Planning for the perfect screenplay?

May 28, 2020
Bob Eckhard

(above: mood board that accompanied short film idea pitched in finals of Enter the Pitch) 

Hi all,

Like many of you, I  have  also found myself with time on my hands over the last few months. A lot of it I have used for writing, editing, catching up on reading, getting things made, watching videos, exercising and (occasionally) struggling to write.

Okay, in regard to the second from last activity on the list above, I have come across what I think is some fantastic advice to screenwriters everywhere. Not that I thought that at the start when I discovered the video was 1 hr 42 mins long – that would normally have been enough to deter me. However, I watched the video and was amazed by the observations – so much so that it has revolutionised the way I go about planning, writing and editing my screenplays.

The most helpful part of the process was taking notes of what the contributors were advising which obviously meant that the 100 min video took 250 min to complete as I had to keep stopping and restarting it as I wrote notes down. That said, after transferring the advice from rough scribble into typed notes and sorting, I ended up with  a catalogue of 8 checklist sheets which I hope will ensure that future screenplays will fare better with readers in future.

Reflecting on it, the most important part of the exercise (for me) was listening to the contributors answers again and again until it was ingrained into me. Now, while I am normally have no problem sharing notes and resources from this blog, I am not going to do that with this post because if you really want to improve you will need to really engage with the video and make notes that are useful to you – however, I will attach my one page of notes on Protagonist/Nemesis needs which are a few of the new things I learnt that I hadn’t heard or remembered in my writing.

Okay- watch Film Courage’s video ’42 Ways to Avoid Writing a Boring Screenplay’  by clicking here  My one page notes on Protagonist/Nemesis can be found at bottom of page.

Things to Avoid

Problem Solving Tips

Overall

About this Story

Final things to check

Getting Started

In regard to the protagonist/Nemesis

Checklist for every scene

My one page on Protagonist/Nemesis taken from Film Courage’s video ’42 Ways to Avoid Writing a Boring Screenplay’ can be found by clicking here

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