googling the bits of dialogue you know. It may pop up ...
Dance Scenes12/2/2010
  Q: In my screenplay there is a scene where I want to put in a bboy number. If my screenplay were to ...
  A: Part of writing for the screen means setting the scene, and giving us visual cues so that we know ...
play software11/25/2010
  Q: I'm just wondering what is the best software to use for writing plays...is there a special ...
  A: I use Final Draft, included in the template bundles are play script templates. If you google "play ...
Is it easier to write a screenplay for a martial arts movie?8/6/2010
  Q: It seesm to me that there is a discrimination against scripts for martial arts / kungfu movies. And ...
  A: I always say that a great story should be your focus and the action elements should complete it. So ...
question8/2/2010
  Q: I'm sixteen years old, and I finished a screenplay. I was wondering how can I know if my title has ...
  A: First I would check for spelling and grammar issues, so have a parent or English teacher check your ...
spec script edits7/31/2010
  Q: I've had my spec script proofread by 3 people all ready and they all say this and that about ...
  A: Well here is the thing, good thing they aren't charging you. Most scripts are trashed because of ...
Play based on my children's Book7/21/2010
  Q: I am an author-Illustrator of Children's books. (I have publsihed over 40 books). I was approached ...
  A: Okay first off, congrats I checked out your website and you seem to have a rich collection of ...
Question6/27/2010
  Q: I love to write and I don't want to wait two years when I'm 18 to get paid for it. Also is it ...
  A: You can sell a script at any age, as long as you have talent or the skill set. You don't have to ...
What can the playwright ask for in a deal?6/24/2010
  Q: Mr. Carter: I’m a former television lighting director turned fiction writer. I recently finished a ...
  A: Not being law savvy in this area, I would suggest that you speak to a lawyer and also the band. The ...
When is permission needed?6/21/2010
  Q: Carter, Thanks! I have written a play. One of the characters(Mary)does impersonations (Judge. ...
  A: My rule of thumb is as long as you aren't defaming or slandering you are fine. But that's if your ...
Does a scriptwriter normally write for one genre only?5/26/2010
  Q: Does a scriptwriter normally write for one genre only? On average, does a scriptwriter normally ...
  A: Well let me ask you this, are you comfortable with the other genres? I for one don't think there is ...
hello4/21/2010
  Q: . I was wondering if I wrote a pilot for a TV show do i have to continue writing with the other ...
  A: As for a pilot, the creator of the show (usually the writer of the pilot) has a say in what happens ...
should I move to hollywood?2/26/2010
  Q: I'm interested in being a screenwriter and I would just like to know if I'd have to move to ...
  A: It wouldn't cause problems unless you were needed to come in for a meeting. But there are two ...
premieres2/24/2010
  Q: I'm interested in becoming a screenwriter, but I have a silly question I'd like to have answered ...
  A: I think I touched on this before. But for the record, yes you should maintain employment after you ...
screenwriting part time2/21/2010
  Q: I'm planning to become a screenwriter, but I also have another job. What would happen if the ...
  A: I guess it depends on a few things, a) most writers are not on set to begin with so you don't have ...
travel and screenwriters2/21/2010
  Q: This is an unusual question, but is there much travel involved in being a screenwriter? Thanks! ...
  A: It varies by many factors, such as how long the script is, how many locations and how many actors ...
General question about playwriting2/5/2010
  Q: I'm currently working on a book I think would make for a very interesting, somewhat humorous play. ...
  A: There aren't a lot of sources on the net, but I will try and give you the best. 1) ...
directing a new play2/4/2010
  Q: I have found a new play I want to direct. The play has already has a successful premiere elsewhere. ...
  A: I would ask you though...why do you want to direct in the first place? Is it because you saw the ...
Script scenes1/15/2010
  Q: Hey, I'm writing my first movie and wanted to know about scenes: When does a scene change? I'm ...
  A: A scene is when a new location is introduced in the story.What I would do in your circumstance is ...
Play outline12/20/2009
  Q: Hey! I was wondering if I should write an outline for my play before I begin writing it, or if I ...
  A: Yes, outline it...even if its just a few sentences of what happens in the first act...or moment by ...
