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MZANZIWOOD™

Film Production

Script Development

The key to a great film is a strong script and shooting without one will generally lead to disappointing results. Mzanziwood™ will generate and develop scripts for you or work alongside you if you would prefer. All of our scripts will be written and prepared in Final Draft, which is tare for writing and formatting in order to meet the screenplay submission standards set by the TV and Film industry.

Storyboard Design

Storyboards can be developed to help you pre-visualize your project, be it a film, video, animation or motion graphics. We will develop storyboards in both a traditional sketch format, as well a 3D CGI animated pre-visualizations.

Film Crew

Mzanziwood™ will provide qualified and experienced crew for your production, including Directors, Producers, Camera Crew and Sound Recording.

Editing

With so many different ways that footage can be assembled, our team of experienced video editors can help ensure that your videos message is delivered in the most engaging way possible. Mzanziwood™ will have the facilities to edit digital video content in house on top-end Macs with professional software, as well as on location with Macbook Pros.

Color Grading

Whether you're looking to add the finishing touch to your masterpiece or simply match footage shot on different cameras, we can help. We will use a range of software to enable us to bring the best out of your footage.




VIDEO PRODUCTION

Product Videos

Video can be used to educate your customers on your product, processes or facilities. This is very effective when your company is making big improvements or launching a new product or service.


Corporate Video Production

A two-minute video can tell your audience everything they need to know about your company, business ethos and product.

Using video production can directly influence prospective clients, conveying a real stamp of credibility, as well as highlighting your area of expertise and what separates you from your competitors.

Editing / Post-Production

With so many different ways that footage can be assembled, our team of experienced video editors can help ensure that your videos message is delivered in the most engaging way possible. Mzanziwood™ will have the facilities to edit digital video content in house on top-end Macs with professional software, as well as on location with Macbook Pros.

Music Video Production
Working with both established and newcomers alike, D5 Media can tailor a music video package to suit your vision and budget.

Fashion Video
Fashion film is fast becoming the go-to solution for designers and fashion labels to promote their brand and clothing lines.

VISUAL EFFECTS
Green Screen

From corporate backdrops to alien worlds, shooting against green screen enables us to transform your project in a truly creative way.


2D/3D Compositing

We can composite both 2D and 3D elements into live action footage. By carefully building up layers, blending and color correction, we can make the added elements become an integrated part of the scene.


2D/3D Camera Tracking

Using the latest plannar and camera tracking software, Mzanziwood™can provide you with accurate and reliable tracks for all your visual effect needs.


Motion Graphics

We can produce a wide range of motion graphics and animation to suit your project. Everything from a title sequence for film and TV, company idents and simple animated identities for the web and corporate videos.


 

Rotoscoping

Rotoscoping and matte creation is available for removing/replacing unwanted backgrounds or items in your footage.


ILLUSTRATION

General Illustration

Hand-crafted or digitally mastered, Mzanziwood™ can provide you with stunning illustrations for your companies next project.

Illustrations invite attention to your brand and highlight your message to potential customers, they can be used just about anywhere,  business cards, websites, flyers and posters.

Character design

We can design characters of any style and for any genre. Some of our previous characters have been included in the development of a children's Ipad app, an online animated sketch show and promotional videos for a software developer.

Album art

Illustrated album covers are a great way to help your single or album stand out from the crowd. We can design artwork that is print ready for CD's or in screen format ready for iTunes

Poster art

Whether it's a film poster or an advertising campaign, illustrated posters are attention grabbing method that can help to promote your message in a very competitive market.

Illustrative typography

Sometimes a standard font is just not suitable for your project or brand and that's when illustrative typography comes into play.

Mzanziwood™ can custom illustrate your chosen words or logo, turning them into a real piece of art.



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Film, Video & Audio Production Services




Film

 
Motion picture screenplays intended for submission to mainstream studios studios
whether in the Africa or elsewhere in the world, will conform to a standard typographical format known widely as studio format which stipulates how elements of the screenplay such as scene headings, action, transitions, dialog, character names, shots and parenthetical matter should be presented on the page, as well as the font size and line spacing.

One reason for this is that, when rendered in studio format, most screenplays will transfer onto the screen at the rate of approximately one page per minute. This rule of thumb is widely contested -- a page of dialog usually occupies less screen time than a page of action, for example, and it depends enormously on the literary style of the writer -- and yet it continues to hold sway in modern Hollywood. Most experienced readers of screenplays can judge simply by weight and thickness whether the screenplay is 'too long' or 'too short'.

After weighing it in the hand, the next act of a harried reader or executive will be to flick to the last page to see the page count. Ideally a screenplay should be 90-120 pages long. Comedies and children's films tend to weigh in at the lower end. It is a common misconception that a screenplay 'should' be 120 pages long; in fact 120 pages is at the very top of the acceptable range for most purposes. 110-115 pages are usually better in the mind of most executives. Anything more than 120 pages will set off alarm bells unless there is a substantial balancing factor (for example, a major director is attached to direct).

Most experienced readers can tell instantly whether a script is in standard studio format or not simply by looking at a couple of pages. If it is not, they will assume that the writer is inexperienced and may not read any further. Therefore it is important to know the rules.

Unfortunately, there is no single canonical standard for 'studio format' although the definitions of the format are mostly very similar. Some studios have definitions of the required format written into the rubric of their writer's contract. The Nicholl Fellowship, a screenwriting contest, run under the auspices of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has a useful and accurate guide to screenplay format. A more detailed reference is The Complete Guide to Standard Script Formats (Cole and Haag, SCB Distributors, 1980, ISBN 0-929583-00-0). Most screenwriting software comes with a set of templates for various screenplay formats which are more or less standard.

Screenplays are almost always written using a monospaced font, often a variant of Courier although other fonts are sometimes seen, including special bitmapped fonts intended to resemble the output of an old battered typewriter such as a Remington Portable. Detailed computer programs designed specifically for screenplays, but those also have templates for teleplays and stage plays, are DreamaScript, Movie Magic, Montage and Final Draft. These are the industry standards for professional screenwriters. An open source (free) option is also available: Celtx is designed for screenplays and collaborations, and useful for teleplays and stage plays. Furthermore, screenwriting software for handheld devices (Palm OS, and Windows Mobile / Pocket PC) is also available with ScriptRight Mobile Edition.

Television

For American TV shows, the format rules for hour dramas, like CSI, and single-camera sitcoms, like Scrubs, are essentially the same as for motion pictures. The main difference is that TV scripts have act breaks. Multi-camera sitcoms, like Two and a Half Men, use a different, specialized format that derives from radio and the stage play. In this format, dialogue is double-spaced, action lines are capitalized, and scene headings are capitalized and underlined. The script format for documentaries and audio-visual presentations which consist largely of voice-over matched to still or moving pictures is different again and uses a two-column format which can be particularly difficult to achieve in standard word processors, at least when it comes to editing.

