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pinaki-ghoshBy Pinaki Ghosh

TheScreenplayWriters.com opens yet another chapter. From today we start yet another new service. We have set up our state-of-the-art storyboard artist studio. You can hire storyboard artists from us at the best rates anywhere in the industry.  $50 per frame for B/W storyboard, and $100 per frame for color.

Using storyboard artists for your screenplay is one of the best ways you can visualize your movie much before the movie is actually made. It can be best described as hand drawn art (nowadays digital art is also seen) that look like comic strips or graphic novels. Frame by frame, they depict the screenplay. At a glance a screenplay storyboard may book like a comicbook.

The filmmaker wants to take a look at the screenplay as it will look from the lens of the camera. As such the role of storyboard artists is enormous. Sometimes, due to budget constraints, only some select scenes are made into storyboards.  Especially the more expensive, outdoor and ‘visual’ scenes.

Not only visualizing; storyboards have helped filmmakers locate potential problems with scenes before they are actually shot, and correct them.

That should not give you the impression that storyboard artists are used only for big budget movies.  In fact at $50 or $100 a frame it is really dirt cheap, considering the benefit.

It is also a fun way of making a film.

Happy Halloween friends!
This is one day of the year that reminds me of the hundreds of horror movies I have watched throughout my life. Most of them did not touch me; but some definitely did. I quite clearly remember the first two horror movies I watched as a child. The first was William Friedkin’s ‘The Exorcist’, the second, Sam Raimi’s ‘Evil Dead’. I still remember spending several nights (after watching these movies) not being able to go to the toilet, and my bladder growing unbearably; imagining something or someone was under my bed in the dark room, waiting to catch my leg if I got down from my bed. I even imagined the hands that would have caught my leg… rough, cold, with razor sharp long nails.
And today, some of the best horror movie screenwriters are available through www.TheScreenplayWriters.com, founded by Nick and me; and we are writing scary scenes to frighten others.
Be original, do not follow cliché
What makes good horror movies different from bad horror movies is in originality. Good horror movies are based on original thoughts while bad horror movies follow cliché ideas and trends. It is easy for the horror movie screenwriter to step into the trap of following former successful horror movies. As a result we have seen several horror movies that follow the trend of Evil Dead or Friday The 13th.  As a horror screenwriter, remember that the viewers have already watched plenty of scary scenes in the past and don’t want to be bored by the same old stuff. So, by all means, avoid preparing old wine in a new bottle.
Feel the deepest fears
A horror screenwriter should experience fear first hand. Unless she/he does so, the output produced will be dispassionate and done just for the sake of doing. Try to face your deepest fears. Feel genuinely frightened. Not that you can do that on purpose, but try to remember the incidents when you felt really really scared, or came close to death. Put that down on paper.
Think of 1 – 3 scenes never seen on screen before
A horror screenplay writer has the remote control of making a movie a success or failure. All successful horror movies had at least 1 scene that was never seen on screen before. Remember the spider walk scene of ‘The Exorcist’, the tree rape scene of ‘Evil Dead’ and the scene where the chairs are inverted, in ‘Poltergiest’? These were scenes that were never seen before, and were implanted in the memory of the viewers for several years. Many of us saw these scenes as a child but still remember the scenes. As a horror screenplay writer you have to come up with 1 – 3 such absolutely original scary scenes, which were never before seen on screen and will leave a lasting impression in the minds of the viewers.
Surprise beginning, slow buildup, high climax, scariest scenes towards the end
That is pretty much the formula of horror movies. As a horror movie screenwriter, you have to start with a surprise beginning, and then build up the first act with almost no extreme occurrences, except one or two elements of suspense and surprise speckled here and there, to keep the interest of the viewers alive. These will get more frequent in the second act, leading to a high climax, which should have the scariest scenes. Of course you can think originally and break the rule, if you want to do an original experiment with horror screenwriting.
Make things appear real
A majority of horror movies appear unreal. The viewers watch it, but they are never really drawn into it, as everything appears unreal. As a horror movie screenwriter, try to write your screenplay in a way that the characters, dialogs and the incidents appear as real and as life-like as possible. If you look at the movies of Manoj Night Shyamalan, his dialogs, characters and incidents appear very real. That is one of the reasons of his cusses as a horror screenwriter.
Do not end up looking funny
One of the toughest challenges of a horror screenwriter is to keep the script natural. Any overdose of anything can make your screenplay appear hilarious on screen. Often we laugh all through bad horror movies. Make sure your script will not appear funny on screen, unless your intention is to make a horror parody movie.
Avoid CG and special effects for low budget horror movies
As a horror movie screenwriter, avoid writing scenes that require the help of computer graphics (CG), special and animation.  These are great for big budget movies, and big movies will never be made without the help of these. But in low budget movies, animation, computer graphics and special effects scenes look extremely poor, due to lack of a standard budget and hence should be avoided. An otherwise good horror movie screenplay can get spoiled by the use of poor CG and special effects. Write only scenes that can be shot without the help of CG, animation and special effects.
Watch plenty of horror movies before you start
Not to copy, but to tune your mind, you, as a horror screenwriter need to watch plenty of horror movies… preferably good ones, before you actually start working on your project.

evil dead

By Pinaki Ghosh

Happy Halloween friends!

