Friday, April 21, 2006

Weekend Noticeboard

My American counterpart Scott the Reader recently opened the floor to any specific questions people had about script reading. As Scott puts it: “…anything you want to know about pro script readers, let it fly now. Any myths you want debunked, any burning concerns you need assuaged, any dumb questions you ever wanted answered.”

So I thought I’d ‘open the floor’ myself for any similar queries because it will help to generate future posts instead of me wracking my brain trying to come up with something useful to say. Just leave any q’s in the comments, or drop me an email.

Let me just reiterate for those who are new to the blog that this site is just my opinion borne out of seven years of professional script reading whilst also getting a writing career off-the-ground during the same time. The blog is about encouragement and helpful advice rather than any strict adherence to any so-called ‘rules and regulations’ of screenwriting.

Some of the below might be of interest - have a great weekend!


Film London is hosting a series of roadshows at venues across the capital to promote its new micro-budget feature film fund scheme Microwave and provide advice to potential applicants. Places are free and will be allocated on arrival. Each event will include a general introduction to the scheme from Film London's Head of Production, Maggie Ellis, advice from successful low-budget film-makers and special industry guests, and a Q&A session. Further information can be found here.


Visit Wednesday The Film, the first ever short film website designed to show the journey that a cast and crew undertake when they make a short film. Watch exclusive daily production and stills diaries to see how the filmmakers turn script to screen.


Check out the latest opportunities at the BBC’s writersroom.



NEW DATE!!!!!!! Saturday 6TH MAY 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
VENUE: St Columbas By The Castle Church Hall, Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh
COST: £65 (inc VAT and refreshments)
E-MAIL: or call 0131 554 4539

Award winning Writer and Director Adrian Mead presents another in his acclaimed series of classes.


McKEE: LONDON: 28-30 April 2006

ROBERT McKEE is the most widely known and respected screenwriting teacher in the world. Portrayed in the Oscar-nominated hit "ADAPTATION," named Hollywood's Most Wanted Screenwriting Teacher by Movieline magazine, and interviewed by "60 Minutes" correspondent Bob Simon for CBS News' Sunday Morning 2005 Academy Awards Special, McKee's sold-out Story Seminars teach the essential principles of screenwriting and story design that studios, production companies and publishers demand from their writers.

Please register soon to guarantee a seat as events do sell out.
Register by calling +44 (0)870 080 1833, or online at McKee’s official website with secure, online registration.

£360 + VAT: Regular Fee
£460 + VAT: Writer's Special: Includes the Story Seminar + the latest version of Final Draft software (V. 7.1.1)
£235 + VAT: Repeater Fee: For former Story Seminar students


TAPS Writers' Workshops
- admissions open

TAPS, the Skillset-supported charity dedicated to nurturing new scriptwriting talent, are now accepting applications for their 2006/07 Full Length Script Development and Television Comedy courses. Full details and application packs can be found on their website.

TAPS will soon be opening up admissions for their new, ITV-backed, Nations and Regions courses as well as courses aimed at industry professionals. New for professionals this season is the Continuing Series Workshop, designed to help established writers make the move from 30-minute to 60-minute returning series. Application packs will be available from the website soon.


Attend Lew Hunter’s screenwriting colony

Lew Hunter’s UK screenwriting colony will be held at the London College of Communications between 14 – 28 July 2006. The colony is an intense program for serious writers of all levels. This is a great opportunity for screenwriters in the UK to work with two well respected screenwriting tutors from the USA. Attendance will cost £1080 – follow the link for more information.



Anonymous said...


i have a question that i'm a little puzzled about:

if film is a visual medium, then lots of scenes won't have dialogue and will be description only. Yet 'the rule' is to keep the pages as 'white' as possible.

Isn't there a contradiction there or am I being thick?

How do you write visual scenes without putting too much ink on the page?


Lucy said...

Therein lies the challenge my friend!!!

Scriptwriting IS a contradiction. Everyone is out to get you. Get past that, and everything will be cool.

Or so I'm told.

I think the trick to writing visual scenes without dialogue is to ensure you don't try and write EVERY SINGLE LAST DETAIL. I read a script recently that not only told me what characters were wearing, but how long they'd had the clothes and what stains were on them. For real.


Give the reader a "sense" of your visuals - sum it up, in effect. You don't need "this happens follows by this followed by that..." Yawn. Be a little poetic if you can - just don't do the DP's or Director's job for them. They're paid too much anyway, make them do some bloody work ; )

Sorry, this is Danny's page isn't it???

This damn maternity leave...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, you make it sound so easy!

cheers tho.

Nick Ostler said...

The best way to see how this is done would be to check out how it was done in scripts that got made -Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Terminator etc - great action-heavy, dialogue light movies.

But we've found when writing action that the best thing to do is just use the RETURN key.

A lot.

Space it out.

Don't be afraid to put lines of action by themselves.

With loads of white all around.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...



That looks much white-spacier.


Lucy said...

That's what i was trying to say Nick!

Hit the return key = be poetic.

Can't you see??!


Damn it....

Anonymous said...


I've been through my script and pressed return and taken all stuff out that isn't ABSOLUTELY essential and now when I flick through it it's so much easier on the eye.

cheers folks. x

Lucy said...

Nice one! Well done - you'd be surprised by how many writers hold onto their little finnicky details in favour of good character work and white spaces. Slap yourself on the back! : )

Grubber said...

Has anyone ever read "The Hitcher"?

That has the most amount of action/description I have seen in a script for a produced movie, yet, for me it worked.

Another one that breaks the rules, and lives to tell about it :)

Grubber said...

PS sorry Danny, not trying to hijack!

Danny Stack said...

Have got a post about 'White Space' coming up. Blogger seems to be down at the moment and won't publish.