Physical format

American screenplays are printed single-sided on three-hole-punched letter sized (8.5 x 11 inch) paper, and held together with an industry standard of not three but two brass brads. In the UK, double-hole-punched A4 paper is often used, although some UK writers use the US letter paper format, especially when their scripts are to be read by American producers, since otherwise the pages may be cropped when printed on US paper. Despite the use of double-punched paper, it is common to see scripts in the UK held together by a single brad punched in the top left hand corner. This makes it easy to flip from page to page during script meetings and may have something to do with the taller page of A4.

Screenplays are usually bound with a light card stock cover and back page, often showing the logo of the Production Company or agency submitting the script. Writer's scripts are usually bound in a plain red or blue cover.

Increasingly, reading copies of screenplays (that is, those distributed by producers and agencies in the hope of attracting finance or talent) are distributed printed on both sides of the paper to cut down on their bulk, and occasionally they are reduced to half-size to make a small book which is convenient to read or put in a pocket. However, writers should generally submit on single sided, full sized paper and leave the way the script is reproduced up to the agency or producer.

Although most writing contracts continue to stipulate physical delivery of three or more copies of a finished script, it is extremely common for scripts to be delivered electronically via email. Although most production companies can handle scripts in DreamaScript, Final Draft, Movie Magic or MS Office format, it is better practice to supply scripts as a PDF file where possible. This is because it gives the writer final control over the layout of the script, which may otherwise vary depending on what fonts and/or paper size the recipient uses to print the script out. DreamaScript produces multiple formats of screenplays, including PDF.

            Movie Studios

Columbia
10202 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Columbia Pictures is a Sony Pictures entertainment company.


Disney
500 S. Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521
This is Walt Disney Studios, home of the greatest fantasy & animated films ever made. Starting with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in 1937 (the first full length animated movie), the list of Disney hits reads like a "Who's Who" of classic animated films.


Dreamworks
1000 Flower St.
Glendale, CA 91201
DreamWorks SKG was born in October of 1994, the brainchild of a creative trio of industry giants: director Steven Spielberg, former Disney wunderkind Jeffrey Katzenberg, and record industry wiz David Geffen.


Gower
1438 N. Gower Street,
Hollywood, CA 90027
Built in 1921, this 17-acre Hollywood movie studio was originally the historic Columbia Pictures Studios.


MGM
10250 Constellation Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has long been a classic American icon, its distinguished reputation embodied in its renowned moniker and roaring lion trademark.


Paramount
5555 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Paramount offers resources for your production and post-production needs.


Pixar
1200 Park Ave.
Emeryville, CA 94608
Pixar Animation Studios is an Academy Award®-winning computer animation studio with the technical, creative and production capabilities to create a new generation of animated feature films, merchandise and other related products.


Sony
10202 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Sony Pictures Entertainment's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home video acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, development of new entertainment technologies and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries worldwide.


Universal
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
Even though Universal Studios Hollywood is probably best known today as a theme park (rivaling Disneyland in popularity with tourists), Universal Pictures is actually the largest film and television studio in the world.


Warner Bros.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522
Warner Brothers, one of Hollywood's most famous studios, was founded in 1923 by four actual brothers: Jack, Sam, Harry & Albert Warner. The siblings never seemed to get along with each other, but Warner Bros. Studios managed to produce some of the most memorable movies in the history of Hollywood.

           
                                   
                       

 

Film Scripts

A screenplay or script is a blueprint for producing a motion picture. It can be adapted from a previous work such as a novel, play or short story, or it may be an original work in and of itself. A screenplay differs from a script in that it is more specifically targeted at the visual, narrative arts, such as film and television, whereas a script can involve a blueprint of "what happens" in a comic, an advertisement, a theatrical play and other "blueprinted" creations.

The major components of a screenplay are action and dialogue, with the "action" being "what we see happening" and "dialogue" being "what the characters say". The characters, when first introduced in the screenplay, may also be described visually. Screenplays differ from traditional literature conventions in ways described below, and in not involving emotion-related descriptions and other aspects of the story that may not be visually apparent in the end-product.

Every year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands out Oscars in both Original Screenplay and Adapted Screenplay categories. In the United States of America, the Writers Guild of America has final control on who may be awarded screenwriting credit for a screenplay in a union production.

  • A script for a television program is sometimes called a teleplay.
  • Someone who writes screenplays is a screenwriter.
  • The art of writing a screenplay is known as screenwriting and is dealt with separately.

There is no unique "rule" for the writing of a screenplay, but throughout the world, within the relevant industries, several conventions are withheld and adhered to.

To review or purchase film scripts, submit yourself as a producer or director. Click here

Film
Motion picture screenplays intended for submission to mainstream studios, whether in the US or elsewhere in the world, are expected to conform to a standard typographical format known widely as studio format which stipulates how elements of the screenplay such as scene headings, action, transitions, dialog, character names, shots and parenthetical matter should be presented on the page, as well as the font size and line spacing.

One reason for this is that, when rendered in studio format, most screenplays will transfer onto the screen at the rate of approximately one page per minute. This rule of thumb is widely contested -- a page of dialog usually occupies less screen time than a page of action, for example, and it depends enormously on the literary style of the writer -- and yet it continues to hold sway in modern Hollywood. Most experienced readers of screenplays can judge simply by weight and thickness whether the screenplay is 'too long' or 'too short'.

After weighing it in the hand, the next act of a harried reader or executive will be to flick to the last page to see the page count. Ideally a screenplay should be 90-120 pages long. Comedies and children's films tend to weigh in at the lower end. It is a common misconception that a screenplay 'should' be 120 pages long; in fact 120 pages is at the very top of the acceptable range for most purposes. 110-115 pages are usually better in the mind of most executives. Anything more than 120 pages will set off alarm bells unless there is a substantial balancing factor (for example, a major director is attached to direct).

Most experienced readers can tell instantly whether a script is in standard studio format or not simply by looking at a couple of pages. If it is not, they will assume that the writer is inexperienced and may not read any further. Therefore it is important to know the rules.

Unfortunately, there is no single canonical standard for 'studio format' although the definitions of the format are mostly very similar. Some studios have definitions of the required format written into the rubric of their writer's contract. The Nicholl Fellowship, a screenwriting contest, run under the auspices of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has a useful and accurate guide to screenplay format. A more detailed reference is The Complete Guide to Standard Script Formats (Cole and Haag, SCB Distributors, 1980, ISBN 0-929583-00-0). Most screenwriting software comes with a set of templates for various screenplay formats which are more or less standard.

