Initiating / Prompting Myself to Write!

Before this studio started, I have been trying out my creative skills on writing a script. I had little knowledge on writing scripts so it was a struggle. This was my first try on scriptwriting:

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It was terribly written, as you can see my tenses were all over the place. I definitely did not know about the certain rules you need to adhere to when writing the ACTION section. It was confusing but I managed to get the gist of it when Jasmine described the rules. As I practice more, I am pretty sure I will get used to the format. As I mentioned in my previous post, I lack creative ideas to come up with stories or plots that are more unique and different compared to the overused plots. I am a fan of minimalistic film production and more intense, deep conversations. Moreover, with the lack of creativity, I have trouble creating a causal effect and completing the script.

The newly improved script, using the tips from the first class scriptwriting exercise during week one! (it’s not the same plot, by the way) CLICK HERE please! By the end of this studio, I hope to complete a script that could be ready for shooting a short film and add it to my portfolio.

Week 2 – Continuing the Prose

This week’s task was more of making a more interesting short the short prose that the creative writing students had filmed. We were given tasks to write any interesting ideas that popped into our heads. For example, how would you act out the certain dialogue that was used or how to improve on the stage blocking. This exercise helped me open up my eyes on different possibilities of acting our a certain line from the short prose. I chose the “in danger” prose. When the mob boss said “let’s just say I’m taking care of business” I could imagine the mob boss being mysterious and they did not show his/her face at all or maybe an angrier approach of reciting that line because the minions did not trust him. Endless possibilities on the idea of filming and framing the shots.

On Thursday’s workshop, I had a valuable insight on scriptwriting. Stacey, our collaborative lecturer, had given me a few tips on scriptwriting. We had a glimpse on the script of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. The most important thing to keep in mind when writing a script is the tenses. Scripts are discarded the minute they see wrong tenses in describing the actions. The ‘to be’ verbs are usually disregarded. For example, we are not to use ‘is striding’ as ‘strides’ would be the proper tense to use in describing the action. The reason is because film catches the action as it is and not what would happen. I find this intriguing because when I think of describing an action I would use ‘to be’ tenses because I would be explaining to the casts how we would portray the action. A lesson to remember!

Another important tip on writing the action section of the script is to describe only the action that we can see while filming. If you do a background description of the character, it is useless because viewers can’t visualise the description. The action section cannot be about the psychological aspect of a character either because no one can understand what is happening to the character unless a monologue is used. Also, no use of the pronoun ‘we’, because the viewers are not to be mentioned in the script.

A great idea on improving one’s skill on scriptwriting is to be able to spot these mistakes on other scripts. This can give me a visualisation and understanding on the rules of scriptwriting and not make the same mistakes. A great tip to improve my scriptwriting!

Week 1b – Wait… Filming now?

To think that we would be stuck in class learning more about writing and developing our skills on scriptwriting for another two weeks or so before getting out there and start applying in the field, I was definitely wrong! So today we were finally meeting with the creative writing students to collaborate and film our “homework task” that we media students did. We had a crash course on filming angles and movements. Then we were sent out to shoot our script. It was funny how everyone threw in ideas to replace some of the props we could not find in uni that we completely changed our script.

Overall, the creative writing students were a blast to work with. I had a chance on acting this round and I was slightly intimidated by how quick my group mates could get into their given roles. I can put acting right next to scriptwriting as my weakest link in the production. We had a few setbacks because we had no props or locations that would fit our script so we had to change a lot in our script. The spontaneous ideas when we found our location made the film more interesting.

Here is my script based on the prose my group mate, Michael, had written in class.


Week 1a – A Little Prose Exercise

Just to get the workshop going, we were given some exercise on writing scripts. We went through the script template for the first hour and tried to create a short script in five minutes just to get used to the template. Later, we were given a task to write a prose after picking out a character and an action from the bag. I had a soldier called Brody and my action was to cut the bicycle lock. Weird combination… But I went through with the story and as cliche as it was I shared it with my group mates.

Writing scripts made it difficult to write and it was time consuming. I realised after five minutes, I had only just started on the first character dialog. It was a little frustrating to figure out the story while keeping in mind of the script template. Creating a prose was a little simpler compared to writing in script format. It allowed me to write down my ideas first before translating it into the script format. I was lacking in creativity, hence my terrible story that thousands of movie plots were based around that idea as well. At least I tried…

This script format needs more time to get used to. I will have to practice until I am used to the format so that it would not be such a hassle to refer back to the templates from time to time, and then letting your ideas slip out of your mind. I found out my peers had far more interesting plots compared to mine so I should learn and read more stories to try to develop a better story the next time. This should be my next personal task to improve!


Welcome back to Semester TWO Studio Sessions!

It’s the first week of uni and I am starting out my second semester for Year 2 studio workshops! This semester I chose a film writing studio because I want to work on my weakest link which was creativity and scriptwriting. It is called “Writing for Film , Filming for Writing” and I shall just call it “Film Writing (FW)” for short. I have had my fair share in filming and editing and now it is time to work on some pre-production. I can already foresee the struggle I will face throughout the semester but with group work, I think I will be able to pick up some ideas and maybe some tricks from my peers. So excited! Can’t wait!

The studio aim fits my goals nicely because I am only learning scriptwriting which would prove to be useful when I am in a production team. This studio aims to develop a competent technique (the best way) to compliment and strengthen the filming process. It gives me a sense of repetitive practice to get used to the correct format of the script that is used in the media industry. This studio is (finally) matching my expectation. Let’s just say I was a little surprised (not in a very bad way) with my previous studio as it was definitely NOT what I thought it would be.

The first workshop session on Monday was done and we were put into random groups temporarily to brainstorm ideas and gives me a chance to learn from my peers. ANDDDD…. we got “homework task” already! And it’s due the next workshop (meaning this coming Thursday!) Time to get out of holiday mode and back to study mode.


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