My not-too-fantastic Script idea

March 29, 2012

So, it’s been crazy with the NaNoEdMo editing and the car buying and a few other things, but I’ve sorta come up with a notion for Script Frenzy that isn’t science fiction or paranormal fantasy or anything else that’s tough to produce. In fact, it even falls a little bit under the heading of ‘write what you know.’

I don’t have a crazy bulletin board of index cards for it this time, just an idea with a character and a situation, a plot idea about what he wants. I’m not even sure if there’s going to be a clear antagonist, or maybe it’ll be one of those plots where the MC is his own worst enemy. But this will be the story of a passionate Star Wars fan, who vows to find the love of his life by going on blind dates arranged through sci-fi geek groups. 🙂 I’m thinking of calling it ‘Geek at Heart.’

What do you think? Who should the bad guy be? What will the ‘All is Lost’ moment entail?

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Beat Sheets: the Forgotten Introduction.

April 2, 2011

B is for Beat Sheet (A-Z Challenge Listing)

Well, I’ve talked about Beat Sheets a lot on this blog already, but when I got a PM from somebody over at Script Frenzy, I realized that I had never really described the concept in detail, so I figured I’d do that today.

Beat sheets are a way of structuring a screenplay script that Blake Snyder described in chapter 4 of his great book “Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need.” It’s a recipe for planning a screenplay, determining which scenes are needed, which scene goes where, and what the characters will need to do at different parts of the story.

And, as a minor point, I’m not going to go into any details for this post regarding Blake’s prescriptions for WHERE in a screenplay you should place the different beats, or why. You can find some of that out different places on the web, and I want to keep myself focused on WHAT the different beats are.

There are fifteen elements to Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet:

Opening image: In the first few pages of your script, you should set the mood of your movie, and show where your hero starts out. This beat isn’t about action, it’s not the first thing that happens in the movie, it’s about where the movie is before it starts happening. But you can show style, tone, what type of story you’re telling and what scope it is, from the very start.

Theme stated: This is the part of the beat sheet that I always have the most trouble with. Basically, the theme is the answer to ‘what is this movie about?’ It should be a question that you’re exploring and giving an answer to, or a statement that you will ultimately demonstrate to be true or false, not just a general topic like ‘true love’ or ‘man versus nature.’ (It could be ‘should man conquer nature?’, though.)

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