Screenplays are almost always written using a monospaced font, often a variant of Courier although other fonts are sometimes seen, including special bitmapped fonts intended to resemble the output of an old battered typewriter such as a Remington Portable.

Detailed computer programs designed specifically for screenplays, but those also have templates for teleplays and stage plays, are DreamaScript, Movie Magic, Montage and Final Draft. These are the industry standards for professional screenwriters. An open source (free) option is also available: Celtx is designed for screenplays and collaborations, and useful for teleplays and stage plays. Furthermore, screenwriting software for handheld devices (Palm OS, and Windows Mobile / Pocket PC) is also available with ScriptRight Mobile Edition.

Television
For American TV shows, the format rules for hour dramas, like CSI, and single-camera sitcoms, like Scrubs, are essentially the same as for motion pictures. The main difference is that TV scripts have act breaks. Multi-camera sitcoms, like Two and a Half Men, use a different, specialized format that derives from radio and the stage play. In this format, dialogue is double-spaced, action lines are capitalized, and scene headings are capitalized and underlined.

The script format for documentaries and audio-visual presentations which consist largely of voice-over matched to still or moving pictures is different again and uses a two-column format which can be particularly difficult to achieve in standard word processors, at least when it comes to editing.

Physical format
American screenplays are printed single-sided on three-hole-punched letter sized (8.5 x 11 inch) paper, and held together with an industry standard of not three but two brass brads. In the UK, double-hole-punched A4 paper is often used, although some UK writers use the US letter paper format, especially when their scripts are to be read by American producers, since otherwise the pages may be cropped when printed on US paper. Despite the use of double-punched paper, it is common to see scripts in the UK held together by a single brad punched in the top left hand corner. This makes it easy to flip from page to page during script meetings and may have something to do with the taller page of A4.

Screenplays are usually bound with a light card stock cover and back page, often showing the logo of the Production Company or agency submitting the script. Writer's scripts are usually bound in a plain red or blue cover.

Increasingly, reading copies of screenplays (that is, those distributed by producers and agencies in the hope of attracting finance or talent) are distributed printed on both sides of the paper to cut down on their bulk, and occasionally they are reduced to half-size to make a small book which is convenient to read or put in a pocket. However, writers should generally submit on single sided, full sized paper and leave the way the script is reproduced up to the agency or producer.

Although most writing contracts continue to stipulate physical delivery of three or more copies of a finished script, it is extremely common for scripts to be delivered electronically via email. Although most production companies can handle scripts in DreamaScript, Final Draft, Movie Magic or MS Office format, it is better practice to supply scripts as a PDF file where possible. This is because it gives the writer final control over the layout of the script, which may otherwise vary depending on what fonts and/or paper size the recipient uses to print the script out. DreamaScript produces multiple formats of screenplays, including PDF.

Screenplays can be written either on "spec" or as assignment.

Writing on assignment
Assignments are commissioned by production companies or studios on the basis of pitches from producers or writers, or literary properties they already own. Most established writers do most of their work on assignment and will only "spec" scripts which they think no-one will pay them to write, or if they cannot find assignment work.

There are exceptions: some very famous writers only write on spec because they know that they can get a better price for their work this way. Other writers spec scripts that they care deeply about so that they do not have to bend to the whims of executives and producers.

An assignment may be for an original screenplay, or for a screenplay based on another work such as a novel, film, short story, magazine article, non-fiction book or, increasingly, computer game. It may also, however, be for a re-write of an existing script, and in fact this is how a large proportion of writers in the modern studio system make their living. Re-writing scripts is an art in itself and an extremely lucrative one at that: it is not unknown for trusted writers in the higher echelons of the industry to receive $200,000 a week (2004 numbers) for their efforts. $50,000 per week is not uncommon.

Re-writing is difficult because executives often have very clear ideas about what is wrong with a script, however, they are usually unable to provide detailed prescriptions for ways it can be fixed. This is not surprising, because screenwriting is not the expertise of the executive, but of the screenwriter. The writer is therefore usually expected to come up with a detailed prescription for how the script can be improved, and then execute this in a timely fashion. During the process of choosing a writer to rewrite a script the executives may ask several writers for their 'take' and choose the one who appears to have the greatest likelihood of moving the script forward to the point where it may be green lit for production.

Before 'going to script' a writer may be asked to write a treatment, an outline, or a step outline describing the script in various granularities of detail. Some writers resist this process and will do anything to avoid it and get down the writing the script itself; others embrace the process. It is fair to say that producers tend to be wary of the former and pleasantly surprised by the latter.

Spec scripts
Spec scripts (short for speculative) are written independently by screenwriters in hopes of optioning and eventually outright selling them to producers or studios.

The process of 'going out' with a spec script can be an extremely tense and nerve racking one for a writer. The writer's agent will identify a number of prospective buyers who may range from small independent producers to executives working in the major studios, and attempt to build up 'heat' under the script. The script is sent out simultaneously to all the prospective buyers, usually to be read over the weekend, in the hope of attracting a bidding war.

Within a few days it is abundantly clear whether the script is going to sell or not. If it does, the writer may receive a payment of anything from a few tens of thousands of dollars to several million. If not, the script is often dead in the water because it is now in the databases of the studios and development executives, and has been marked as having being 'passed' on.

It is almost impossible to get a studio to read a script again which they have already turned down, even if it has been entirely rewritten. A popular vignette has an executive glancing at the title, saying "I read that", and tossing it in the trash. One strategy employed by some writers when resubmitting a script is to change the title, page count and the names of the major characters so that the script is not flagged up when the database is checked.

Sample scripts are not (usually) intended for production, but to showcase the writing skills of the screenwriter, in hopes of coaxing an agent to represent the screenwriter or a producer to hire the writer. Very often a spec script which fails to sell goes on to be a sample script.

Script costs
Whether written on spec or on assignment, a ballpark figure is that 'script costs' should constitute no more than 5% of a film's budget. So the total remuneration for all the writers involved in the script for a $10 million dollar movie should generally be no more than $500,000.

For the above movie, written on assignment, the payments might typically break down as follows.

  • First draft: $150,000
  • First draft revisions: $50,000
  • Second draft: $75,000
  • Second draft revisions: $25,000
  • Production bonus: $500,000 minus the total of the above payments

The first four payments are paid half on commencement of the writing step and half on completion. The final payment, the production bonus, is paid ONLY if the script goes into production and becomes due on the first day of principal photography. If a script is approved for production before all the steps have been completed, the production bonus is therefore bigger. This means there is an incentive for the writer not to drag out the process.