This is one day of the year that reminds me of the hundreds of horror movies I have watched throughout my life. Most of them did not touch me; but some definitely did. I quite clearly remember the first two horror movies I watched as a child. The first was William Friedkin’s ‘The Exorcist’, the second, Sam Raimi’s ‘Evil Dead’. I still remember spending several nights (after watching these movies) not being able to go to the toilet, and my bladder growing unbearably; imagining something or someone was under my bed in the dark room, waiting to catch my leg if I got down from the bed. I even imagined the hands that would have caught my leg… rough, cold, with razor sharp long nails.

And today, some of the best horror movie screenwriters are available through TheScreenplayWriters.com, founded by Nick and me; and we are writing scary scenes to frighten others.

Let’s find out what a horror movie screenwriter and filmmaker should keep in mind while writing a horror screenplay.

Be original, do not follow cliché

What makes good horror movies different from bad horror movies is originality. Good horror movies are based on original thoughts while bad horror movies follow cliché ideas and trends. It is easy for the horror movie screenwriter to step into the trap of following former successful horror movies. As a result we have seen several horror movies that follow the trend of Evil Dead or Friday The 13th.  As a horror screenwriter, remember that the viewers have already watched plenty of scary scenes in the past and don’t want to be bored by the same old stuff. So, by all means, avoid preparing old wine in a new bottle.

Feel the deepest fears

A horror screenwriter should experience fear first hand. Unless she or he does so, the output produced will be dispassionate and done just for the sake of doing it. Try to face your deepest fears. Feel genuinely frightened. Not that you can do that on purpose, but try to remember the incidents when you felt really really scared, or came close to death. Take a walk on one of the scariest roads in town after midnight. Or take the last train in a notorious route. How did you feel? Put that down on paper.

spider walk scene

Think of 1 – 3 scenes never seen on screen before

A horror screenplay writer has the remote control of making a movie a success or a failure. All successful horror movies had at least 1 scene that was never seen on screen before. Remember the spider walk scene of ‘The Exorcist’, the tree rape scene of ‘Evil Dead’ and the scene where the chairs are suddenly found inverted, in ‘Poltergiest’? These were scenes that were never seen before, and were implanted in the memory of the viewers for several years. Many of us saw these scenes as a child but still remember the scenes. As a horror screenplay writer you have to come up with 1 – 3 such absolutely original scary scenes, which were never before seen on screen and will leave a lasting impression in the minds of the viewers.

Surprise beginning, slow buildup, high climax, scariest scenes towards the end

That is pretty much the formula of horror movies. As a horror movie screenwriter, you have to start with a surprise beginning, and then build up the first act with almost no extreme occurrences, except one or two elements of suspense and surprise speckled here and there, to keep the interest of the viewers alive. These will get more frequent in the second act, leading to a high climax, which should have the scariest scenes. Of course you can think originally and break the rule, if you want to do an original experiment with horror screenwriting.

Make things appear real

A majority of horror movies appear unreal. The viewers watch it, but they are never really drawn into it, as everything appears unreal. As a horror movie screenwriter, try to write your screenplay in a way that the characters, dialogs and the incidents appear as real and as life-like as possible. If you look at the movies of Manoj Night Shyamalan, his dialogs, characters and incidents appear very real. That is one of the reasons of his success as a horror screenwriter. For that purpose you can also check out ‘The Ring’.

Do not end up appearing funny

One of the toughest challenges of a horror screenwriter is to keep the script natural and dignified. Any overdose of anything can make your screenplay appear hilarious on screen. Often we laugh all through bad horror movies. Make sure your script will not appear funny on screen, unless your intention is to make a horror parody movie.

Avoid CG and special effects for low budget horror movies

As a horror movie screenwriter, avoid writing scenes that require the help of computer graphics (CG), special effects and animation.  These are great for big budget movies, and big movies will never be made without the help of these. But in low budget movies, animation, computer graphics and special effects scenes look extremely poor quality-wise, due to lack of a standard budget and hence should be avoided. An otherwise good horror movie screenplay can get spoiled by the use of poor CG and special effects. Write only scenes that can be shot without the help of CG, animation and special effects.

Watch plenty of horror movies before you start

Not to copy, but to tune your mind, you, as a horror screenwriter need to watch plenty of horror movies… preferably good ones, before you actually start working on your project.

By Pinaki Ghosh

A new week. A new announcement.

We at www.TheScreenplayWriters.com are now offering our clients the option to buy spec screenplays, or ready made screenplays. Often, purchasing a spec screenplay is a great option for filmmakers and producers who are tight on time and cannot spare two or three months to get a screenplay written from scratch. Secondly, we have a great array of spec screenplays of various genres, from talented screenwriters across the world. As such filmmakers and producers looking for something fresh, are likely to come across excellent new storylines if they check out our brand new section on spec screenplays. Click here to visit.

From the point of view of new, budding and established screenwriters; this is an excellent opportunity to showcase your talent and work. Our site is visited by hundreds of renowned filmmakers all over the world. You can sell your spec screenplay through us now. Send your loglines and treatments to info@thescreenplaywriters.com to begin. If we like your story idea, we shall ask for your screenplay. Please make sure your screenplay is copyright registered, or registered with an established writers’ association like the WGA. Visit our Career page for details.

