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critique WORK IN PROGRESS scripts

CamBlamo

Pro Member
indiePRO
What's the character's status?

So you are seriously cutting the shots here:

MR. PINK
You know the part in "Gypsies,
Tramps and Theives," when she says
"Poppa woulda shot his if he knew
what he'd done?" I could never
figure out what he did.

The table laughs. The WAITRESS comes over to the table.
She has the check, and a pot of coffee.

WAITRESS
Can I get anybody more
coffee.

And counting these as two separate scenes?
I mean I guess, you could say their convo gets interrupted by the waitress??? So they change what they are talking about?
But nobody's major plot points are revealed until they get up and leave, and you see someone is carrying a GUN.

Before that, you see them all as friends, just wearing nice suits, and you have no idea what they really are.... So....

If you told me as a director that the WAITRESS was a scene change, I'd lose my mind.

ALTHOUGH, I could see it as a "shot" change. I'd stop moving the camera around the table, and focus on her. So I mean, I get where you are coming from, and I see now that the 3-4 minute tip is a popular one... But that doesn't mean it applies to this film man.
 
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CamBlamo

Pro Member
indiePRO
Love this film. Great scene, but actually there two dialogue scenes in that one. There is boss with his note book trying to remember girl's name and tarantino with madonna and dicks, dicks, dicks - it's a set up for the first conflict. When harvey keitel grabs the bosse's notebook that is beginning of scene one. "Give me notebook back. No, im tired of you toby, moby" first conflict. When conflict resolved "you get your notebook, when we leave restaurant" that is the end of scene one. Now there is a set up for a new conflict - boss stands "tip the waitress, i'll pay for your coffe". He leaves. Second scene begins. Everyone tip. Steve buschemi "i don't tip". Bam, new conflict. It resolves when boss comes back and says "tip, i payed for your breakfast". He tips. End of scene two. You see, there are two dialogues scenes in there and i bet both of them around three minutes.

Ahhh, now I know what you are going for. Those aren't scenes man, those are character arcs/sub-plots. Yes you need that to make an interesting script.

But the word SCENE is used in scripts to organize the creation and placement of set pieces and character/camera movements. It gives other people, like the DP or Director an idea of where to set a certain location, or what to build in a studio, and how to light it based on the time of day/how many characters/etc.

We are looking at it from two different meanings.

What you are describing could fall into books or anything really. You are going broad, while I am going narrow.

My bad.
 
Yes, you mean scene as one location, one period of time. I mean one scene, one conflict. I guess different schools
 
Yes, you mean scene as one location, one period of time. I mean one scene, one conflict. I guess different schools
You are really just using the wrong word.

Yeah, I think this is a case of "lost in translation" - a problem I encounter a lot, as my French friends and neighbours insist on using English words to mean things they don't! I don't know how theatre/cinema is taught in Russia, but here in France, one "scène" would be as Shizik describes it, so it's quite possible to have two, three or even four or more "scènes" take place within the one room around the same table at the same time.

(That's also why the French take sooooo long to get anything done - because that's how they behave at meetings in real life! :cry: )
 
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mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
here in France, one "scène" would be as Shizik describes it, so it's quite possible to have two, three or even four or more "scènes" take place within the one room around the same table at the same time.

NOW I get it.

I started out writing for stage before I wrote screenplays, and in theater the phrase "French scene" means any time someone enters or leaves the scene.

It's still considered the same scene, though - at least in the US :)
 

CamBlamo

Pro Member
indiePRO
Yeah, I think this is a case of "lost in translation" - a problem I encounter a lot, as my French friends and neighbours insist on using English words to mean things they don't! I don't know how theatre/cinema is taught in Russia, but here in France, one "scène" would be as Shizik describes it, so it's quite possible to have two, three or even four or more "scènes" take place within the one room around the same table at the same time.

Yeah, to me that is confusing... Because quite literally, a script is written with scene headings. That's how you build your shot lists, sets, lighting, camera positions, etc.

I think we were driving each other crazy because I was like "dude read the script, scene 2 starts on page 11", and he was like "dude the conflict changes at this moment".

Haha.

Either way, I learned something new... So it was good for me!
 
You are talking about a SEQUENCE now, which holds multiple scenes. Read a screenwriting book dude.

SEQUENCE: A Sequence is a Scene, or a series of connected Scenes, that present a succession of related events or idea that constitute and advance a distinct component of the story narrative, plot and/or character development'.

SCENE: A shot or multiple shots that together compose a single, complete and unified dramatic event, action, unit or element of film narration, or block (segment) of storytelling. The end of a scene is indicated by a purposeful change in time, change in a character's status, focus of action and/or location.


So you are arguing your point, no script SCENES are longer than 3 minutes.

Reservoir dogs, you still consider it two separate scenes? But no character's status changes, no time changes, no location changes within that 8 minutes.