The above deal is referred to as "300,000 against 500,000", a form of words you will often see used in the business. Alternatively, one might say "low six figures against mid six figures" (these vague terms are usually used to keep writers from squabbling over minor differences in pay for similar projects).

The development process
Once a studio has purchased or commissioned a script, it goes through the process of revisions and rewriting until all stakeholders are satisfied and ready to proceed. It is not uncommon for a script to go through many, many drafts on its journey to production. Very few scripts improve steadily with each draft, and when a certain avenue has been exhausted the writer will often be replaced and another brought in to do a re-write.

Occasionally it becomes impossible to satisfy all such parties, and the project enters "development hell".

If a studio decides it does not wish to proceed to production with the script, the project enters 'turnaround'. Another studio may purchase the script from its original owner, but the script is encumbered with the development costs the studio has already incurred. At a certain point, it may simply be uneconomic for anyone to purchase the script, even if it is a very good one. This goes part of the way to explaining why some of the best scripts in Hollywood remain un-produced.

A shooting script is a version of a script from which a movie is actually shot; it includes scene numbers, camera angles and certain directors' notes -- and it is generally fiercely marked up by the script supervisor and other production workers, while the writer's draft is simply the skeleton around which the production is built.

Sometimes, it is far more practical and economical to shoot some scenes consecutively on the same day, even though the scenes appear in the original script far apart from each other. For example, consider two scenes from Jurassic Park: the first near the beginning in which a helicopter is used to bring the scientists to Jurassic Park and the second at the end of the movie when the scientists escape from Jurassic Park aboard the same helicopter. Even though the first and the second scenes appear far apart from each other in the original movie, in the shooting script for Jurassic Park, they probably appear consecutively with one another, with one benefit being the cost savings related to renting the helicopter for only a single day rather than two different days. At other times, the benefit may be that the location for the shoot is only available for a limited time in which all the scenes must be shot, even though they are not consecutive in the original script. Thus, once again, the scenes will be rearranged in the shooting script so that they may be shot consecutively on the same day. This is a main benefit of shooting scripts: they allow the best possible utilization of all available resources.

Once a script is approved for production, and pre-production begins, it is scene-numbered and page-locked. Scenes are numbered for easy reference, and page-locking allows everyone to keep the same copy of the script even if the script changes. Changes are supplied as colored pages which people involved in production insert in their script, replacing or adding to the pages already there. Since writing often goes on even during production itself, most real shooting scripts are a rainbow of gold, pink, blue, green and other colors.

The order in which colored pages (often referred to as pink pages regardless of their actual color) are introduced into the script is rigidly fixed for a particular production.

Transcripts
A screenplay is different from a transcript. A transcript is simply a copy of what dialogue finally appeared onscreen, without regard to the original script, the stage directions or action. A full post-production transcript may also include descriptions of the action on-screen, but since it is generally not written by a professional writer but either a production assistant or a fan, it may not be particularly entertaining to read.

Many published screenplays available at booksellers or downloaded from the internet are in fact glorified post-production transcripts rather than shooting scripts. Transcripts and screenplays often differ radically because scenes are frequently re-ordered or dropped entirely during the editing process. Moreover, actors may change lines or simply improvise dialog, and many directors will make their own changes to the script on the fly during rehearsal or shooting.

It can be extremely revealing to compare a shooting script with the film as finally distributed.


                                   
Screenwriting


Top Screenwriters
Hollywood screenwriters will typically receive 2-3% of a film's total gross as salary.

George Lucas
Movie: Star Wars III
Gross: $848,000,000+
2-3%: $22,000,000+ (aprox)

Bryan Singer
Movie: Superman Returns
Gross: $368,000,000+
2-3%: $9,500,000+ (aprox)

Peter Jackson
Movie: King Kong
Gross: $547,000,000+
2-3%: $14,000,000+ (aprox)

James Cameron
Movie: Titanic
Gross: $1,835,300,000+
2-3%: $46,000,000+ (aprox)

M. Night Shyamalan
Movie: The Sixth Sense
Gross: $661,000,000+
2-3%: $16,500,000+ (aprox)
 


Monitors
                                               











                                         







    
                                               






  
                                               
                                               





                                               























































































                                               

Computer Animators

Images Brought To Life

Computer animation involves the manipulation of still images to create the illusion of movement. Using computer technology, a sequence of staggered images captured in related positions are made to appear as if they're really moving.

A computer-animated image can be two or three dimensional. South Park, the cartoon strip that looks as if it’s kooky characters that appear as they're made from flat, paper cut-outs appears to be 2D. Ted, the 3D, HBF bear is rendered (a technique where objects are created through the use of light, color, texture, shadow and transparency) to look like a real toy bear. Both are examples of 3D computer animation.

'Computer animation is about presenting ideas, images or objects that can't be presented in any other way and making them appear as life like as possible,' says David Rutherford, a computer animator at Double G Post Productions, the largest post producers of television commercials in WA.

Computer Animators at Work

Ted, the HBF bear is one of the projects David Rutherford has worked his computer animation magic on. First, he consulted a storyboard, a series of pictures usually hand drawn, which shows the flow of animation and maps out the important scenes and characters.

'My work is usually just a component of the overall ad. If an ad also features 'real talent' (actors), the actors are filmed separately. That footage and the computer animation is combined to form a composite.

'The actors have to pretend that the computer animated object is really there. I then slot in the object and make it appear as if it was there when the original shot was taken, matching the lighting and camera position. A trickier ad can take about six weeks to complete: four to do the computer animation, one for filming the live talent and about one to combine the whole product.'

Using laser equipment, computer animators scan images of real objects onto a computer and convert them to digital form. Usually the animator has to model the character or object in the computer, drawing curves, constructing surfaces and using primitive objects (such as spheres and cubes) to produce a wire frame model. Controls are then added to the model to allow it to be bent and posed. It becomes more like a digital puppet, moved into the key positions for an action and allowing the computer to work out the in-between positions for making a smooth action. From there, the object can be shaded with computer lights and rendered with a computer camera.

Whiz Digital Visual Effects Artist, Richard Turner says,

'If you plan to work in computer animation it's advantageous to understand photography, lighting and movement. You must be able to visualize how an object will look in three dimensions and have the know-how to make an inanimate object look real.'

Richard, who worked in photography before making the change to computer animation, is currently working on a computer animated television special called WildKat. He says Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans will love it.

Before the advent of computer animation there was and still is conventional animation. The main difference between the two is that the animation in conventional animation is hand drawn including the in-between positions.

The starting salary in computer animation is about $25,000 with some local, more experienced computer animators earning in the vicinity of $55,000. Salaries can exceed this, especially for those working interstate.

According to an information technology industry spokesman, employment prospects are better further a field, particularly in Queensland and New South Wales, which boast computer game manufacturers and Fox Studio. Heading overseas also presents better opportunities.

