Different types of Screen-writing

pen to paperWriting is a form of art; a great art, in fact. It is both learnt and innate. The passion for writing, some say, is a natural tendency, and learning and experience can polish the skills further. It is a powerful art, for the words have more power and more influence on human mind than anything else has. It is perhaps for this reason it is said that the pen is mightier than sword. Words can move you in ways that nothing else can. No force is perhaps more powerful to man than words. For some writing is a precipitation of their life experiences, where life remain the sole source of insight, wisdom and emotions. For others, it is a creation of a whole new world, where they can play god. Anyway, whichever the way the things are written, the bottom line remains the words have immense power and full justice should be done with it. Screenwriting, which is also known as script-writing, is actually the art and skill of writing the drafts or scripts for television dramas or feature films. It is often done as a freelance profession.

The jobs of the screenwriter include research on the story, developing an idea, and writing the whole plot. Screenwriters can be a decisive factor for the success or failure of a screen project. They have a great influence over the creative direction of the play. Emotional impact too is decided how much of emotions are being put into the script by the writer. The whole finished play and its influence, in fact, on the audience is a product of a good screen-writing. The screen-writers either work on some original idea formed in their brain, or they are asked by the producers to create a play out of some particular concept they give, or some inspiring true story, some already existing screen work or a literary play or some story based on some novel etc.

Different types of Screen-writing

Writing on speculation

In the entertainment industry, the screenwriting can be of various types. Screen-writers may be hired to produce some work on a given concept, or they may independently write a script and then sell it to some producer. Spec Script Writing is one of the kinds of screen-writing, which is often very commonly practiced. Writers write scripts, without the incentive of a commission or a backing of some production house, which is totally on speculation. The content is totally on the discretion of the writer. He can write all what he wants. It is a sales tool in Hollywood. Writing a screenplay yourself, however, do not ensure that your script will be bought, it will be put to use or a drama or film will be made out it. Only a small number of spec screen-writers see their writing making it to the screen, others are often disappointed.  Spec scripts are usually the original work or idea of the writer, but it can be adaptation too nevertheless. Newbie usually start off as spec screen writers. They write their scripts, than get it approved by some producer, with a hope that they will not only be accepted but also be given contract for future script writing.

typing up on keyboard Spec writing is a part of every writer careers and most of these writers start their career by writing these speculation scripts from which only a very small percentage makes it way to the screen. Although the Writing Guild of America doesn’t allow writers to write content on speculation but it’s an ongoing part of the industry. There is a difference between what this association forbids and writing spec script just as a sample for some producer. The association doesn’t allow writing for some producer without any proper contract because in that case the producer is taking credits for the work of someone else. While writing spec scripts, it is advised not to give camera angles or any other thing that lies under the domain of director because it is most likely to be ignored by the director while making this TV show. In most of the cases, the director asks the writer to rewrite the content which satisfies producer and director and is according to their needs.

Apart from this, there is another type screen writing which is called commissioned screenplay and this is written by a hired writer who is instructed about the previously decided theme of the whole play that he is writing about. In this case writer has to follow some certain instructions and has to write content which lies in the theme for which he is hired to write. In this type of screen writing mostly more than one writer is hired to write the content before it is used for making the TV show or anything else for which this content is written.

Sometimes produces or production houses contact certain screen writer to write on some theme or idea that they have already developed or have done some work on it already. The content is owned by the hiring company and he is hired only for that particular assignment. An official contract is signed by the screenwriter with the company or the producer of that specific screenplay. There are certain ways for the screen writers to get such assignments, they can get it directly from the producer or they can get it through open assignments. If the screen writer is famous, than people might contact him and hire him directly by approaching him.

editing creative workIn recent times many produced films are rewritten so that they can be made again by adding new things which are appropriate as the world has seen advancement. In this case when you have to rewrite a previously written stuff, in most cases this content is not written by the original writer and this contract is given to someone who can add some new angles to the previously written content to make it more interesting and slightly different from the one written before. There may also be case and this happens quite frequently that most parts of the content are good, main characters, story etc but the script itself is unusable because of some badly written dialogues or some bad humor. So in this case a screen writer is hired to polish things up a bit so that the script is more catchy and attractive for the readers. Giving screen credits depends upon the contribution of this new writer and sometimes production houses set some standards for giving screen credits. For example in American film industry, credit to the rewriter is given only if 50 percent of the original content is different after the work of this new screen writer.

