What makes good screenplay exposition? I compare some exposition in the Raiders of the Lost Ark screenplay with a user-submitted script.
A recent client of Screenplay Readers expressed concern over a script formatting issue. In her case, she had a phone conversation scene, a few “V.O.”‘s were missing under some of the characters’ names. So she was a bit worried because she’d already … Read More
As Sun Tzu once said, “There are good screenwriters, and there are bad screenwriters.” And while much of the difference between the two can only be measured with abstract criteria (such as “talent,” and “chutzpah,” and “originality,”) the fact is, there are several key criteria good … Read More
Sometimes, we script readers get lucky. That is, when we dig into a screenplay to give script notes or provide script coverage, sometimes we know right away that the script we’re reading is gonna be a painful read.
Most times, that takes us a few pages. But sometimes, right off the bat, we get some really great clues that let us know “Hey, this screenwriter isn’t professional.”
The script has texture and realism. Now it just needs presentability. There’s a good conflict being set up. I’m aboard. Honestly, I like the story so far. Now I want to trust the writer more though. The pages can’t be such a chore do digest. Fix the typos which means less typos, more professional presentation. Don’t give them an excuse to put it down.
Straight up: Your awesome script might be the next Oscar sweeper, but if it smells like the work of an amateur, you’re hosed, because it’s likely not getting past the first few people who read it. My company Screenplay Readers … Read More
OS is for OFF SCREEN. That’s what you have here. But even OS might be a bit confusing for us readers diving into your script and trying to orient ourselves. Strategically speaking, you may want to just write it all as one scene without starting on the panties/basement thing with the OS, just to get past readers.
Pare down where you can, fix all the punctuation/spelling/usage errors, and then really go back and make your action/descriptive text more elegant, and less amateur. (Stuff like camera directions, talking to the reader about how you’re going to show the passage of time, music, etc.)
By page 10, I’m not feeling what’s at stake yet. We’ve got an angry, corrupt lawman and some thugs, and a white newly-minted Mayor in church with his family, a little kid who accidentally sees the lawman’s corruption, and his dad who fled the scene.
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