An FTI WA spokesman says that although there are small numbers of computer animators working for the larger multimedia and video post production companies in Perth, there are a lot of self-employed animators developing projects in WA.

'Warner Bros Animation and Electronic Arts Publishing also have several productions under development, which may improve employment prospects. If given the go ahead, there could create approximately 60 positions for more experienced animators here in WA or interstate.'

In WA, most computer animators work in the multimedia industry doing web design or video post production.

Education requirements

Excellent drawing skills, an ability to visualize how animated objects should appear and a good understanding of conventional animation would be high on a potential employer's list of requirements. They would generally look for applicants who have completed some formal training in graphic art or multimedia, and request an artwork portfolio.

Naturally, a reasonable level of computer literacy is necessary in this occupation. More importantly though is a high level of confidence and the ability to learn quickly and apply new software programs. You can look forward to reading numerous software manuals to keep abreast of the constant technological change in this industry.

A number of institutions offer courses with computer animation components that will enable people interested in this field to develop the relevant skills.

Curtin University offers a three-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Multimedia Design, Edith Cowan University a three-year Bachelor of Communications degree in Multimedia Technologies and Murdoch University a three-year Bachelor of Multimedia degree. Please contact the relevant institution for further information.

The Advanced Diploma of Art and Design (Animation) is held at the Perth campus of TAFE. You will need to have completed the Diploma of Multimedia, or equivalent, to gain entry into the Advanced Diploma.

The Certificate IV in Multimedia is offered at various campuses of TAFE while the Diploma of Multimedia is offered at the East Perth and Joondalup campuses of TAFE.


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Screenplays can be written either on "spec" or as assignment.

Writing on assignment

Assignments are commissioned by production companies or studios on the basis of pitches from producers or writers, or literary properties they already own. Most established writers do most of their work on assignment and will only "spec" scripts which they think no-one will pay them to write, or if they
cannot find assignment work.

There are exceptions: some very famous writers only write on spec because they know that they can get a better price for their work this way. Other writers spec scripts that they care deeply about so that they do not have to bend to the whims of
executives and producers.

An assignment may be for an original screenplay, or for a screenplay based on another work such as a novel, film, short story, magazine article, non-fiction book or, increasingly, computer game. It may also, however, be for a re-write of an existing script, and in fact this is how a large proportion of writers in the modern studio system make their living.
Re-writing scripts is an art in itself and an extremely lucrative one at that: it is not unknown for trusted writers in the higher echelons of the industry to receive $200,000 a week (2004 numbers) for their efforts. $50,000 per week is not uncommon.

Re-writing is difficult because executives often have very
clear ideas about what is wrong with a script, however, they
are usually unable to provide detailed prescriptions for ways
it can be fixed. This is not surprising, because screenwriting
is not the expertise of the executive, but of the screenwriter.
The writer is therefore usually expected to come up with a detailed prescription for how the script can be improved, and then execute this in a timely fashion. During the process of choosing a writer to rewrite a script the executives may ask several writers for their 'take' and choose the one who appears to have the greatest likelihood of moving the script forward to
the point where it may be green lit for production.

Before 'going to script' a writer may be asked to write a treatment, an outline, or a step outline describing the script in various granularities of detail. Some writers resist this process and will do anything to avoid it and get down the writing the script itself; others embrace the process. It is fair to say that producers tend to be wary of the former and pleasantly
surprised by the latter.

 Spec scripts

Spec scripts (short for speculative) are written independently
by screenwriters in hopes of optioning and eventually
outright selling them to producers or studios.
The process of 'going out' with a spec script can be an extremely tense and nerve racking one for a writer. The writer's agent will identify a number of prospective buyers who may range from small independent producers to executives working in the major studios, and attempt to build up 'heat' under the script. The script is sent out simultaneously to all the prospective buyers, usually to be read over the weekend, in the hope of attracting a bidding war.

 Within a few days it is abundantly clear whether the script is going to sell or not. If it does, the writer may receive a
payment of anything from a few tens of thousands of dollars
to several million. If not, the script is often dead in the water because it is now in the databases of the studios and
development executives, and has been marked as having
being 'passed' on.

It is almost impossible to get a studio to read a script again
which they have already turned down, even if it has been
entirely rewritten. A popular vignette has an executive
glancing at the title, saying "I read that", and tossing it in the trash. One strategy employed by some writers when
resubmitting a script is to change the title, page count and
the names of the major characters so that the script is not
flagged up when the database is checked.

Sample scripts are not (usually) intended for production,
but to showcase the writing skills of the screenwriter, in hopes of coaxing an agent to represent the screenwriter or a producer t
o hire the writer. Very often a spec script which fails to sell
goes on to be a sample script.

 Script costs

Whether written on spec or on assignment, a ballpark figure
is that 'script costs' should constitute no more than 5% of a
film's budget. So the total remuneration for all the writers involved in the script for a $10 million dollar movie should generally be no more than $500,000.

For the above movie, written on assignment, the payments
might typically break down as follows.
 

  1. First draft: $150,000
  2. First draft revisions: $50,000
  3. Second draft: $75,000
  4. Second draft revisions: $25,000
    Production bonus: $500,000 minus the total of the above payments

 The first four payments are paid half on commencement of
the writing step and half on completion. The final payment,
the production bonus, is paid ONLY if the script goes into production and becomes due on the first day of principal photography. If a script is approved for production before all
 the steps have been completed, the production bonus is
therefore bigger. This means there is an incentive for the
writer not to drag out the process.

 The above deal is referred to as "300,000 against 500,000", a form of words you will often see used in the business. Alternatively, one might say "low six figures against mid six figures" (these vague terms are usually used to keep writers from squabbling over minor differences in pay for similar projects).

The development process

 Once a studio has purchased or commissioned a script, it
goes through the process of revisions and rewriting until all stakeholders are satisfied and ready to proceed. It is not uncommon for a script to go through many, many drafts on
its journey to production. Very few scripts improve steadily
with each draft, and when a certain avenue has been
exhausted the writer will often be replaced and another
brought in to do a re-write.
Occasionally it becomes impossible to satisfy all such parties, and the project enters "development hell".

If a studio decides it does not wish to proceed to production
with the script, the project enters 'turnaround'. Another studio may purchase the script from its original owner, but the script is encumbered with the development costs the studio has already incurred. At a certain point, it may simply be uneconomic for anyone to purchase the script, even if it is a very good one.
This goes part of the way to explaining why some of the best scripts in Hollywood remain un-produced.

A shooting script is a version of a script from which a movie
is actually shot; it includes scene numbers, camera angles and certain directors' notes -- and it is generally fiercely marked
up by the script supervisor and other production workers,
while the writer's draft is simply the skeleton around which
the production is built.