Check out our new spec screenplay sales here.

The Emerging Hindi screenplay writer: Bollywood Hindi screenplays made in America
Oops! No blog posts since 27 Sept is an unpardonable sign that we neglected our blog. On the other hand it also speaks about how busy we were during this period. An average of two new projects seem to land up every week and if a week passes without any new project getting confirmed, we start thinking something is wrong and Nick starts testing our contact form and calling up our webmaster Anindya to make sure it is working.
During this apparent hibernating period, we have also strengthened our screenwriters’ teams. We now have 5 solid city based teams in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mumbai and Kolkata. While my friend Nick (Blake) was working on building our USA teams, I was working on strengthening our 2 Indian teams: Mumbai and Kolkata. Nick will probably write about his team building experience.
We realized within days of launching our service, that there was a steady need of Hindi screenplay writers. From day 1 our team had Rajan, the extremely experienced Hindi screenwriter and assistant writer of films like Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Phir Hera Pheri and No Entry. Later Shivani, the Hindi screenplay writer of ‘Dus Kahaniya’ became a part of our team. In the recent weeks I have befriended what I feel are extremely talented Hindi screenplay writers, Antara (3 National Award winners), Sumit, Indranil and Anirban.
I need to explain here how we normally develop a Hindi screenplay. Our system has evolved in a creative way and is probably quite a unique way of handling a Hindi script writing assignment. Whenever there is a Hindi screenplay project, we first allow our American screenplay writers handle the basic job. Our American team expands the treatment into a basic screenplay. Nick polishes the first draft and passes it to me. We then allow one of our Hindi screenwriters to work on the first draft. Dialogs are changed to Hindi; new scenes and sequences are added. Some are omitted. After the Hindi screenplay writer has completed his or her work, it comes to me and I polish it again.
What this means is an emerging trend of Hindi screenplays made in America. I am quite sure this is an emerging trend and we have consciously set our working system in accordance with this emerging trend, to cater the demands of our clients who are not against this trend.
Shah Rukh Khan has hired American screenplay writer David Benullo (who is also in friendly terms with us) to write the screenplay of his science fiction Hindi film ‘Ra 1’. American screenwriter duo Joshua and Brian (who can be hired through us) have written the screenplay of the blockbuster Hindi movie ‘Blue’ (2009).
The opposite trend is also true. I’ll write about that some other day.

Hindi screenplays made in USABy Pinaki Ghosh

Oops! No blog posts since 27 Sept is an unpardonable sign that we neglected our blog. On the other hand it also speaks about how busy we were at www.TheScreenplayWriters.com during this period. An average of two new screenplay writing projects seem to land up every week and if a week passes without any new project getting confirmed, we start thinking something is wrong and Nick starts testing our contact form and calling up our webmaster Anindya to make sure the contact form is working.

During this apparent hibernating period, we have also strengthened our screenwriters’ teams considerably. We now have 5 solid city based teams in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mumbai and Kolkata. While my friend Nick (Blake) was working on building our USA teams, I was working on strengthening our 2 Indian teams: Mumbai and Kolkata. Nick will probably write about his team building experience soon.

We realized within days of launching our screenwriting service, that there was a steady need of Hindi screenplay writers. From day 1 our team had Rajan, the extremely experienced Hindi screenwriter and assistant writer of films like Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Phir Hera Pheri and No Entry. Later Shivani, the Hindi screenplay writer of ‘Dus Kahaniya’ (Ten Stories) became a part of our team. In the recent weeks I have befriended what I feel are extremely talented Hindi screenplay writers, Antara (3 National Award winner!), Sumit, Indranil and Anirban.

I need to explain here how we normally develop a Hindi screenplay. Our system has evolved in a creative way and is probably quite a unique way of handling a Hindi script writing assignment. Whenever there is a Hindi screenplay project, we first allow our American screenplay writers to handle the basic job. Our American team expands the treatment into a basic screenplay. Nick polishes the first draft and passes it to me. We then allow one of our Hindi screenwriters to work on the first draft. Dialogs are changed to Hindi; new scenes and sequences are added. Some are omitted. Modifications are made. After the Hindi screenplay writer has completed his or her work, it comes to me and I polish it once again.

What this means is an emerging trend of Hindi screenplays made in America. I am quite sure this is an emerging trend and we have consciously set our working system in accordance with this emerging trend, to cater the demands of our clients who are not against this trend.

Shah Rukh Khan has hired American screenplay writer David Benullo (who is also in friendly terms with us) to write the screenplay of his science fiction Hindi film ‘Ra 1’. American screenwriter duo Joshua and Brian (who can be hired through us) have written the screenplay of the blockbuster Hindi movie ‘Blue’ (2009).

The opposite trend is also true. I’ll write about that some other day.

