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    Scriptfest guidelines
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    I got caught up in work the past few months and didn't post guidelines, but I'd like to open the forum and get your feedback on what you want to see as formatting rules. Post your suggestions here and I'll throw em all together.


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    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    Things like ...

    *Tiltle page
    *No scene numbers
    *No directing on the page - we this and we that, camera pans down ...
    *Fade In and Fade Out - Several ixnayed this step and bought some space
    *Page limit - enforced
    *Font size - 11.5 can slip by undetected and buy the writer a few coveted lines
    *Font style


    Nothing Draconian to take the fun out of it (like the Olympics), just a few basics. If the writer chooses to use 15 lines for action, and use catywumpas slugs, so be it, but be prepared to get rapped for it !!.

    Style and the writer's voice, not to mention story, are just as important as the beautiful page, and visa-versa.

    Seek balance.

    a
    Last edited by alex whitmer; 08-22-2008 at 05:00 PM.


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    no cuts (cut to


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    Senior Member Captain Pierce's Avatar
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    Alex already posted some of his ideas in my "Next Fest" thread, but I'll respond to them here.

    Quote Originally Posted by alex whitmer View Post
    *Tiltle page
    *No scene numbers
    *No directing on the page - we this and we that, camera pans down ...
    *Fade In and Fade Out - Several ixnayed this step and bought some space
    *Page limit - enforced
    *Font size - 11.5 can slip by undetected and buy the writer a few coveted lines
    *Font style
    The thing in this list that bothers me is "No direction on the page." IMO, that's a completely subjective thing, based on unwritten rules that seem to change over time, and can't really be enforced. I would prefer to keep the guidelines to entirely objective things like, well, pretty much everything else he mentioned.

    I wonder, though, how strictly can font size be enforced given that we upload .pdf's? Don't get me wrong, I do think it should be enforced, but I would think that would be tough given the delivery format.

    And I'll echo in this thread my suggestion from the other thread that we should provide some sort of guidance for people as to how to meet the guidelines. I'll presume that those of us who use software like Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter are pretty much off the hook with regard to font size, style, pages, etc (at least, as a Screenwriter 2000 user, I hope so ), but it was mentioned in one script's discussion thread that Celtx can be tricky. I know we can't cover every option that people have, but I think if we could have a Celtx tutorial, and maybe one for creating a Word template, we could probably cover the majority.
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    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Pierce View Post
    The thing in this list that bothers me is "No direction on the page." IMO, that's a completely subjective thing, based on unwritten rules that seem to change over time, and can't really be enforced
    Agree, some of the 'guidelines' can't really be enforced, and are indeed fluid even in the professional ranks, but they could be there as, well, guidelines. I favor a short lists of 'musts' and longer list of 'recommended'.

    I always hated the word 'enforced' anyways.


    a


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    #6
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    I think there are musts such as use of fonts, page limits, typos, that sort of thing can be pretty rigid. When it comes to style I'm more lenient.
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    #7
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    How about a guide to submit and a guide on how to score.

    So if you direct with camera moves, and we see etc. You are still in, but may lose points?

    But forced rules:

    Cover page
    Font
    Page length

    at least?


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    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    This from scriptfrenzy ...

    Camera Directions:

    These indicate how close the camera is, how it will move, focus, etc. Directions include POV shots, pans, tilts, push ins, pull outs, dolly moves, tracking shots, close ups, wides, etc. It's incredibly tempting, as story mastermind, to direct your movie on the page using Camera Directions. Resist this temptation. You aren't the director (yet). Unless there's absolutely no other way to communicate a visual sequence upon which your entire plot hinges, leave Camera Directions out.

    And this per Sean...

    Cuts:

    Once upon a time, it was standard to use the words "CUT TO:" to indicate a change in scene. Nowadays, the cut that comes with a scene change is implied by a new Slugline and CUT TO isn't used as much. The best time to use CUT TO is when you really want to emphasize the juxtaposition or shift between two scenes

    Note that you may see writers using terms like JUMP CUT or SMASH CUT to imply a super-fast, in-your-face editing style. If using BRUCE LEE KARATE CHOP CUT makes you feel like a bad-ass, then go for it; just know that many pros consider it amateurish. Besides, no matter how it's written, a cut always happens in 1/24th of a second - the amount of time it takes to switch from one frame to the next.


    Again, just a few musts so as to not to discourage participation
    Last edited by alex whitmer; 08-22-2008 at 05:49 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by alex whitmer View Post
    *No directing on the page - we this and we that, camera pans down ...
    while i think "we see" is usually a cop-out that could have been handled more eloquently...sometimes, very rarely, it has its place.

    just like the occasional camera direction.

    my evidence for this is damn near 100% of the innumerable professional screenplays i've read over the years.

    the only people that harp on "we see" are amateurs. the pros don't care.


    my advice for the next fest is to confine the scripts to a rough budget. no one is at their creative best when they're working with unlimited resources. especially for a contest designed around "the twilight zone" which was notorious for accomplishing so much with so little.

    BUT MORE IMPORTANT than any of that...comments should be revealed only when the voting period is over. this is how almost all online contests and workshops are handled and for good reason. there's too much influence between critiques when the work isn't read fresh. plus, spoilers would no longer be an issue...


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    Knight of the Holy Order krestofre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Arroway View Post
    BUT MORE IMPORTANT than any of that...comments should be revealed only when the voting period is over. this is how almost all online contests and workshops are handled and for good reason. there's too much influence between critiques when the work isn't read fresh. plus, spoilers would no longer be an issue...
    I strongly disagree with that idea. One of the largest benefits is to see the exchange between everyone as much as, and in some cases more, than the initial comment. Encouraging people to read the script, vote, and then post their comments, sure, but keeping it hidden until the end strikes me as counter productive.

    I'm not completely blind to what you're talking about, however. I'll admit that there were a couple of times I changed my vote because of the comments, but it always resulted in my casting a higher vote because something I read in the comments made me pick up on something that I missed as a reader and in each case I appreciated the script more.
    Chris Johnson


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