Sometimes, it is far more practical and economical to shoot
some scenes consecutively on the same day, even though the scenes appear in the original script far apart from each other.
For example, consider two scenes from Jurassic Park: the first near the beginning in which a helicopter is used to bring the scientists to Jurassic Park and the second at the end of the movie when the scientists escape from Jurassic Park aboard the same helicopter.

Even though the first and the second scenes appear far apart from each other in the original movie, in the shooting script for Jurassic Park, they probably appear consecutively with one another, with one benefit being the cost savings related to renting the helicopter for only a single day rather than two different days. At other times, the benefit may be that the location for the shoot is only available for a limited time in which all the scenes must be shot, even though they are not consecutive in the original script. Thus, once again, the scenes will be rearranged in the shooting script so that they may be shot consecutively on the same day. This is a main benefit of shooting scripts: they allow the best possible utilization of all available resources.

Once a script is approved for production, and pre-production begins, it is scene-numbered and page-locked. Scenes are numbered for easy reference, and page-locking allows everyone to keep the same copy of the script even if the script changes. Changes are supplied as colored pages which people involved in production insert in their script, replacing or adding to the pages already there. Since writing often goes on even during production itself, most real shooting scripts are a rainbow of gold, pink, blue, green and other colors. The order in which colored pages (often referred to as pink pages regardless of their actual color) are introduced into the script is rigidly fixed for a particular production.

 Transcripts

A screenplay is different from a transcript. A transcript is simply a copy of what dialogue finally appeared onscreen, without regard to the original script, the stage directions or action. A full post-production transcript may also include descriptions of the action on-screen, but since it is generally not written by a professional writer but either a production assistant or a fan, it may not be particularly entertaining to read.

Many published screenplays available at booksellers or downloaded from the internet are in fact glorified post-production transcripts rather than shooting scripts. Transcripts and screenplays often differ radically because scenes are frequently re-ordered or dropped entirely during the editing process. Moreover, actors may change lines or simply improvise dialog, and many directors will make their own changes to the script on the fly during rehearsal or shooting.

It can be extremely revealing to compare a shooting script with the film as finally distributed.

                                       
Screenplay Formatting





Top Screenwriters
Hollywood screenwriters will typically receive 2-3% of a film's total gross as salary.

George Lucas
Movie: Star Wars III
Gross: $848,000,000+
2-3%: $22,000,000+ (aprox)

Bryan Singer
Movie: Superman Returns
Gross: $368,000,000+
2-3%: $9,500,000+ (aprox)

Peter Jackson
Movie: King Kong
Gross: $547,000,000+
2-3%: $14,000,000+ (aprox)

James Cameron
Movie: Titanic
Gross: $1,835,300,000+
2-3%: $46,000,000+ (aprox)

M. Night Shyamalan
Movie: The Sixth Sense
Gross: $661,000,000+
2-3%: $16,500,000+ (aprox)
 Magazines
FILMMAKER: The Magazine of Independent Film
Provides an insider's look at the business and creative aspects of independent film production, including: interviews, case studies, financing and distribution information, festival reports, technical and production updates, legal pointers, and filmmakers on filmmaking in their own words.

MovieMaker Magazine
MovieMaker is the bestselling independent movie magazine in the world for a reason--it's not just educational, it's a great read. The lively, full-color quarterly magazine dedicated to the art and business of making movies is now in its 12th year of publication. Editorial typically features reviews of the latest technology, how-to strategies for getting one's movie made and seen, coverage of the best festivals on the circuit, critical analysis of movies past and present, and candid interviews with legendary talents. You don't have to make movies to love MovieMaker--you just have to love movies.

Film Comment
Film Comment is published bimonthly by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. It features articles and commentary on films old and new, foreign and domestic, narrative and documentary, independent and mainstream. Issues include reviews of a wide range of films from all genres, interviews, insights into all aspects of the film industry around the world, book reviews, and information on film festivals and showings.

Cinefex
This magazine is an illustrated journal on motion picture special effects, including optical, physical, and computer-generated and makeup.

Animation Magazine
Animation Magazine is an industry and trade magazine for the animation industry. This magazine covers all areas of animation.

American Cinematographer
Covers film and video production techniques.

Fade In
"Best Movie Magazine of the Year" says the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. Fade In covers the inner workings of the film industry - attracting a readership that not only includes the movers and shakers it covers, but also those film enthusiasts who hunger for a more intelligent read.

Film Quarterly
Since 1958, Film Quarterly has earned a reputation as the most authoritative academic film magazine in the United States. If you love all types of movies, from a box-office hit to a short-run documentary, then Film Quarterly is the magazine for you!

Total Film
Total Film is a UK film magazine. It covers new feature films, videos to rent and buy, DVDs, books, multimedia and soundtracks currently on release. It also includes features on the stars, directors and behind-the-scenes talent from the hottest movies.

Fangoria
Fangoria is a journal about horror movies featuring the bloodiest makeup secrets and the most chilling interviews with all-time greats of horror. It previews and gives first looks at the latest horror films.

Cinescape
"Cinescape covers new and upcoming movies, television production and interactive entertainment. It takes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of new films and hit television programs. Extensive features including interviews with the directors, stars and special effects wizards fill each issue."

Film & Video
This covers the production of television, commercials, music videos and motion pictures behind the scenes.

Premiere
A U.S. magazine that goes behind movies scenes with answers questions about strategy, development, financing and distribution. It focuses on the producers, directors and stars with interviews, profiles, film commentary and analysis, film and video releases and reviews, soundtrack scoring and book information.

Screen
Film and video production magazine with feature stories and close-up profiles.

Millimeter
Millimeter is edited for television and motion picture production professionals. Feature articles cover: technologies, techniques, talent, economics and commerce. This magazine covers all aspects of production and post production technology.

Film Journal International
FJI offers the latest on concessions, sound systems, new products and movie reviews. Exclusive interviews and profiles provide the inside story on stars, directors & screenwriters; and about film making worldwide. Box office tallies, what film companies are planning and entertainment investment performances.

Script
Published since 1989, scr(i)pt magazine is a bimonthly publication that examines the film industry through the eyes of the screenwriter. The magazine serves as both a resource for the craft of screenwriting and a source of inspiration from professionals in the field such as Ron Bass, Frank Darabont, Robert Duvall, Randall Wallace, Les and Glen Charles, and Richard LaGravenese. Each issue of scr(i)pt offers writers information about writing, marketing, and selling screenplays

Hollywood Reporter
If it's happening anywhere in show business, you'll find it in the pages of The Hollywood Reporter. For over 70 years, The Hollywood Reporter has been the trade publication of choice for industry professionals of all kinds. From movies to TV, home video to digital media, nobody takes you further inside Hollywood's back lots and board rooms. There's no business like show business, and The Hollywood Reporter shows you why!