Agreement Over Writing A Screenplay For A Film
By this memorandum of understanding, signed this DATE; both the parties described herein under as, represented by CLIENT’S NAME of CLIENT’S ADDRESS, phone number CLIENT’S PHONE NUMBER, also described as the ‘client’; and SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME, SCREENWRITER’S ADDRESS, phone number SCREENWRITER’S PHONE NUMBER, also described as ‘screenplay writer, do hereby agree to all the terms described and given below:
1. CLIENT’S NAME is commissioning screenwriter SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME to begin the project of writing the screenplay of a (approx) NO. OF MINUTES minutes long feature film.
2. The tentative working title of the film shall be ‘NAME OF MOVIE. This title is subject to change.
3. The deadline for completion of this screenplay is NUMBER OF DAYS days after the signing of this agreement.
4. CLIENT’S NAME  agrees to pay SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME a consolidated sum of TOTAL FEE AMOUNT  for the project that will include the following:
a. Writing the screenplay on the story/treatment laid down by CLIENT’S NAME .
b. Editing it thoroughly before submission., so that the final version is free from errors like spelling and grammar errors, and typos.
5. The fees of the screenplay writer will be paid as follows:
a. 1/3 as advance to get the project started.
b. 1/3 after 40% work submission.
c. The remaining 1/3 fees will be paid on 80% work submission and approval.
6. SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME is subject to NO royalty or commission on the sale or business from the screenplay. He is only entitled to the one time project fees of TOTAL FEE AMOUNT.
7. SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME (screenplay writer) will maintain full confidentiality and secrecy about this project. At no point during the project will he reveal any idea or concept of the film, to anyone, in any form; even if this contract gets terminated at any point during the project.
8. If SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME is unable to complete the project for some reason, he will convey that in writing as email as soon as possible. In that case he will be entitled to a payment which is proportionate to the amount of work he has completed; subject to approval from the client.
9. The screenplay will be 100 – 120 pages in length.
10. The screenplay writer will get credit for his/her contribution to the film.
11. SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME agrees that he will not take the help of any plagiarism, meaning he will avoid using borrowed material in this screenplay exactly as they are found elsewhere.
12. SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME agrees to do necessary coordination with the director or any other person or persons referred by the client, for proper shaping up of the project if necessary.
13. CLIENT’S NAME will own all copyrights for this screenplay.
14. CLIENT’S NAME will have full freedom to deal with any filmmaker, producer or agent. SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME will have no say on these matters.
15. CLIENT’S NAME can request SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME to make a reasonable number of changes and edits during the period of production of this screenplay and within 1 month of completion and submission of the screenplay.
16. Any disputes arising between the parties related to this contract and project will be settled by courts in NAME OF YOUR CITY.
Both the parties do hereby agree to the terms laid and set above.
Signature
CLIENT’S NAME  (client)
Signature
SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME (screenplay writer)
Date:  _______________

pinaki-ghoshBy Pinaki Ghosh

Till date most of my blog posts have been aimed at screenplay writers only. However the visitors of our site TheScreenplayWriters.com include both screenwriters and filmmakers, producers, directors, studios who are looking for screenwriters. Now here is something which is aimed at both screenwriters and clients who are looking for screenwriters.

What is the format of a screenwriter contract? What legal points should be covered in a screenwriter agreement that fairly represents both the parties – the screenwriter and the client?

Given below  is a compact screenwriter agreement format which you can confidently use, whether you are a screenwriter, or a client looking for a screenwriter.  You have to simply change the phrases in ALL CAPS with relevant information.

Agreement Over Writing A Screenplay For A Film

By this memorandum of understanding, signed this DATE; both the parties described herein under as, represented by CLIENT’S NAME of CLIENT’S ADDRESS, phone number CLIENT’S PHONE NUMBER, also described as the ‘client’; and SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME, SCREENWRITER’S ADDRESS, phone number SCREENWRITER’S PHONE NUMBER, also described as ‘screenplay writer, do hereby agree to all the terms described and given below:

1. CLIENT’S NAME is commissioning screenwriter SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME to begin the project of writing the screenplay of a (approx) NO. OF MINUTES minutes long feature film.

2. The tentative working title of the film shall be ‘NAME OF MOVIE. This title is subject to change.

3. The deadline for completion of this screenplay is NUMBER OF DAYS days after the signing of this agreement.

4. CLIENT’S NAME  agrees to pay SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME a consolidated sum of TOTAL FEE AMOUNT  for the project that will include the following:

a. Writing the screenplay on the story/treatment laid down by CLIENT’S NAME .

b. Editing it thoroughly before submission., so that the final version is free from errors like spelling and grammar errors, and typos.

5. The fees of the screenplay writer will be paid as follows:

a. 1/3 as advance to get the project started.

b. 1/3 after 40% work submission.

c. The remaining 1/3 fees will be paid on 80% work submission and approval.

6. SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME is subject to NO royalty or commission on the sale or business from the screenplay. He is only entitled to the one time project fees of TOTAL FEE AMOUNT.

7. SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME (screenplay writer) will maintain full confidentiality and secrecy about this project. At no point during the project will he reveal any idea or concept of the film, to anyone, in any form; even if this contract gets terminated at any point during the project.

8. If SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME is unable to complete the project for some reason, he will convey that in writing as email as soon as possible. In that case he will be entitled to a payment which is proportionate to the amount of work he has completed; subject to approval from the client.

