Saturday, 2 May 2009

Script Format Fascists...

So far I've had two feedbacks on my short script and as usual I seem to have divided my audience. I've also left feedback for a few other scripts which is how I came across the Script Format fascists and found myself getting rather angry at 12.30am after several beers. I want to point out that it's not reading feedback on my script that provoked this reaction - I haven't had a format Nazi yet but it's surely only a matter of time.

Seriously - does it really matter if someone uses (CONT'D) when dialogue goes over a page? Did a memo go round saying not to do that only no one told Final Draft (which does it automatically)? I know I've only had one film made, but I've read scripts online, I've been given scripts to read by actual production companies and the fact is everyone writes differently. But in the end, it's a blueprint, it's not a finished product; it's there as a basic design for the finished product. And if someone rejects a script because you wrote (V.O.) instead of (O.S.), or your margins are 0.1pt out or you use a passive voice once in a while, then you're probably better off not getting your film made by that person. The reason people point out that stuff so much in script feedback (and I'm guilty of this too, occasionally) is that it's easy. If you know the rules it's easy to spot someone breaking them. It doesn't mean it's a bad script. And once you're in production script formatting is the least of your worries.

So use Final Draft or Celtx or something that makes things easy on you, but don't agonise over the formatting - I guarantee that if you get feedback from someone who only picks up on the formatting that person has never had a film made.

Rant over - here's an ace Nina Hagen video:

1 comment:

Paul McIntyre said...

Yes, I completely agree - I think that the rules are unimportant - as long as your script reads well and entertains, then who cares about little details.

More's and Continued's don't detract from the script in anyway, so why people get hung up on them is baffling.