 

 

 

Movie Production


Stunts
A stunt is an unusual and difficult physical feat, or any act requiring a special skill, performed for artistic purposes in TV, theatre or cinema. Stunts are a big part of many action movies. Before computer generated imagery special effects, these effects were limited to the use of models, false perspective and other in-camera effects - unless the creator could find someone willing to jump from car to car or hang from the edge of a skyscraper - the stunt performer.

Practical effects
One of the most-frequently used practical stunts is stage combat. Although contact is normally avoided, many elements of stage combat, such as sword fighting, martial arts and acrobatics required contact between performers in order to facilitate the creation of a particular effect, such as noise or physical interaction.

Stunt performances are highly choreographed and may be rigorously rehearsed for hours, days and sometimes weeks before a performance. Seasoned professionals will commonly treat a performance as if they have never done it before, since the risks in stunt work are high, every move and position must be correct to reduce risk of injury from accidents.

Examples
Tripping and falling down
High jump
Extreme Sports
Acrobatics
High Diving
HK spin, Gainer falls, suicide back flips and other martial arts stunts seen in martial arts films

Mechanical effects
A physical stunt is usually performed with help of mechanics. For example, if the plot requires the hero to jump to a high place, the film crew could put the actor in a special harness, and use piano wire to pull him up. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) is a kung-fu movie that was heavily reliant on wire stunts. In a high fall, a performer will either fall into an air-bag, hidden from view of the audience, or wear a harness attached to a decelerator.

Vehicular stunts
Performers of vehicular stunts require extensive training and may employ specially adapted vehicles. Stunts can be as simple as a handbrake turn, or as advanced as car chases, jumps and crashes involving dozens of vehicles. Remy Julienne is a well known pioneering automotive stunt performer and coordinator, particularly for his work on The Italian Job.

Computer generated effects
In the late 20th century stunt men were placed in dangerous situations less and less as filmmakers turned to relatively inexpensive (and much safer) computer graphics effects using harnesses, fans, blue- or green screens, and a huge array of other devices and digital effects. The Matrix (1999) is a hit action movie that used CGI stunts extensively.

Stars that do stunts
In the early days of cinema, some actors such as Buster Keaton and Charles Chaplin did most of their own physical stunts. However, as these performances were usually very dangerous and many movie stars were not so athletic, filmmakers and insurance companies turned to hiring stunt doubles to do the stunts.

Most action movie actors today use stunt doubles, though some of them do a few of their own stunts to please movie fans. One famous exception to this norm has been Jackie Chan from Hong Kong, although he has recently admitted to using digitized effects in his movies. Phanom Yeerum, an actor who is highly skilled in Muay Thai, also does all his stunts without assistance.

Popular Indian actor Jayan used to do physical stunts without stunt doubles. He was killed in a helicopter crash while doing a stunt for Malayalam movie in 1980. Notable among the professional Hollywood stuntmen are Yakima Canutt and Dar Robinson. In all of his movies, Tom Cruise has always performed his own stunts without doubles, including the Mission: Impossible Trilogy and Minority Report.

Recognition of stunt performers
Movies such as Hooper and The Stunt Man and the 80s television show The Fall Guy sought to raise the profile of the stunt performer and debunk the myth that movie stars perform all their own stunts. Noted stunt coordinators Hal Needham, Craig R. Baxley and Vic Armstrong went on to direct the action films The Cannonball Run, Action Jackson, The Joshua Tree. Vic Armstrong became the first stuntman to win both an Academy Award (for developing a descending rig as a safe alternative to airbags) and a Bafta award (for lifetime achievement in film). But the status of stuntmen in Hollywood is still low; despite the fact that few films of any genre or type could be made without them, stunt performers are still seen as working mainly in action movies. Repeated campaigns for a "Best Stunts" Academy Award have been rejected.

In 2001, the first "World Stunt Awards" was held in Los Angeles. Presented by actor Alec Baldwin, the event had a A-list stars presenting the statues to Hollywood's unsung heroes. Arnold Schwarzenegger was presented with the first "Lifetime Achievement" award. He presented the awards in 2001. The awards show hands out eight awards: Best Fight, Best Fire Stunt, Best High Work, Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Man, Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Woman, Best Specialty Stunt, Best Work with a Vehicle and Best Stunt Coordinator and/or 2nd Unit Director.

Riky Ash is featured in the 2000 addition of the Guinness book of records. He currently holds the world record for the greatest height range doubled by one individual. Riky, who stands at 5'3", has doubled every height from 3'6" to 6'4"! Riky is an amazingly versatile stuntman who is highly skilled and has amazed an impressive credit list of film, T.V. and commercials.

Equality in stunts
In past Hollywood movies it was common for men to double for women and White American stunt performers to double for African-American performers. It is now against union rules for stunt performers to double an actor of a different gender or race unless the stunt is so dangerous that there are no other volunteers, for example when B.J. Worth doubled for African-American Grace Jones parachuting off the Eiffel Tower in A View to a Kill. The rise of action heroines like Angelina Jolie and African-American stars like Will Smith has offered wider opportunities for stunt performers from diverse backgrounds.

The future of stunt work 

A backlash against dangerous stunts following the death of Sonya Jones, coinciding with developments in Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) that make such stunts unnecessary threatens to reduce stunt performers to the status of body doubles. And yet a backlash against movies that resemble video games could lead to a resurrection in pure stunt work. Movies such as The Matrix and Mission: Impossible II have shown how CGI and stunts can be integrated for maximum effect. But - if for no other reason than safety - it is doubtful that the records established by Hooper and Sharky's Machine will be broken anytime soon.

 

Search Screenwriters
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Hollywood screenwriter to give your story life? Start here by
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Magazines


FILMMAKER: The Magazine of Independent Film

Provides an insider's look at the business and creative aspects of independent film production, including: interviews, case studies, financing and distribution information, festival reports, technical and production updates, legal pointers, and filmmakers on filmmaking in their own words.

MovieMaker Magazine
MovieMaker is the bestselling independent movie magazine in the world for a reason--it's not just educational, it's a great read. The lively, full-color quarterly magazine dedicated to the art and business of making movies is now in its 12th year of publication. Editorial typically features reviews of the latest technology, how-to strategies for getting one's movie made and seen, coverage of the best festivals on the circuit, critical analysis of movies past and present, and candid interviews with legendary talents. You don't have to make movies to love MovieMaker--you just have to love movies.