What makes a good script?

screenwriting typewriter

Scripts not only show you a compelling story but will summarise all other moving and non-moving parts in the production.  For example the tone used, actions taken, expressions and emotion, these should all be expressed within the script. A script is actually just the guideline of the production and will often been changed considerably as it is interpreted.

It is important to remember that you are not narrating the story but showing it off in a visual way. A certain look, a grunt or smile may be all that is needed to convey certain parts of it.

So now we know what separates a script from a story but our story still needs to be compelling, interesting and make people feel something.

If we look at the story from a 10,000ft view often we need a central “thing” that the main character desires more than anything. This thing can come in various forms; it might be true love, treasure, freedom or even saving the planet from sure destruction. Right away this solves many problems in the details of the story. The audience can feel empathy for the main character, the plot has an interesting central theme and we can gage how far or near the main character is to completing the quest and the stories end.

What will make the story interesting and dramatic are the obstacles facing our hero in his search to complete the quest. This can be villains, aliens or even family standing in his way. It can be a physical or emotional conflict. Think of show downs against aliens that have invaded earth or psychological blackmail from loved ones stopping you from showing your true colours.

Using these concepts in interesting ways is where we can stand out from the crowd.

Brilliant Authors and Writers Insurance Cover

authors

It may sound ‘way too high a class’, but the truth is that most professional authors and writers are not aware of the dire need for insurance cover for their work. Variety of writing organizations and companies will even encourage their writers on individual general insurance covers as a shield for their careers, which is more or less a common practice for everyone to have an insurance cover. It important to note to that there is also need for authors and writes insurance for this written work too. Although various insurers may change the name of the cover, nevertheless it is generally known as the media liability cover. Even though the media cover sounds general for the media space, this is the best writers can get from the insurance industry. If you define the writing profession, it would be impossible to exclude bloggers, web content developers, authors, publishers and broadcasters who use writing of any form. Most if not all of these individuals and companies do not realize the relevance of media liability coverage. No one can blame them because there is also a significant percentage of insurance professionals who do not know about authors and writers insurance. So what is the media liability cover? Simple, a coverage that is part of the general liability found in Coverage B, personal, publishing and or advertising injury liability, in a commercial general liability policy. When it comes to such a cover, most writers only learn about when it is too late. Equally, most insurance companies have not trained enough personnel on media liability coverage or at least invest appropriately in advertising it. After all, how do you expect authors to apply for a cover no one can explain every detail about. Clearly, even the writers interested in authors and writers insurance are frustrated by the lack of information on websites of the insurers about the best coverage for this particular professional platform. Many individuals know about insurance from advertisements of the large companies such as Nationwide and Liberty Mutual. Nonetheless, you will be surprised that even these large firms have no media liability covers. Then, why should writers not be frustrated in searching for insurance media coverages. Again, even the small insurance companies find it hard to introduce such a cover into their business models. However, that does not mean the cover is a future affair. If you want to covet an authors and writers insurance, there is always an insurer waiting for you. It is important for professional authors and writers to be interested in taking a cover for their work. Remember, a writer or author may infringe a patent, because personal injuries defame a character and invade privacy. The worst thing is that once information is out you cannot take it back. That means media coverage will come in handy at such a time. Another unique circumstance is when a client wants to avoid paying for writing services and claims the services were not rendered as agreed. Any authors and writers insurance cover will pay for your counsel as the defendant. There you go, get a cover that will protect your career in the long run.

Why You Need Writer Insurance

If you write for a living then you are self employed. Things can go wrong for writers which is why it is a good idea to insure yourself against thngs like libel or copyright claims. Writer insurance is designed to give you a helping hand when you are faced with legal claims or you are off sick. The fact is that most clients do not accept that writers can get ill and they will soon find someone else to do the work if you are sick for more than a day or two.

