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  1. Collapse Details
    Quote Originally Posted by alex whitmer View Post
    Based on your critiques you really don't like passive voice. I believe you said on a few occasions 'it doesn't belong in a script'.
    i don't think so. i did say huge blocks of redundant pornographic description doesn't belong in a script. maybe that's what you're thinking of.

    Is that a rule?
    no. merely a personal preference with obvious inherit logic to it.

    Where's it written?
    i think it's hilarious how you're trying to throw this back at me. it's like watching a kitten roll around with a ball of string mewing at itself.

    the fact is we come from completely different schools of thought. you THINK there are these mythical rules that are sacrilege to break while i KNOW that hollywood's movers and shakers don't have the inclination (or more importantly, time) to care about anything but a well-told commercial story.

    i will concede you the point that there are are a handful of studio/prodco/agency script readers, at any given time, who have their priorities so out of whack that they would stamp PASS on an otherwise great script because they ran across too many "we sees'.

    ...but then, you also have to consider that there are a handful of studio/prodco/agency readers, at any given time, who will do the same thing if they don't like a particular genre, or female protagonists, or overly-long titles or a hundred other idiot excuses for not recognizing something viable when it's literally staring them in the face.

    the good news is those readers don't last long so try not to worry about it.

    You also really don't like 'high-budget' thinking, even for the sake of having fun
    no. what i don't like is high budget complacency in a contest designed around "the twilight zone" which is known for being the antithesis to big budget complacency. if that makes me a fun killing curmudgeon so be it...

    I've got an idea. Instead of referring to them as rules (or 'guidelines' as they were called when this thread started out), let's call them pet peeves and move on. I have mine, and you have yours
    congratulations! i think you've just had a breakthrough! you went from "RULES writers are BOUND to comply with" to "personal pet peeves".

    that's what i call progress.

    Let's agree to disagree.
    if you were sincere in your last comment, we don't disagree on anything at all. there are no rules, only pet peeves which don't mean squat in the grand scheme of things.


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    Mod v2.0 Noel Evans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    I knew this thread would spark debate. But I think its good.

    My only consideration for the guidelines is something that we all must work and adhere to, so that the start point is even for all. And, that helps people who enter follow a format that is fairly standard, the point of this is to grow so I dont feel being nitpicked for format is bad at all.

    Personally, my point of view is there should be 0 direction in writing a script. But thats what I have learned and as such have followed the same view.

    Anyway on and up.
    w: Noel Evans TV

    p: +61 (0) 408 455 374


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    And let's try and relax...

    For the sake of moving forward, it pisses me off when I see too many "we see's" in a script. So I'm gonna side with forcing all of you not to use them. So sue me, you can go crazy when you send your scripts to hollywood big wigs, but in my house, no use of "we."

    Ahh, gotta love dictatorship.

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    I'm not opposed to any rules the fest has because, well, if you don't like them, don't enter.

    As a writer, I understand where some people are coming from about the rules are meant to be broken idea... but, on the other hand, as amateurs in an amateur competition, we need rules as a guide to keep the playing field even; and it's a good way to help beginners (like me) learn. You have to be a master of the rules before you are allowed to break them. Professionals have earned the right to break the rules, but this fest isn't just for professionals.

    Again, I just wish I knew more of the rules of script writing before I started and I hope those rules will be posted ahead of time in the future. I was one of those who unknowingly used "we see" and apparently pissed off the dictator .... but all I had to go by at the time was the Hollywood scripts I had available to me and they used "we see" and "cut to" all over the place so I thought that was standard. But I've definitely learned a lot already so... if there is a next fest, I will most likely take part.

    Thanks to everyone who gave me positive feedback and constructive criticism!

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    Senior Member preston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    planet earth
    i thought this was the SCIENCE FICTION scriptfest.

    where does it say our scripts had to be "designed around "the twilight zone" which is known for being the antithesis to big budget complacency." ?

    there's nothing in the rules that said we had to make our scripts "low budget", and in a SCI-FI festival, it's kind of a given that there will be fantastical stories that would probably be expensive to bring to the screen, if one were so inclined.

    am i wrong?

    please stop bringing this up.

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    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Wherever I hang my head in despair
    Hey JamieJay,

    First, I hope you do run with the next fest. Enjoyed your work a lot.

    Not knowing all the guidelines or 'rules' is small potatoes compared to telling a good story. You learn as you go, apply what works for you, and you discard the rest. No two writers will use the same fomula, thankfully.