Film Comment
Film Comment is published bimonthly by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. It features articles and commentary on films old and new, foreign and domestic, narrative and documentary, independent and mainstream. Issues include reviews of a wide range of films from all genres, interviews, insights into all aspects of the film industry around the world, book reviews, and information on film festivals and showings.

Cinefex
This magazine is an illustrated journal on motion picture special effects, including optical, physical, and computer-generated and makeup.

Animation Magazine
Animation Magazine is an industry and trade magazine for the animation industry. This magazine covers all areas of animation.

American Cinematographer
Covers film and video production techniques.

Fade In
"Best Movie Magazine of the Year" says the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. Fade In covers the inner workings of the film industry - attracting a readership that not only includes the movers and shakers it covers, but also those film enthusiasts who hunger for a more intelligent read.

Film Quarterly
Since 1958, Film Quarterly has earned a reputation as the most authoritative academic film magazine in the United States. If you love all types of movies, from a box-office hit to a short-run documentary, then Film Quarterly is the magazine for you!

Total Film
Total Film is a UK film magazine. It covers new feature films, videos to rent and buy, DVDs, books, multimedia and soundtracks currently on release. It also includes features on the stars, directors and behind-the-scenes talent from the hottest movies.

Fangoria
Fangoria is a journal about horror movies featuring the bloodiest makeup secrets and the most chilling interviews with all-time greats of horror. It previews and gives first looks at the latest horror films.

Cinescape
"Cinescape covers new and upcoming movies, television production and interactive entertainment. It takes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of new films and hit television programs. Extensive features including interviews with the directors, stars and special effects wizards fill each issue."

Film & Video
This covers the production of television, commercials, music videos and motion pictures behind the scenes.

Premiere
A U.S. magazine that goes behind movies scenes with answers questions about strategy, development, financing and distribution. It focuses on the producers, directors and stars with interviews, profiles, film commentary and analysis, film and video releases and reviews, soundtrack scoring and book information.

Screen
Film and video production magazine with feature stories and close-up profiles.

Millimeter
Millimeter is edited for television and motion picture production professionals. Feature articles cover: technologies, techniques, talent, economics and commerce. This magazine covers all aspects of production and post production technology.

Film Journal International
FJI offers the latest on concessions, sound systems, new products and movie reviews. Exclusive interviews and profiles provide the inside story on stars, directors & screenwriters; and about film making worldwide. Box office tallies, what film companies are planning and entertainment investment performances.

Script
Published since 1989, scr(i)pt magazine is a bimonthly publication that examines the film industry through the eyes of the screenwriter. The magazine serves as both a resource for the craft of screenwriting and a source of inspiration from professionals in the field such as Ron Bass, Frank Darabont, Robert Duvall, Randall Wallace, Les and Glen Charles, and Richard LaGravenese. Each issue of scr(i)pt offers writers information about writing, marketing, and selling screenplays

Hollywood Reporter
If it's happening anywhere in show business, you'll find it in the pages of The Hollywood Reporter. For over 70 years, The Hollywood Reporter has been the trade publication of choice for industry professionals of all kinds. From movies to TV, home video to digital media, nobody takes you further inside Hollywood's back lots and board rooms. There's no business like show business, and The Hollywood Reporter shows you why!

Sell Your Screenplay 

Submit your screenplay to be reviewed by producers, directors, movie studios and other pros in the movie and film industry. If you are trying to sell your screenplay, get your screenplay read.
* Is a required field
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*Note - If your script is not copyrighted, please contact us.
If your screenplay is plagiarized, we will assume no responsibility.

           

 

            Screenwriters

Screenwriting Classes

Do you need to take screenwriting classes? If you're asking yourself that question, you probably do. And, if you're proudly telling yourself that you're too good for screenwriting classes, than you should probably take some classes too. The fact is that even the best writers don't always know how to put a script together. The format is different, you will need to write a treatment and synopsis. Classes will also teach you how to "pitch" your script to top Hollywood executives or the best ways to win film and screenwriting contests. There are few reasons why you should NOT take a screenwriting class, so check out some of the top screenwriting classes, workshops and schools available to those aspiring to become screenwriters.

1. John Truby's Writer's Studio ph: (800) 338-7829
Over the course of 3 decades, John Truby has taught his story classes to more than 20,000 students. Providing the knowledge and expertise he has applied as a consultant on over 1,000 movie scripts, Truby offers an approach to storytelling that has earned acclaim.
2. AFI - American Film Institute ph: (323) 856-7600
AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers at its world-renowned Conservatory, maintains America's film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and explores new digital technologies in entertainment and education through AFI's New Media Ventures.
3. Hollywood Film Institute ph: (310) 399-6699
What I am, is exactly what you want, "a great film instructor", who is pround to give you the most amount of filmmaking information, for the least amount of money, in the shortest period of time. If you don't want to spend thousands on years of theory, and just want the facts.
4. E-Script ph: n/a
Got a stage play or screenplay you want to get started on, or finish, with professional guidance? Want to write a TV spec script? Maybe you're just looking to learn the basics of screenwriting. Whatever your level of scriptwriting accomplishment, we'll provide an A-list working experience.
5. Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute ph: (800) 727-4787
Donna Lee, author of Magic Methods of Screenwriting and founder/ director of Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute since 1976, is "the worlds foremost authority on screenwriting," says Rudy DeLuca, writer, director and Emmy award Winner.
6. New York Film Academy ph: (800) 611-FILM
Screenwriting, first and foremost, is a craft. Talent alone is not enough. A writer must train by doing—by writing every day possible, which is exactly the requirement at the New York Film Academy, a film school devoted to writers, as well as directors, editors and cinematographers.
7. Screenwriters Online ph: n/a
Online Screenwriting classes or sessions on Screenwriting which consists of three nights, 2 hours per night. One with a top screenwriter, One with a top agent, producer or studio executive, and the third night is a Script Analysis night where a major screenplay is studied.
8. Gotham Writers Workshop ph: (877) WRITERS

Our screenwriting courses will help guide you in creating characters, building plots, shaping scenes, sharpening dialogue, and, of course, peddling your script. Whether you seek to write big Hollywood movies or indies, we’ll show you what it takes to get in the screenplay game.

9. Next Actor ph: (713) 532-2867
Screenwriting classes focus on writing a screenplay, both short and full length, character development, ambiance & premise, dialogue & action, acts, narration, beginning & ending of a scene and screenplay etc. Students will write a screenplay step-by-step and present it in the class.
10. The Art of Story ph: (808) 596-8300
Margaret South Co-Founder with Bette Midler and Bonnie Bruckheimer of All Girl Productions, is an experienced feature film producer who has developed scripts for Disney, Fox and Tri-Star Studios as well as numerous independent companies.













































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