Play submissions11/18/2009
  Q: Can you please tell me when is the best time I should submit a play to a theatre if I wish to have ...
  A: I think you can assume that the plays can be received on a rolling basis if they don't list a ...
jukebox musical10/23/2009
  Q: I actually sent this same question to Arlene but I'm hoping you don't mind me asking you it as well. ...
  A: Hmmm...the creative and logical sides of me are clashing...not a good thing haha. Um from the ...
graduate programs in screenwriting in CA10/18/2009
  Q: I have a BA in Public Relations, and I am taking classes in screenwriting/playwriting/film at MTSU ...
  A: I think its a good idea to apply to other schools, not only ones in CA. You want to pick a school ...
Questions on finding a screenwriting software program7/4/2009
  Q: I'm an aspiring screenwriter. I have a screenwriter software program called, Movie Magic ...
  A: Okay, I will say right off the bat, that I don't know which program you mean. I use Final Draft. And ...
first time writers5/21/2009
  Q: how much money does a first time screen writer make if their first movie they wrote does well at the ...
  A: As for salary it varies, depends on how much someone wants your script. And if you are lucky you can ...
I wonder....4/22/2009
  Q: First of all, thank you for your time. I am from Croatia and english is not my native language. I ...
  A: I would say write it in Croatian and then have someone you trust, translate it into English. Maybe ...
writing a one woman show about a real person4/13/2009
  Q: I've been acting professionally for a long time ( you can google me or imdb me) and I am dying to ...
  A: Well you said you are on IMDB, google...look it up and see if anything has been done on her life. If ...
Really wanting to write a TV movie4/10/2009
  Q: There is something I haven't understood: do tv writers first come up with an idea out of thin air ...
  A: A outline doesn't have to be in prose style and sometimes it doesn't have to be bulleted either. You ...
USING HISTORY TO WRITE A SCRIPT3/15/2009
  Q: My husband and I are busy putting a screenplay together set in Chicago in the 1930's. During ...
  A: Well I think as long as you portray them in the light that the public or historians generally agree ...
Outlines3/14/2009
  Q: I was wondering whether or not it is necessary to write an in depth outline before you begin writing ...
  A: Okay...me personally I usually write a basic outline...meaning a idea or two about what the scene is ...
writing for TV etc.2/25/2009
  Q: my name is James, i'm 15 and an aspiring actor/writer. I really want to work as a writer for TV ...
  A: So James, your ideas have you written scripts based on them? Or at least a treatment or outline of ...
WGA Registration2/16/2009
  Q: Okay, I am a new screenwriter and have nearly completed a drama screenplay. I have heard that you ...
  A: I've always copywritten the first draft and any additional draft that had significant changes...to ...
Question about Profession2/1/2009
  Q: my name is Megan and I'm doing a school assignment where I must interview someone in the profession ...
  A: Um...your first question...I have many but I guess I will go with my birthname...which is Anthony T. ...
Submitting an idea for a Sitcom1/25/2009
  Q: How does one submit an idea for a sitcom and to whom? Thank you in advance.
  A: Sitcoms are a tricky thing, usually you have to be on a show for a while and then executives begin ...
phenomena12/11/2008
  Q: there is some phenomena I practice want to take your opinion on ? when I m writing a scene or ...
  A: So I am going to answer your second first...it's caught my attention first and I think it needs to ...
playwriting in US11/21/2008
  Q: I'm a young (aged 26) playwright from Italy and I'd like to take a playwriting class (or make such ...
  A: I would try and find writing groups or playwriting classes to attend. You may also want to try ...
Selling script11/8/2008
  Q: I noticed you have a great deal of experience in the film industry. I have written a couple of ...
  A: I am sorry to say that, it is nearly impossible to get a screenplay through to production company ...
Legend: A Biographical Music Play.11/4/2008
  Q: Carter, My Name is Spencer and I am a screenwriter, who also loves plays and after seeing a ...
  A: Okay first I am going to ask you SLOW DOWNNNN!!! I am not shouting at you... okay I am but it's not ...
resumee/portfolio?9/14/2008
  Q: I am a freshman in high school and am interested in screenwriting and storyboard writing. I was just ...
  A: My college entrance portfolio was geared toward writing for the stage and the screen. Even though I ...