    My last word on we -

    Yes, professional writers and amateur writers use it alike (don't get me started on what defines pro, and what defines amatuer) But think of it like this ...

    You are reading a screenplay, and you can picture everything in your mind - the set, the character, the ambiance. You are using your own life experience to interpret and analyze all the information, and no two readers will see the exact same thing. Then, along comes We and redirects your focus, telling you to look at something - just like a tour guide - and in my humble and often wrong opinion, it just yanks a reader out of their happy place.

    In my other humble opinion, the one that is usually correct, the script Legends of Magolia is a perfect example of the reader being allowed to wander through this fantastical world tour guide free. And nobody handing me a camera and telling me to stand over here or there. It's all done through movement and suggestion. I would go so far as to say reading this script was like a dance. It was that enjoyable.

    Write a good story, then let your reader enjoy it on their own terms.

    Anyways, as Forest would say 'that's all I have to say about that'.

    See you next fest!!!
    Last edited by alex whitmer; 08-24-2008 at 05:47 PM.

    My work


    I could be a writer very easily. I am not a writer. I am a screenwriter, which
    is half a filmmaker ... but it is not an art form, because screenplays are
    not works of art. They are invitations to others to collaborate on a
    work of art. - Paul Schrader

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  7. Collapse Details
    After reading more scripts, I agree with "we see" as being a bit annoying and completely unnecessary. As a writer of short stories and poetry attempting to write a first script, I think I was trying to make it sound more like a script by adding camera directions, "we see", "cut to", scene numbers, etc. I sincerely didn't know any better. But I would definitely prefer to NOT use these devices at all.

    Like you, I believe good writing allows the reader to visualize and experience the story in as few words as possible. I don't like over-description and I'm learning to dislike over-direction as well.

    I just wish I knew what I knew now before I entered the fest. I feel those types of errors could have been easily avoided if I had some rules to go by. Then, those who are familiar with script writing wouldn't have had to be distracted by my glaring mistakes and, thus, could have enjoyed my story more.

    But I am glad I entered and I won't repeat those mistakes again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noel Evans View Post
    My only consideration for the guidelines is something that we all must work and adhere to, so that the start point is even for all. And, that helps people who enter follow a format that is fairly standard, the point of this is to grow...
    I agree completely. Well said

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    Quote Originally Posted by preston View Post
    where does it say our scripts had to be "designed around "the twilight zone" which is known for being the antithesis to big budget complacency." ?
    it didn't say you HAD TO anywhere. budget awareness was merely my humble suggestion in a number of critiques for future rewrites.

    but here is where it was mentioned:

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac_Brody View Post


    Genre: Science fiction (This is broad, you can encompass fantasy or more twilight zone elements.)

    and preston, here's a free tip for future fests (that you can internalize or ignore as you see fit): it's great to get the people who critique your work to explain or clarify something...but it's very tacky to argue with them. even if they're talking out of their ass and they write their scripts in the past tense, try to appreciate the fact that they took the time to give you their thoughts however hypothetically misguided those thoughts end up being.

    you're under no obligation to take their word as law so just use what you want and ignore the rest.

    also, set aside a moment to read isaac's signature quote. it's a good one.

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    i agree with preston. budget has nothing to do with a script as i see it. i understand why someone who plans to film their script would want to limit budget, but, if we are just writing to improve our script writing abilities and to come up with a good story, i see no reason why budget should be an issue at all.

    and it said twilight zone as an example of the type of story one might use in a sci-fi script fest, but you referenced it as a reason why a low budget should be a requirement. i believe that's what he was trying to say.

    everyone has a right to their opinions, but i see why someone would take offense to you implying this was a rule in some way when it was not. and to say "big budget complacency" is to suggest that anyone who included anything that might be expensive (i.e. a helicopter or spaceship) was just being lazy... also could make people pretty defensive.

    try to appreciate that writers put a lot of thought and effort into their scripts and it would be unfair to judge their works based on rules that never existed. i hope someone would not give me a lower rating because i did not meet some unspecified criteria in their mind.

    the quote is a good one... and maybe i'm wrong, but i happen to disagree that budget is one of the limitations we need. especially since most effects can be done digitally.

    not trying to be argumentative... but, well... yeah i am. but i'm not trying to be rude. and it seems to me from your earlier posts on this thread that you would be able to appreciate a good argument.

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