So what do you mean two separate scenes. How is the waitress providing a change in the characters? Or adding a conflict at the 3 minute mark?
Do we have that in my "scene number one"?
 
We have the answer, you aren't using scene the same way as a script does, you are using it in a "story structure" way.

Quite literally, regardless of what anyone feels or thinks, the script starts SCENE 2 heading on page 11.
How can you build a scene if you don't understand the structure? That's why people write ten minutes of dialogue scene which has no obvious purpose and is boring.
 
How can you build a scene if you don't understand the structure? That's why people write ten minutes of dialogue scene which has no obvious purpose and is boring.

Rather like the clip being discussed, it feels like there are two parallel conversations going on here! :secret: On the one hand, I think we're all in agreement that the problem with @clark ratliff 's sample scripts is not the long passages of dialogue per se, but the lack of structure and obvious purpose. On the other, there's a tangential discussion taking place within the thread where confusion has arisen due to a difference in how certain terms are understood, possibly because of a trans-Atlantic cultural divide.

I think, Shizik, the others are making the same point as you, but you're using a continental European vocabulary that doesn't have quite the same meaning in the anglophone world.
 
Rather like the clip being discussed, it feels like there are two parallel conversations going on here! :secret: On the one hand, I think we're all in agreement that the problem with @clark ratliff 's sample scripts is not the long passages of dialogue per se, but the lack of structure and obvious purpose. On the other, there's a tangential discussion taking place within the thread where confusion has arisen due to a difference in how certain terms are understood, possibly because of a trans-Atlantic cultural divide.

I think, Shizik, the others are making the same point as you, but you're using a continental European vocabulary that doesn't have quite the same meaning in the anglophone world.
Word
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
On the one hand, I think we're all in agreement that the problem with @clark ratliff 's sample scripts is not the long passages of dialogue per se, but the lack of structure and obvious purpose. On the other, there's a tangential discussion taking place within the thread where confusion has arisen due to a difference in how certain terms are understood, possibly because of a trans-Atlantic cultural divide.

Two dialogue scenes in one thread! The irony! :D
 
I believe sites such as this( and have tried many) I see no interaction. People post works and no comments. What comments there are (well you see). As for DrK comments the jist I got was didn't like, not interested. I get my stuff is to wordy (learning, as if maybe others could, maybe glance over check out dialogue, or move onto one of the other scripts??!

I did mention in my introduction it was like a novel, so if you go to read it and point it out, it's like letting someone know there if cussing in it if offended please don't read and then you read it and complain there was to much cussing??! Reading is just that. Screenplays are longer than twitter posts. Again as for DrK comments, I've been on a few sites and most situations turn into flame wars I think they call it? I've learned if someone hates it explaining myself is pointless. IF someone were to engage in questions such as; why kill off that character, why this etc then you're questioning what is in the story you're challenging the writer. if I read others works, I read it, and make note,s point out what I like and question what I don't understand. Most sites like this I believe have fewer interactions by how what little interaction there is, is not an open positive experience, but attacks almost to points of bullying?

Again, all was stated in my introduction (overwriten and incoherent by ADD). So choosing to point out what was pointed out before seems only to be a basis to attack and as you can see from the comments people circle and gang up. If you can't look beyond others comments and judge for yourself, it is what it is.

Most sites I have been to seem more to be private clubs. Always the same people comment, usually never in a positive lite. I'm assuming most on these sites are not professional writers, as that is why we are here or there to learn. Perhaps like school bullies the frustration of not succeeding themselves , attacking others, gives them that strength. Instead of working with others to better ourselves. I am no expert (obviously) but as I said before if I choose to read others works I interact not judge. For if I could judge I would be making a living at this.

Also I believe I mentioned I have learning disabilities ADD etc. Others may express themselves in one word I may take a few more.

So in closing 1, again sorry response longer than a twitter post and 2, to anyone, again, think for yourselves. Read my scripts or don't, just don't go by peoples opinions who only know how to criticize. I wouldn't think telling others how to read, like food at a buffet, if you don't like one thing, try something else??! I did mention (in my own opinion) my writing evolves from the novel to be less descriptive. And should someone think for themselves to read on their own, I will again mention, while I believe I have cut down my novel writing, I still need to work on story/structure etc AGAIN, NOT A PROFESSIONAL writer.

The fact that you are making an attempt at script writing shows you are a visionary with talent! All advice is good, Even if it constructive criticism. I am writing my first documentary treatment. The first thing I learned is if the script or treatment is formatted or correctly typed, it won't get read! Thrown in the waste basket! I feel what i have is good, but it can be written much better. I am taking the approach most filmmakers learned while in film school on the first day. " I no nothing, and have a lot to learn." I want to ask questions from those who know more than me, read books, and watch videos on the subject, and most importantly, attend a work shop and/or a online writing program to learn from a expert. Ask questions etc. It can be expensive, but learning a trade is an investment towards your project. Try to always keep a positive attitude and never give up on your dreams when you feel discouraged!
 
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