9. The screenplay will be 100 – 120 pages in length.

10. The screenplay writer will get credit for his/her contribution to the film.

11. SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME agrees that he will not take the help of any plagiarism, meaning he will avoid using borrowed material in this screenplay exactly as they are found elsewhere.

12. SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME agrees to do necessary coordination with the director or any other person or persons referred by the client, for proper shaping up of the project if necessary.

13. CLIENT’S NAME will own all copyrights for this screenplay.

14. CLIENT’S NAME will have full freedom to deal with any filmmaker, producer or agent. SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME will have no say on these matters.

15. CLIENT’S NAME can request SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME to make a reasonable number of changes and edits during the period of production of this screenplay and within 1 month of completion and submission of the screenplay.

16. Any disputes arising between the parties related to this contract and project will be settled by courts in NAME OF YOUR CITY.

Both the parties do hereby agree to the terms laid and set above.

Signature

CLIENT’S NAME  (client)

Signature

SCREENPLAY WRITER’S NAME (screenplay writer)

Date:  _______________

By Pinaki Ghosh
Good news is that we have been writing a number of animation films this month and a few more are in the pipeline. Somehow the word got around that we have specialist animation screenwriters.
But how different is animation screenwriting from usual screenwriting for live action movies? Let’s check out.
1. First, if you are writing the screenplay of an animation movie, in other words, if you are an animation screenwriter, you should be ideally someone who has grown up reading comicbooks and graphic novels. Writers who have vast knowledge of comicbooks and graphic novels will be better animation screenwriters than who have never really loved reading comicbooks and graphic novels.
2. The animation screenwriting format is usual. Exactly similar to live action movies. You can write it using Microsoft Word, Open Office Word, Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter in the usual screenplay format.
3. Keep the dialogs brief and interesting. Ideally single sentences. Long, boring dialogs are usually unusual in animation screenplays.  Keep that in mind as an animation screenwriter.
4. However, keep your action descriptions vivid. That is one way animation screenplays are different from normal screenplays. The animation artists should be able to understand the actions and depict them exactly. As such the animation screenwriter must pay attention in clearly describing each action. You cannot afford to cut it short here, as your vision may not reach the animation artists if your action description is too brief.
5. Maintain a fast pace. Two talking heads covering 7 minutes in one location is not what animation viewers are prepared to watch. As an animation screenwriter, keep changing scenes frequently and avoid stagnation.
6. Avoid overcrowding of characters in one scene unless you are specifically told to do so. Try to keep two to three characters in a majority of scenes. Only a few scenes should have a large number of characters. It is difficult and expensive to put up a scene with a large number of animated characters.
7. It is a good idea to watch a number of good animation films for a week before starting to write your animation screenplay. Not to pick up ideas, but to tune your mind. It is said what we write has 10% experience and 90% inspiration. Good works inspire us. The one week will be a good investment to boost your inspiration.

pinaki-ghoshBy Pinaki Ghosh

Good news is that we at TheScreenplayWriters.com have been writing a number of animation films this month and a few more are in the pipeline. Somehow the word went around that we have specialist animation screenwriters.

But how different is animation screenwriting from usual screenwriting for live action movies? Let’s check out.

1. First, if you are writing the screenplay of an animation movie, in other words, if you are an animation screenwriter, you should be ideally someone who has grown up reading comicbooks and graphic novels. Writers who have vast knowledge of comicbooks and graphic novels will be better animation screenwriters than the ones who have never really loved reading comicbooks and graphic novels.

2. The animation screenwriting format is usual. Exactly similar to live action movies. You can write it using Microsoft Word, Open Office Word, Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter in the usual screenplay format.

3. Keep the dialogs brief and interesting. Ideally single sentences. Long, boring dialogs are usually unusual in animation screenplays.  Keep that in mind as an animation screenwriter.

4. However, keep your action descriptions vivid. That is one way animation screenplays are different from normal screenplays. The animation artists should be able to understand the actions and depict them exactly. As such the animation screenwriter must pay attention in clearly describing each action. You cannot afford to cut it short here, as your vision may not reach the animation artists if your action description is too brief.

5. Maintain a fast pace. Two talking heads covering 7 minutes in one location is not what animation viewers are prepared to watch. As an animation screenwriter, keep changing scenes frequently and avoid stagnation.

6. Avoid overcrowding of characters in one scene unless you are specifically told to do so. Try to keep two to three characters in a majority of scenes. Only a few scenes should have a large number of characters. It is difficult and expensive to put up a scene with a large number of animated characters.

7. It is a good idea to watch a number of good animation films for a week before starting to write your animation screenplay. Not to pick up ideas, but to tune your mind. It is said what we write has 10% experience and 90% inspiration in it. Good works inspire us. The one week will be a good investment to boost your inspiration.

18
September

screenwriter nick blakeBy Nick Blake

As a writer I love working with people. I get exposure to all kinds of interesting people and ideas that feed my creativity. And for the most part people enjoy my creative input. After working with a client there is nothing more satisfying than hearing a simple, “Great job, I loved the work!”

When all goes well writing is a good partnership between writer and client. But not all clients are interested in my joy of writing, so it’s important to remind myself that writing is a business. And like any other business I follow a few simple ground rules to protect myself in the client-partner relationship.