Re: Writing8/28/2008
  Q: How are you? Maybe you can help me out. recently graduated with a B.A. in English, and I am having ...
  A: Well if you want to write for entertainment, I would say take some creative writing, playwrighting ...
play format program6/21/2008
  Q: Where could I get a free or cheap program to format screenplays? I'd appreciate any help.
  A: I have two ideas...try www.scriptbuddy.com...its a web based program. All you have to do is plug ...
how to create characters and conflict6/11/2008
  Q: alright i want to create this television drama series called "CHOICES" and i want it to be like a ...
  A: Alright...try and come up with a original premise first...a arc or storyline. It seems like you are ...
can screenwriting be a full time career?6/7/2008
  Q: can screenwriting be a full time career? and also i have a 50 page screen play. could that be turned ...
  A: I would say a four degree in film is worth it, or theatre arts...so you can get a grasp of the ...
What to include in a script (and what not)5/2/2008
  Q: Before I start asking my question(s), I just wanted to say thanks for doing this. I accidently got ...
  A: First off, you aren't Shane Black so making your script read interesting is quite frankly a knock ...
does the writer of a movie go to the place where the movie is shot?4/26/2008
  Q: does the writer of a movie go to the place where the movie is shot? and if they do and the writer is ...
  A: If the writer wants, the writer is usually on set with the film as it progresses. Some directors are ...
Screenplays3/31/2008
  Q: I'm writing a screenplay,and would like the characters to be watching an old movie on television in ...
  A: I would say that unless it is absoultly necessary to the plot or story don't put a specific film in ...
important3/27/2008
  Q: secondly: ======== when writing a scenes I didnt want only to imagine it musically but also I want ...
  A: First you need to believe in yourself. Just tell yourself if you really believe in your stories then ...
copyright3/12/2008
  Q: We have a spec screenplay in which a character sings songs from her youth. These are real songs. ...
  A: A spec...may eventually see production...so I would lean towards getting permission. That is so you ...
Showing a television screen within a movie2/27/2008
  Q: I am trying to find out what the proper format might be to include a sports commentary TV show ...
  A: CU. TV. CONTINOUS (for close-up on television) ------------------------------------- INT. _______ ...
Music for musicals or plays2/6/2008
  Q: I need to know if, when a person writes a play or musice, that is biographical, would their music be ...
  A: What we are dealing with here is a case of royalty, and I will use the example of the late Peter ...
multiple submissions of scripts1/27/2008
  Q: Rules for entering playwriting competitions often state that a play must not have been produced ...
  A: I think you should contact someone who is in charge for these competitions and let them know. I mean ...
what to do now?1/6/2008
  Q: I am 24 years old and studied film at my university in England. I have just recently completed ...
  A: I would say, go to your University and try and get some students and others who are very passionate ...
College Programs11/9/2007
  Q: I'm a 55 year old female. I've been writing stage plays seriously for about five years. Would it ...
  A: Have you been produced at all? I don't really see the benefits of getting a Masters in Dramatic ...
rights?10/19/2007
  Q: i need to know if i can right a movie for a franchiase that already exist. how would someone get ...
  A: First this hard enough for established writers to get. But pretty much you need to be hired by the ...
Age Discrimination?9/22/2007
  Q: Does age, say a "senior citizen", prevent obstacles to get your writing efforts fairly reviewed? I ...
  A: First and foremost, age shouldn't dictate if your writing is reviewed fairly. If you are a good ...
Format9/20/2007
  Q: I am currently writing a psychological thriller in which 70% of the action takes place inside a ...
  A: You can do it either way...place it as normal action or show it as imagined. Personally I wouldn't ...
Rights of a co-writer of a screenplay8/23/2007
  Q: I have written a full novel of 626 pages I am contemplating on co-writing the screenplay with ...
  A: Yes, he would get half the rights of the screenplay because he is writing it with you. But the story ...
treatment vs. script8/20/2007
  Q: Carter, What is the advantage of writing a script over a treatment? If I am correct to assume it is ...
