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I suck at movie scripting. HELP!

Cubulo's picture
Last seen: 6 years 1 month ago
Joined: 05/26/2008 - 1:53pm

I always getawesomemovie ideas. I have everything I need to make a movie. When I get the idea I want to start a script as soon as possible. Usually my ideas never make it because in the middle of while I'm making it I realize how stupid,pathetic,not makingsense,toodifficult, or anything else I find wrong with it the script is. I make comedy just to let you know. I have been making comedy for a year and I don't think any of them are funny at all, just retarded. I have tryed everything there is to help but nothing helps. I havetriedwatching othercomediesalso. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!

PS: don't give that try a new type of video crap.


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

I'm not sure how long you want your scripts to be, but feature length films are about 120 pages. 1 page is about 1 minute of the film. Now, not to sound harsh or rude, but what makes you think a script this long is going to go from your head, to your fingers, to the computer keyboard in an instant? It takes even the pros months, if not years, to complete a script. Creativity can't be forced; it just can't. So don't beat yourself up over how long it takes. There is no set time that it should take to write a script. If it takes 10 years, then it takes 10 years.

Now with that being said, also realize that comedy is probably the hardest content to write. You have to be able to distinguish the difference between what you personally find funny and what actually is funny. Unfortunately, I have no experience writing comedy, so I don't have tips for that, but I can tell you that I day dream a lot and think of some pretty funny stuff. Maybe that's all you have to do. Always carry a little tablet and pen around and just jot down ideas that come to your head when you least expect them. If you don't write them down, you will never remember what your idea was when you find time later to write it down, and thats the worst.

I took a script writing class, and could go on and on giving you tips. But to make things easy on me I'm going to suggest you buy the book I had to buy for class. It's cheap as hell. It was about 12 dollars at Borders or something. It's written by Syd Fields and it's call The Screenwriter's Workbook. It's not really a workbook, but it kind of is in a way. It guides you through the script writing process as you write your script. I've been told that anyone who is any good at writing scripts knows about Syd Fields. Apparently he's the guru of script writing. So trust me, this may be the best 12 dollar you spend if you are serious about script writing.

Also remember that when you're done with your script, no matter how amazing it is, there is always room for improvement. So when you finish your first draft, go over it and make changes where you think the script can be better. And then when you're done with that, do it a third time. And a fourth until you are completely satisfied, and I mean really satisfied. Don't just be satisfied because you're sick of looking at it. I forget who told me this or where I read it (maybe it was in the book I suggested), but I remember a saying that was something like,"Even if you don't want to write today, just write anyway. You might not write as much as other days, but you're writing won't be worse than other days." It was something like that. The point is, just keep going.

Good luck. And believe me, you want this book. Just get it. I don't care if you're broke or what. I guarantee you won't regret buying it. It's an easy book to read too. A 3rd grader could read it. I can't stress enough how valuable this book is if you are serious about script writing. Just get the book. The Screenwriter's Workbook by Syd Fields.


ralck's picture
Last seen: 7 years 12 months ago
Joined: 07/26/2006 - 11:19am

Idon'tthinkanyonecantell youthemagicalthingtosuddenlymake your writing great.

The onlythingsIcantell you arethethings Ido myself.Thefirstthingis,never throwout your writing.Anddon't expectitto beperfect onthe first try.For example, one script I'm working on I'm onthe 4thor 5threvision (which, btw, is a comedy).WhatIdois write everythingIhavein myheadas bestIcan,giveit afewdays off,thengo backandread it overmakingcorrections whereIsee fit.Sometimes,asin thiscase,Ido virtuallyacompletere-write whereI printout my script,then start "fresh" andreadovera scene, thenre-writeit different from whatIhave printedout.

Writingishard andtakesa lotof practice.It's notsomething youcan just be goodat over night.LikeI said, I'm on my 4thcompletere-write of oneof my scripts.Just keep working at it and maybe try and mix things up every now and then. Try a storyboard style instead sometime.

But mostimportantly, believein yourself!Don't ever doubt yourselfand just keep workingatit.


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

I agree. Like ralck said, "i don't think anyone can tell you the magical thing to suddenly make your writing great." (althought that book i suggested is very good)

I think if a lot of people respond to your question, you'll realize everyone has their own way of doing things. So maybe you can read what everyone does and mimmic whatever elements of help work for you. Here's what I do:

I think of a good conflict. Every story has a conflict. If you don't have a conflict, you don't have a story. The conflict doesn't have to be epic either. Look back at some of your favorite comedies. Will Farrell movies seem to have some good conflicts for comedy, at least that's my opinion. They aren't epic at all. They're just funny and fit the main character, which brings me to my next element to think about.