Here they are for all screenplay writers in need of business advice. I don’t know if everyone follows the same rules, so if you do anything differently I’d love to hear about it.

1. Talk to the client
Make sure both parties are clear on exactly what the work is going to be and what you are going to deliver when the project is done. Ask questions. Get to know both the project and the client. Make sure you are comfortable with both.

2. Be clear about money
Negotiating is fine, but don’t get backed into a corner. Before you begin any job make sure that you are comfortable with the amount of money you’ll be making. As a writer you have the most negotiating power before you agree to take on any job. If you aren’t satisfied with the money on the table don’t be afraid to say no and walk away.

3. Get it in writing
No matter what is said in phone conversations the only proof you have to what you and the client agreed to is (a) the contract you sign and/or (b) any email exchanges between you and the client. As a standard procedure I send a follow-up email to all my clients outlining everything we’ve agreed to before I begin a job.

4. Get the money up front
Writing is a business. Don’t be afraid to be a businessman (or businesswoman). My standard procedure is at least 50% up front before I do any work on a project. The other 50% is due before I deliver the final product.

5. Keep it professional
Once terms are set, don’t back down if the client changes their mind. They have agreed to a deal, and it’s up to them to uphold their end of the bargain. If the client is unhappy it’s good practice to make them happy — after all, happy clients bring referrals and/or repeat business! But if their demands are unreasonable (if they decide they wanted something else after all, for example) don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself. As a friend of mine says, know where your line is and don’t allow the client to cross it. If the client is implacable, terminate the business relationship.

Most clients are fantastic to work with, and respect professionalism. By following a few simple ground rules you set expectations appropriately for both sides so you can focus on what you love — being a writer.

None of this is legal advice. For legal advice, consult your lawyer. But laying down a few simple ground rules is simply good business for all screenplay writers.

Last Saturday I watched Mamma Mia on HBO. While it was like a little vacation for the mind, it set me thinking, are Hollywood and Bollywood films influencing each other? In otgher words, are Hollywood movies becoming more Bollywoodish, and Bollywood movies more Hollywoodish? Are our films set to prove ‘the world is flat’?
Several recently successful Hollywood movies like ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘High School Musical’, ‘High School Musical 2’, ‘Love Guru’, ‘The 40 year Old Virgin’ and ‘The Cheetah Girls: One World’, show clear Bollywood influence in them. On the other hand scores of Bollywood movies are strongly influenced by Hollywood. The very popular Bollywood movie ‘Ghajini’ was influenced by ‘Memento’ so much that it could not avoid the critics’ frown. ‘Dhoom’, shows influences of ‘The Fast and the Furious’. The Bollywood movie ‘Blue’ looks Hollywoodish.
These influences have become more obvious and exposed ever since the Bollywood styled movie ‘The Slumdog Millionaire’ won 8 Academy Awards this year. But even before that Bollywood and Hollywood were slowly and discreetly influencing each other. Director Baz Luhrmann has openly agreed that he is influenced by Bollywood. His smash hit movie ‘Moulin Rouge!’ has strong Bollywood influence and also uses Bollywood songs. That was back in 2001. According to Baz, Bollywood movies are much like Shakespeare’s plays; a package of everything.
This influence and trend has resulted in an increasing demand of offshore screenplay writers and directors. American filmmakers are looking for Indian screenwriters more often than ever before. On the other hand Bollywood movie makers are hiring American screenwriters for every major project. Joshua and Brian, the American screenwriter duo (and an important part of our team) were hired to write the story and screenplay of the Bollywood movie ‘Blue’ (2009). Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan has hired American screenwriter David Benullo to write his science fiction Bollywood blockbuster ‘Ra 1’.
No wonder TheScreenplayWriters.com is flooded with requests and offers ever since launch, from both the continents.

pinaki-ghoshBy Pinaki Ghosh

Last Saturday I watched ‘Mamma Mia‘ on HBO. While it was like a little vacation for the mind, it set me thinking, are Hollywood and Bollywood films influencing each other? In other words, are Hollywood movies becoming more Bollywoodish, and Bollywood movies more Hollywoodish? Are our films set to prove ‘the world is flat’?

Several recently successful Hollywood movies like ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘High School Musical’, ‘High School Musical 2’, ‘The Love Guru’, ‘The 40 year Old Virgin’ and ‘The Cheetah Girls: One World’, show clear Bollywood influence. On the other hand scores of Bollywood movies are strongly influenced by Hollywood. The very popular Bollywood movie ‘Ghajini’ was influenced by ‘Memento’ so much that it could not avoid the critics’ scorn. ‘Dhoom’, shows influences of ‘The Fast and the Furious’. The Bollywood movie ‘Blue’ looks very Hollywoodish.

memtoGhajiniThese influences have become more obvious and exposed ever since the Bollywood styled movie ‘The Slumdog Millionaire’ won 8 Academy Awards this year. But even before that Bollywood and Hollywood were slowly and discreetly influencing each other. Director Baz Luhrmann has openly agreed that he is influenced by Bollywood. His smash hit movie ‘Moulin Rouge!’ has strong Bollywood influence and also uses Bollywood songs. That was back in 2001. According to Baz, Bollywood movies are much like Shakespeare’s plays; a package of everything entertaining.

