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01 July 2006 @ 08:31 am
Kiloword: Screenwriting  
As a resident of Los Angeles County, I only half-smirk when people joke about how everyone and their mother is out here selling a script. It's actually true. Among my general aquaintance, I'd say the ratio of people working on, wanting to work on, have worked on, or are in the process of selling a screenplay is about one in every three friends.

So what's the point if you're not here? Screenplays are visual and auditory. Books, stories, and novellas are words on paper, but except in rare cases of well thought out movie adaptations, rarely escape the confines of the mind reading them.

Screenplays are less nebulous. They paint the picture for you, requiring more thought about expression, appearance, motion, environment, etc. A screenplay isn't exactly recreational reading. It's a map of a vision, a story made manifest with detailed topography. It's a balanced blend of story and 'to do' list. Thankfully someone else has made a very instructive format available so that you, too, may speak in descriptives and keys.

Your Kiloword assignment is to take a story you've already worked on and adapt it to a screenplay format. This exercise should illuminate not only the differences in format between screenplay and story, but may also better highlight your story's weaknesses and strengths. Transforming a story into a screenplay isn't easy, but those who grasp the concept are blessed with a talent to make both verbal and visual art (as well as some serious bank if your talents are tapped for Hollywood).

Read this instructive screenplay primer first: http://www.oscars.org/nicholl/format_a.txt

Then go to town.