Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Accidental Experiment

A while back I posted about the new spec script I had started, SLEEPER AGENT, and over that weekend I posted a link to a pdf of the rough draft opening of the screenplay. At the end of the weekend I removed the link...

I figured a few people would get a chance to read the opening of the script... about a dozen people e-mailed me about it or mentioned it in replies.

Without any announcement, I continued to add rough draft pages to that same URL address. Not on a regular basis, every once in a while I’d add a bunch of fresh pages. And a handful of people noticed, and have sent me e-mails. This has been kind of interesting.

Harlan Ellison once wrote a short story in a bookstore window. You could walk past the bookstore and watch him work.

I think this has been an interesting accidental experiment, and I think sometime in the future I will do the experiment on purpose. Next time I land an assignment, or have a new spec that I plan on writing on a self-imposed deadline, I think I may let you guys look over my shoulder. I may post my pages for the day somewhere on my website.

Might be fun.

- Bill


TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: When people Blow Up (Tuesday was a new tip about the WGA strike - hope you remembered to check the Tip Of The Day and didn't miss it.)
Yesterday’s Dinner: BBQ Pork & brown rice at CityWok.
Pages: Preparing for my Expo Classes - trying to figure out a new version of the Naked Character class.


Leslie Bates said...

I've noticed that you didn't type in CUT TO or FADE TO before the slug line. Isn't that mandatory on a spec script.

(I'm up to page 68 on my first.)

wcmartell said...

No - exact opposite.

There has never been a tme when CUT TO:s were used between every scene. Never. I have copies of scripts from the 1950s - no CUT TO:s.

(Actually CUT TO: is used sparingly, maybe 5 maximum in a screenplay, only when there might be confusion without it. There are no cases in my script where there may be confusion between locations... so there are no CUT TO:s.)

The use of CUT TO:s is some myth that some screenwriting teacher who has never actually sold a script has created.

Spec scripts have no camera angles, too.

FADE IN: is still used to begin a script, but it is slowly being phased out... I read new scripts that don't begin and end with FADE IN and FADE OUT.

- Bill

Leslie Bates said...

Okay. Thank you.

(That will shorten things a bit.)

Leslie Bates said...

Okay. I just cut out all of the CUT TO's from my current draft. It dropped from 69 pages to 63 pages.

Anonymous said...

>>but it is slowly being phased out... I read new scripts that don't begin and end with FADE IN and FADE OUT.<<

That is interesting. I did not know that.

wcmartell said...

Room for 6 more pages of good stuff.

- Bill

Leslie Bates said...

Room for 6 more pages of good stuff.

Back up to page 64 already.

The Moviequill said...

"you got face on my hammer" is one of your best lines ever, man... I am even considering using it as my tagline quote on my Done Deal name haha... I loved it

wcmartell said...


I know what the scenes are going to be, because I have an outline... but I have no idea what the characters are going to do or say within the scene.

- Bill

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