This influence and trend has resulted in an increasing demand of offshore screenplay writers and directors. American filmmakers are looking for Indian screenwriters more often than ever before. On the other hand Bollywood movie makers are hiring American screenwriters for every major project. Joshua and Brian, the American screenwriter duo (and an important part of our team) were hired to write the story and screenplay of the Bollywood movie ‘Blue’ (2009). Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan has hired American (Hollywood) screenwriter David Benullo to write his science fiction Bollywood blockbuster ‘Ra 1’.

No wonder TheScreenplayWriters.com (premier screenwriter service with a team of Hollywood and Bollywood screenplay writers) is flooded with requests and offers ever since launch, from both the continents.

Writing a movie script – 10 things you should do to get your screenplay rejected
Writing a movie script? Want to know the 10 secrets to get your screenplay rejected for sure? Read on.
1. Offer camera directions in your screenplay
Don’t trust the intelligence of the director or cinematographer and offer camera directions in your script like, ‘pan’, ‘zoom’, ‘dolly’, ‘trolley shot’ or ‘low angle shot’. That will make your script look like one from history and is a definite way of getting it rejected.
2. Offer editing directions in your screenplay
Similarly, go ahead… show a complete disregard to the editor’s intelligence and write editing instructions like ‘cut to’, ‘dissolve’, etc. and your screenplay will look like a thing of the past. In modern day screenplays editing directions are no longer in vogue. Only ‘fade in’ and ‘fade out’ are used twice or thrice in an entire screenplay.
3. Do not capitalize character names
Do not capitalize the character names while writing a movie script. Leave them in lowercase text and your screenplay will be rejected for sure. Similarly, leave words that denote sound, like WHOOSH, or CLANG in lowercase, to show how little you know.
4. Make your screenplay shorter than 90 pages or longer than 130 pages
While writing a movie script, you should definitely make it longer than 130 pages, or shorter than 90 pages to make sure your screenplay goes straight to the trash bin, because normal screenplays are 90 pages to 130 pages in length.
5. Write very long dialogs
Writing a movie script? Love writing interesting dialogs? Then go ahead and make them a bit lengthy. Make each dialog longer than 5 lines and that will ensure your screenplay is ripped and made into paper airplanes.
6. Write very long scenes
While writing a movie script, make sure your scenes are lengthy enough to get the screenplay rejected. While normally scenes are less than a page in length to maximum three pages, with 5 page scenes being an exception; you should concentrate in making your scenes more than 5 page in length… to join the rejected screenplay writers’ club.
7. Write long descriptions
While the normal length of writing a scene description is 1 to 4 lines, you should break the rule and write at least 10 line scene descriptions to be a part of the frustrated screenwriters’ league.
8. Use character names that sound and spell similar
Make your character names sound confusingly similar. Or make them start with the same letter, so that the viewers are thoroughly confused.
9. Use character names for very minor characters
Give character names to even minor characters that appear just once and have one line dialogs, to prove you want to get your screenplay rejected. While the rule is, you should use the professions to identify minor characters, rather than names, a violation of the rule is recommended if you want to do the opposite or normal.
Eg. POLICE OFFICER
Show me your driving license.
The above is normal, if this police officer appears only once in the entire movie.
10. Use wired slug lines.
Scenes start with slug lines like:
INT. COFFEE HOUSE – NIGHT
Or
EXT. BEACH – DAY
While normal screenplay writers use only ‘day’ or ‘night’, you can be a rebel and use wired slug lines like DUSK, DAWN, SUNSET TIME, SUNRISE TIME, to stay ahead in the race of getting your screenplay rejected.
11. Make a mess of the alignment.
And finally, make a mess of the alignment. While the rule is, scene slug lines and action descriptions should be extreme left aligned, character names should be center aligned and dialogs should be left aligned, but an inch towards the right.
Eg. Correct format:
POLICE OFFICER
Show me your driving license.
Sees the license
POLICE OFFICER (CONT’D)
This license has expired three months ago. Please come out of the car mister.
He opens the door and COLLIN walks out of the car.
Wrong format:
POLICE OFFICER
Show me your driving license.
Sees the license
POLICE OFFICER (CONT’D)
This license has expired three months ago. Please come out of the car mister.
He opens the door and COLLIN walks out of the car.
12. Use plenty of mood descriptions throughout the screenplay
Use of phrases in brackets like (smiles), (looks worried), (laughs out loud) with every possible dialog to prove yourself to be a complete novice. Experienced screenwriters avoid using such phrases as far as possible because these are for the director to decide. Three such uses in a complete good screenplay are allowed.
13. Do not visualize
While writing a movie script, write it just for the sake of writing it. Do not visualize anything in your mind’s eye. Do not bother if your scenes will be picturesque or boring.

Writing a movie script – 10 things you should do to get your screenplay rejected

pinaki-ghoshBy Pinaki Ghosh

Writing a movie script? Want to know the 13 secrets to get your screenplay rejected for sure? Read on.

1. Offer camera directions in your screenplay

Don’t trust the intelligence of the director or cinematographer and offer camera directions in your script like, ‘pan’, ‘zoom’, ‘dolly’, ‘trolley shot’ or ‘low angle shot’. That will make your script look like one from history and is a definite way of getting it rejected.