  A: In all honesty. I think you should always write a script...it saves the studio time. They may like ...
Formatting and Flashbacks8/19/2007
  Q: I am putting together a script and need some advice. If one of the characters is heavily accented ...
  A: To answer your first question, you need to go with the plain English but state the character has a ...
SOUNDTRACKING A MUSICAL8/13/2007
  Q: I have been involved with costumed childrens shows for over fifteen years where everything - music, ...
  A: The short answer is no, but the complex answer is still not very likely. A musical is a show with ...
the ending ... I need a second opinion8/8/2007
  Q: I have written a play where the ending takes place three years later. The teacher that I approached ...
  A: Well that depends, alot of plays leap forward in time. What is the circumstance, that makes it have ...
Writing a book tinto a play7/24/2007
  Q: I was very interested in turning a book into a play that I would want to perform at my college. The ...
  A: Wow, I am going to you to leave that be...not that it's not a great idea but I think Oprah's company ...
Musical Comedy7/16/2007
  Q: I have written book, music and lyrics for three musical comedies that were very well received at the ...
  A: I congrat you on your the warm reception your musicals have received. I think the next steps would ...
Formatting lyrics in a musical7/1/2007
  Q: Mr. Carter, I am currently writing a musical, an endeavour I am attempting for the first time. ...
  A: Not to sound rude but that is a very stubborn attitude. And as dramatist I will tell you pretty much ...
Writing Screenplays for a Book5/8/2007
  Q: I wanted to know if we can write screenplay for any book before taking author permission and then ...
  A: No you cannot write a screenplay for a book. More than likely the book has already been optioned ...
Musical4/11/2007
  Q: I love theater and I have directed many shows. I decided I wanted to take a shot at writing a ...
  A: Okay...first do you know what the story is? If so then do you know your ideal space or the space you ...
Getting your foot in the door3/19/2007
  Q: I have finished writing a screenplay that is ready for representation. I bought the book "Guide to ...
  A: I would say keep doing what you are doing but be sure the agents are accepted unsolicited ...
playwritting2/23/2007
  Q: do you know any Good book for playwriting (theatre/musical)? (how to write, what to do (and not)..), ...
  A: First thing first...you cannot write a play based on a already existing or previously aired show. ...
Playwriting2/4/2007
  Q: What book or course in playwriting would you recommend?
  A: The Playwright's Guidebook: An Insightful Primer on the Art of Dramatic Writing by Stuart Spencer ...
learning to write plays and musicals1/11/2007
  Q: .. Being a big fan of plays and especially musicals here in Chicago, I want to take playwriting ...
  A: Sorry about the delay, I was installing a new computer and it took me awhile to get the Internet ...
how to write a good outline12/30/2006
  Q: i'm a first time screenwriter and just finished my first screenplay it was my final draft. but no ...
  A: Your best bet, I believe is to watch one of your favourite films and write a outline from it or read ...
Theatre12/14/2006
  Q: What Two things are necessary to involve the audience in a performance?
  A: First the story has to be compelling...this includes compelling characters too. You have to have a ...

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Anthony T. Carter

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Expertise

As a active screenwriter and dramatist (playwright/librettist), I have been writing and directing since I was in elementary school. My expertise is in dramtic writing as well as historical research. I have been given such responsibility (dramaturg) for many local theatre productions. bbc

Experience

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts, minors in History and Psychology. As a writer, I have enjoy the experience of researching for information in regards to a script or just because.

Organizations
Royal Autumn Entertainment (Owner and Lead Creative) Nazareth College Alumni Association Geva Theatre Center (Official Videographer) JCC CenterStage (Official Videographer/Media Technologist/Dramaturge) Method Machine (Playwright in Residence/Dramaturge)

Education/Credentials
B.A. Theatre Arts, Nazareth College of Rochester 2007

Past/Present Clients
Nazareth College of Rochester Method Lab Nuts and Bolts Radworks Wilson Magnet High School JCC CenterStage Geva Theatre Center SE Video

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