Sickness Cover

If you are the main breadwinner in your family then you can’t afford to take time off when you are sick. If you suffer from a recurrent illness as some freelancers do, then too much time off could put your income at serious risk.. The worst case scenario if you are sick on a regular basis is that you could lose your home as well as your income. Writer insurance is designed to help you through the times when work is thin on the ground or when you are ill and unable to work. If you are considering writer insurance then you need to look for a policy that covers you if you are ill or unable to work, as well as provide protection in any legal disputes. If you work from an office that is separate from your home and you sometimes meet there with clients then you may find it beneficial to list your freelancing business as a limited company. Setting up as a company means that if there are legal disputes or if your freelancing business should fail, you only have limited financial liability.

Working for Yourself

When you work for yourself you don’t have the same benefits as if you worked for a large company where you might eventually be entitled to a company pension. The best kind of writer insurance may also include some retirement benefits so it makes sense to find the best and most inclusive policy that you can get. Freelance writing is a great career that offers many benefits. You can choose how many hours you will work and what type of clients you will work with. If you have been writing for a long time then you may be able to command considerable sums for your skills. On the downside, freelance writers need to have a fallback line when work is thin on the ground, which is why you should think about writer insurance.

Top Movies Featuring Bingo

beach blanket bingo

There have been many movies about sporting events including the Rocky films which featured boxing, Paul Newman played pool in “The Hustler” and casinos, especially roulette, featured in many James Bond films. The male lead Gaylord in the famous musical movie “Showboat” was a professional gambler who played cards on voyages up and down the Mississippi.

When national lotteries were first introduced there were many movies and stage plays about people winning the lottery, people losing the lottery and people thinking they had won the lottery and discovering they hadn’t.

But several movies have also featured bingo hall scenes. The 1950s and 60s were the heyday of Bingo in the UK when it was the highlight of the week for Mums from Northern towns go to Bingo on a Friday night. It was the social occasion of the week where they met their friends and caught up with the local gossip. If the game was not seen to be played it was talked about in all the British films from those decades such as “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning”.

With the onset of the National Lottery the popularity of bingo faded as the women who had frequented the bingo halls now spent their housekeeping money on the lottery which promised them the chance to become millionaires in one single night.

But bingo has now regained its popularity and bingo halls and parlors are springing up in every city and doing a thriving business. They have refreshment counters and bars and slot machines to play in the interval and as it has become a favorite pastime again so it is being featured in more movies. These range from animated films to adult action movies where people play for high stakes and tensions rise in the bingo hall.

Top Five Bingo Movies.

1. Beach Blanket Bingo.

Although this movie was released in 1965 it still tops the list as the favourite bingo movie of all time.It is the fifth in the Beach Party film series starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello as Frankie and Dee. The kids hang out in the local bingo parlor and finding a place on the beach is like playing a game of bingo, if you are lucky you can get the best place. There is plenty of rock and roll and nostalgic 60s fun in the sun and it gives you an insight into Southern California teenage beach culture.

2. King of the Bingo Game

This is only a short film, 26 minutes long, but it is the best example of a bingo hall in the New York depression of 1943. Based on a short story by Ralph Ellison it follows a struggling African American Sonny who is desperate to win big money to take home to his family. Colman Domingo gives such a good performance as Sonny you feel for him all the way. Some of the movie is shot in black and white with the brightly colored bingo wheel as the central feature. Sonny watches it, sweat pouring down his face, tensions rise in the hall as you watch the lights spinning and you are willing Sonny to win.

3. Rampage

This 1999 movie is not for the faint-hearted. Written and directed by Uwe Boll it is apparently based on a true story. A man bent on revenge dresses in full body armour and embarks on a killing spree. One scene is set in a bingo parlor where the players are real, not actors. They are so engrossed in their game they do not notice the stranger who enters the hall dressed in a strange costume. He orders a sandwich and drink which he does not pay for then goes menacingly towards the female bingo caller and grabs a ball. The hall is packed with players and as the killer strolls around you are never sure what his next move will be.

4. Bad grandpa

Grandpa is very bad, he gives is infant grandson alcohol and cigarettes then drives him to the bingo hall where the child is left in the car while his grandfather tries his luck inside. He amazes his neighbours by mixing margaritas at the table and knocks them back while the child in the car is also knocking back his alcohol oblivious of the wait while his Grandpa waits for his numbers to come up.

