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Thursday, November 30, 2006

A visual medium


For a long time now I've been considering the right use for a script. Readers exclaim; "What? What's he on about now??? Isn't this guy supposed to be a writer?" Clearly a script has a use. But just launching into the script form is what I am challenging in this blog post. Do we do a script just out of habit? If no one had ever made a film before would we believe this to be the most sensible way to do it? After all film is a visual medium and the script is the written medium. Why is the script even a good idea?

Above is a picture of a writer's storyboard. This is by Christina Ferguson from the Development Hell blog. You can read more about her take on it here. But the central point is that this is a writers storyboard. Not a sexy full on directors board. It seeks to sketch out the flow of the narrative rather than detail out shots. This is how she has chosen to work on her structure. The aim is to craft a more visual story where what you see is more important than what people say. Would this work for you? Is this better than staring at final draft and getting bogged down in dialogue when you should be doing narrative structure?

Once the writers storyboard is done you then move into the script.

Why have a script at all though? Well Steve, the web designer for Circumference, designs all his sites in black and white first. Colour is a distraction at an early stage. You need to get the tones and shapes right first. A script, and a writers storyboard follow the same idea. Focus on one thing at a time and get that right first.

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