2. Offer editing directions in your screenplay

Similarly, go ahead… show a complete disregard to the editor’s intelligence and write editing instructions like ‘cut to’, ‘dissolve’, etc. and your screenplay will look like a thing of the past. In modern day screenplays editing directions are no longer in vogue. Only ‘fade in’ and ‘fade out’ are used twice or thrice in an entire screenplay.

3. Do not capitalize character names

Do not capitalize the character names while writing a movie script. Leave them in lowercase text and your screenplay will be rejected for sure. Similarly, leave words that denote sound, like WHOOSH, or CLANG in lowercase, to show how little you know.

4. Make your screenplay shorter than 90 pages or longer than 130 pages

While writing a movie script, you should definitely make it longer than 130 pages, or shorter than 90 pages to make sure your screenplay goes straight into the trash bin, because normal screenplays are 90 pages to 130 pages in length.

5. Write very lengthy dialogs

Writing a movie script? Love writing interesting dialogs? Then go ahead and make them lengthy. Make each dialog lengthier than 5 lines and that will ensure your screenplay is ripped and made into paper airplanes.

6. Write very lengthy scenes

While writing a movie script, make sure your scenes are lengthy enough to get the screenplay rejected. While normally scenes are less than a page in length to maximum three pages, with 5 page scenes being an exception; you should concentrate in making your scenes more than 5 pages in length… to join the rejected screenplay writers’ club.

7. Write lengthy descriptions

While the normal length of writing a scene description is 1 to 4 lines, you should break the rule and write at least 10 line scene descriptions to be a part of the frustrated screenwriters’ league.

8. Use character names that sound and spell similar

Make your character names sound confusingly similar. Or make them start with the same letter, so that the viewers are thoroughly confused.

9. Use character names for very minor characters

Give character names to even minor characters that appear just once and have one line dialogs, to prove you want to get your screenplay rejected. While the rule is, you should use the professions to identify minor characters, rather than names, a violation of the rule is recommended if you want to do the opposite of normal.

Eg. POLICE OFFICER

Show me your driving license. God save you if you don’t have one.

The above is normal, if this POLICE OFFICER appears only once in the entire movie. In a good screenplay, a name like ‘HARRY’ or ‘TOM’ or ‘DICK’ would have been inappropriate for this role.

10. Use wired slug lines.

Scenes start with slug lines like:

INT. COFFEE HOUSE – NIGHT

Or

EXT. BEACH – DAY

While normal screenplay writers use only ‘day’ or ‘night’, you can be a rebel and use wired slug lines like DUSK, DAWN, SUNSET TIME, SUNRISE TIME, to stay ahead in the race of getting your screenplay rejected.

11. Make a mess of the alignment

And finally, make a mess of the alignment. While the rule is, scene slug lines and action descriptions should be extreme left aligned, character names should be center aligned and dialogs should be left aligned, but an inch towards the right.

Eg. Correct format:

EXT. ROAD – DAY

POLICE OFFICER

Show me your driving license. God save you if you don’t have one.

Sees the license

POLICE OFFICER (CONT’D)

This license has expired three months ago. Please come out of the car mister.

He opens the door and COLLIN walks out of the car.

Wrong format:

EXT. ROAD – DAY

POLICE OFFICER

Show me your driving license. God save you if you don’t have one.

Sees the license

POLICE OFFICER (CONT’D)

This license has expired three months ago. Please come out of the car mister.

He opens the door and COLLIN walks out of the car.

12. Use plenty of mood descriptions throughout the screenplay

Use of phrases in brackets like (smiles), (looks worried), (laughs out loud) with every possible dialog to prove yourself to be a complete novice. Experienced screenwriters avoid using such phrases as far as possible because these are for the director to decide. Three such uses in a complete good screenplay are allowed.

13. Do not visualize

While writing a movie script, write it just for the sake of writing it. Do not visualize anything in your mind’s eye. Do not bother if your scenes will be picturesque or boring.

And of course, do not take the help of the premier screenwriting and script consultancy service TheScreenplayWriters.com, because this team of screenwriters is so good and powerful, your screenplay will never be rejected. To make sure your screenplay is rejected, they should be strictly avoided.
10
September

screenwriter nick blakeBy Nick Blake

We had an expression when I was working in marketing: feast or starve. On any given day we didn’t know if our plates would be full (feast) or empty (starve). Pretty self-explanatory.

I was reminded of this expression yesterday. I woke up in a foul mood. I had a few client meetings scheduled but otherwise life was in a holding pattern.

That’s when the floodgates opened. An old client got in touch with a good opportunity that required a lot of coordination on my end. When I got to my client meetings my phone was buzzing off the hook. Another gig had come in through TheScreenplayWriters.com, this time with a same-day turnaround. Pinaki and I hustled to get the the pieces in order and meet the deadline.

I went to bed happy sometime after midnight. It had been a good feast day. On top of copious client work I had written two short story rough drafts. When the creative juices flow they tend to swell and flood the surrounding area.

This morning I’m catching up on emails and waiting for a client call. I’m still happy from yesterday’s buzz, but doubt is beginning to creep in. Will I feast or starve today?