Every story has a main character who the viewer sees the story through. Even if it's one of those movies where a whole sports team is trying to overcome something great, there's always that one character who we watch the story unfold through. The main character is 99% of the time of a quest for something or put in an extraordinary situation. For example, in the new movie The Happening, Mark Wahlburg is the main character put in an extraordinary situation while in the movie The Boondock Saints, the two brothers seem to be on a quest to overcome all evil in the city of Boston, MA. I said 99% of the time because I don't understand Forest Gump. He's not really on a quest or put in extraordinary situations that he has to overcome. He's just a below-average guy who has all these privileges and experiences that not all above-average people get to have.

Now realize that each movie is 3 acts. 1st act is for character intros and development. Then you get to plot point 1 and shift into act two, where we find out what the conflict is and start seeing all the rising action to the conflict (there can also be come character development in act 2 as well). Then we get to plot point 2 and act three, where we reach the conflict and then have the resolution.

Also, just write down all your ideas. Doesn't always have to be organized. Just take a few days or weeks and have diarrhea of the mind and just let the ideas flow no matter how good or bad they may be. Just write them all down. Then sift through and go from there.

Pick and choose what you like from the techniques we all suggest and come up with something that works for you. But like I said in my previous post, I think the best thing you can do is get that book. Just trust me on that. I will actually reimburse you if you are not satisfied with the book. That is how confident I am about the book. I'm serious.


chrisColorado's picture
Last seen: 1 day 13 hours ago
Joined: 04/03/2008 - 10:48pm

OK, first off, these are all great ideas. I'm going to suggest two things I do. They ALWAYS work, because they just avoid your problem. seriously, this is foolproof. I had your problem many times. Before movies i started twelve different fantasy series that were going to be bigger than Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. Keyword: were. One series I started was going to have 12 books! That's a ton of novels. But enough about me...

1. Sit down at the computer, open up Microsoft Word or what have you, and just start typing. Sometimes, it's two sentences. Sometimes, it's five pages, or 20 pages, or whatever. Just get it out.I know how it is. It comes to you at work, or in the shower or just as you close your eyes in bed, or open your eyes...yeah. GET IT OUT, dude. Then, save it. I have three files on my computer, ideas for movies, novels and short stories. They all came when I was 15-17 years old and they came about twice a month. It was great. I don't get ideas like that anymore. Kinda wish I did. You'll come backnext yearand say, "Hey, this one could combine with this story and the script will write itself!" Then you go to the next stage, where you write 50 pages, then save again and come back another time. This is CREATIVITY, it's great, but it doesn't come on demand. SAVE your work!!

2. If the idea is drop dead simple, easy and amazing and you know how you'll make it, and your friend is over with his car you could use, then forget the script, grab your camera(you should always have your camera battery charged and everything ready to go) and go shoot the whole movie. Then edit. I've done this twice. My latest film was done this way. Forget the script. The movie is only ____ minutes long anyway. You can figure it out in the editing. Your friends will love it and you'll be charged to go make another one.

Hopefully these work for you as well asthey work for me.And sorry I rambled on. Tried to bold the important parts. Good luck!


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

I just thought of something:

If you're writing comedy, sometimes the jokes are funny, but only because of the way your actor acts it out. I mean, if I did anything will farrell does, i'd just look like an idiot. So your actor or actress plays a big part as well in my opinion


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

comedy has more in common with singing than acting.

it's all in the timing and hitting the right notes.

voice control and timing.

no matter how funny, a badly timed, flatly delivered punchline, will flop.



Aspyrider's picture
Last seen: 6 years 7 months ago
Joined: 12/22/2007 - 5:58pm

Another idea is to take a tape recorder when you have the idea and just turn it on and record your idea. Talk about it out loud. Describe the funny scene. Tell the whole story if you need to.

Then walk away from it for a day or so and listen to see if it's still funny. Have a friend listen too. They can give you input. If you both agree it's funny and worthwhile then transcribe it to paper in the form of a script. You'll have time to write it out and not be so caught up in it.

Comedy is anything that is unexpected. So much of it may be gags or physical. You have to see it for it to be funny so your script may need side notes to describe the scene. And as mentioned above, the actor will have a lot of input into making it funny. What you write and what ends up in your movie may be completely different but get the same point across. The actor may ad lib some to really bring out the concept and make it hilarious.

Keep your recordings and play them for the actor the day of the shoot so they have a clear idea of what you were going for. Then let them take it and run with it. You may end up with something even better!


cdanddvdpublisher's picture
Last seen: 6 years 5 months ago
Joined: 02/01/2008 - 4:17pm

free writing helps, so does using dictation and transcription. focus on getting the story worked out, then look to formatting - that's something that can help too