5. Hotel Transylvania

This animated family film is about Dracula who owns a luxury resort for monsters so they can get away from human beings. The film features a game of bingo where the caller is a large woman and the balls have been replaced by skulls in a cage which the caller spins round. A delighted monster calls out “Bingo” when his number comes up only for his neighbour to steal the winning card and eat it before it can be checked.

Jobs on the side

stan lee looking smugIf you are a struggling artist I have no doubt you have had your fair share of different jobs. When I was strap for cash I had several jobs in very different areas. I worked in a factory, loading bay and warehouse where I unloaded Lorries and stored goods. I didn’t mind being a forklift truck driver and think the wages paid are pretty reasonable for a fairly accessible job (there is not a huge amount of training and you can do it fairly cheaply).

Now I recommend trying to get freelancer jobs in writing instead. This can help keep you sharp and hone your skills further whilst making some extra money. You may need to take some lower end jobs to start but they can lead to bigger and better things down the road.

Freelance writing for television shows

In this type of screen writing, the freelance writer uses his previous work experience to get a contract of one or two episodes for which he is hired. In this case the freelance screen writer does work hard to get this contract by telling the production companies why he or she is the right fit for writing that screenplay.

A staff writer who is generally called a story editor or sometimes produces is someone who makes alteration in the content to maintain the original tone, theme, style etc of the show.

Screen writing on daily basis

Writing content for soap commercials or other stuff like this is different from writing content for episodes which are played 5 times a week. So the content writer has to come with a script for each of these 5 episodes that will be played on the television.

This type of work is done in three layers, first consists of top writers who have to make the theme of the overall episode, than there are mid-level writers who take this overall theme and turns them to outlines which are according to the theme that has been designed by the first class writer, at the last level there are writer who receive theme and outlines from which they write catchy comments that will be displayed on the screen. This is the whole process of screen writing in a TV show that you see five times a week.

Screen writing for game shows

Even though game shows feature live contestants but there are some parts where you need an assistance of some writer.

The writer designs the overall flow of the game show and does work for the host of the show who uses some specific dialogues at certain points in the show. They may also need a writer when asking questions to the contestant through a slate on which questions are printed.

Video game writing

Hiring someone who screen writing in video game wasn’t necessary in the past but with the increase in the complexity of the video game has made it absolutely necessary for the video game producer to hire a writer for certain tasks

Screen writing has been a very important position for hundreds of years since the advent of dramas whether they are stage dramas or TV shows.

Solar powered technology helps educate new screenwriters in Brazil

solar power for brazil

Brazil being a developing country is in need to help the less well off. In rural areas many kids are lacking any real education because they just can’t afford it. Wages are so low it is hard to justify the cost of power, books, lighting and facilities.

A not for Profit Company that specialises in solar powered technology has begun donating over $1million worth of equipment to those most in need. With this technology rural families are able to make use of electricity without the worry of costs. Schools can stay open later and children in the area are able to get the education they need. Maybe Brazil will be able to produce some new hidden talent from these smaller towns and villages.

Construction worker gets published

Feterika Fred Sao once an illiterate laborer working at a construction site now an author of his own screenplay.

The 35 year old Samoan moved to New Zealand in the 70s and could never read or write in English even though he could speak the language well. After some time and getting back to school for English lessons he was able to put pen to paper.

Mr Sao is still having to work on odd construction jobs here and there but supplements his free time with creative writing. He is now working on a screenplay that is going to be published soon.

Screenwriting collaborations and copyrights

authorship rights and lawsAnyone who collaborates on a screenplay and adds to it has some copyrights. It is important to realise even if you have not physically typed out the work if you have created it in partnership you still have rights to the work. In a joint authorship all authors will have to sign off in agreement concerning assignment or rights to the work.

Co authorship is when writers produce small parts of worth of which each author will own. For example the first author writes the 1st scene and the 2nd the 2nd scene. Each will own their own scene and have writes to the work. This will all have to be agreed buy producers.

Having these things worked out clearly and transparently is always a good thing. Each artist should be made aware of how these things work.

There has been a famous story where Matthew Fisher an organist in the bad Procol Harum brought about legal claims of copyright for the song “A whiter Shade of Pale”. The case was brought to court and Fisher was awarded the rights as joint author to the song.