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Create Complex Characters that are not Black and White in Nature

Filed under: Dan Bronzite's Script Tips by Dan @ 1:40 pm on July 29, 2011

How often in life do you meet someone that is flawless?  Conversely, how often do you meet someone that does not have a single good bone in their body?  Never.  It’s impossible.  We human beings are very complex creatures and that’s what makes us so fascinating.  And that’s also what makes good movie characters so interesting.

We, as an audience, or as a reader, are usually not drawn to flat, two-dimensional characters that do what they say they’ll do and practice what they preach.  Most of us try to be good people and do good things but we all have flaws – it’s human nature.  Sometimes our own selfishness, jealousy, preconceptions and prejudice creep into our words and actions and it doesn’t make us bad people.. just human.

The same should be applied to the characters we create in our screenplays and novels. These people may inhabit an imaginary world but that world usually reflects our own, even if it is set on another planet, often there is a common thread of humanity that runs through the narrative.  If there wasn’t then we would find it extremely hard to identify with anyone or anything and the movie wouldn’t engage us on any level.

So the next time you sit down in front of your computer and fire up your screenwriting software, think about your central characters and their psychological make-up.  What makes them tick?  What are their hang-ups?  Are they coffee addicts?  Are they gym freaks?  Do any of their hobbies take over their lives to such a degree that they alienate friends and family?  Do they have bad habits?  Do they lie or cheat?  Do they drink or smoke?  Do they gamble or steal?  It doesn’t have to be a big flaw, even a small flaw can make a character appear more three-dimensional.

The other great thing about introducing flaws, even if they are just for you to know as the writer, is that they give you the opportunity to create comedy and conflict.  And if you use these flaws when developing your character arcs they will subtly influence character actions and their dialogue.  Sometimes creating a backstory for your character can help when deciding on a flaw because it gives you a sound logical reason for their behaviour and choices.

For instance, say your hero was bullied as a kid.  Maybe he was always picked on at the same place, and thus the image of this place was then burned into his/her memory and associated with bad things.  The place could be anywhere.. a hot dog stand, a library, a swimming pool.  The point is, as an adult (in your movie), this character can then have a hang up about eating fast food, reading books, or going swimming.  The hang up could be that he/she comfort eats hot dogs when he/she gets depressed, or throws up if he/she smells fast food.  He/she may have a bizarre hatred for book readers and book clubs, or read so much that he/she doesn’t have a social life.

And remember, the same principle can be used in reverse when writing your antagonist or one of his/her henchman.  Maybe your baddie kills people without a thought but has a love for flowers or pets.  Maybe he/she has a penchant for blades and making people bleed but when he accidentally knocks over a young school girl in his car, he feels bad and takes her to the hosipital and waits by her bedside.  It’s all about layers. Obviously, certain genres require an absolute “baddie” but even then it’s far more interesting to shape your characters using many contradictory layers.  Make them ambiguous in intent so the audience are constantly reassessing their motives and objectives.

Getting a Movie Script Noticed isn’t Impossible

Filed under: How to Write a Script by admin @ 3:38 pm on March 17, 2011

So many people find themselves stuck in unsuitable jobs. They sit behind desks in grey, soulless office blocks, churning out countless dull reports, when what they’d really like to be doing is writing their own material. They may have dreams of one day hitting the big time, scripting major movies in Hollywood, but rather than developing their ideas through screenwriting, they’re stuck in the accounts department of some small time firm.

Making it big in screenwriting takes real talent and a lot of hard work, not to mention a little slice of luck, but if you never try, you’ll never know what might have been.

Drafting something as ambitious and complex as a movie script is daunting; even more so without the necessary tools at your disposal. It’s different kind of challenge to writing a novel or short story, for example. A script requires imagination and visualization of scenes and scenarios, as well as extensive dialogue, and it takes a great deal of discipline and organization to get all of this down on paper.

Anyone serious about getting noticed by agents needs to present their work in a professional fashion. Agents receive thousands of scripts day after day, so it’s wise to make life easier for them and get noticed with a professional, organized document.

Screenwriting software helps the budding writer to achieve this. A good screenwriting software package not only helps the writer organize and present their work effectively, but also assists the creative process by providing function and facility to structure ideas throughout the creative process.

The Right Tools are Needed to Draft a Screenplay

Filed under: Screenplay Writing Software by admin @ 11:30 am on March 7, 2011

Many people will tell you they have a book or a movie script in them somewhere, but that they just never get around to putting it down on paper. Writing a screenplay takes real determination, not to mention a story telling verve and imagination. The reality is that it can be a long and difficult process, especially if you attempt to simply write everything down in a word processing document.

No agent or production company is going to accept anything that isn’t well constructed and presented in the correct format which visualizes each idea and setting. Therefore, any aspiring script writers should consider using screenwriting software.

Here at Movie Outline we understand the importance of a professionally formatted script, which is why we’ve created the ultimate script writing software to give any new writers a head start when it comes to drafting their screenplays. This software was created by the successful script writer Dan Bronzite, and can be installed on either PC or Mac computer.

Not only does this scriptwriting software allow aspiring writers to present their final script professionally, but it also provides plenty of functionality to develop themes and ideas along the way. After all, developing a movie script isn’t a straightforward linear process, moving from point A to point B. It takes craft, vision and invention, and needs the right tools to help give structure to a writer’s scattergun creativity.

Movie Outline’s script writing software has helped thousands of would-be writers by giving them the confidence and the platform to draft and manage their ideas. Anyone who wants to break into screenwriting and realize their life’s ambition would do well to invest in this program.

Screenwriting Myths Debunked

Filed under: Screenplay Writing Software by admin @ 3:15 pm on February 28, 2011

A lot of talented writers make the mistake of giving up on a career in screenwriting before they even get started. Much of this lack of belief stems from the numerous myths surrounding the world of screenwriting, which discourage people from chasing their dreams.

The majority of these myths are completely baseless or outdated, as the world of screenplay writing could well be more open than you think:

-    You don’t have to be famous or already working in the movie industry to get a screenplay noticed. Production companies and television networks are constantly on the lookout for new talent with fresh ideas and perspectives. Plenty of successful movies were conceived and developed by new writers without any prior industry affiliation.

-    It doesn’t matter if you struggle to come up with completely new and unique ideas. The truth is that a one of a kind concept is extremely rare and seldom necessary. Many exciting and successful screenplays have been based on works of literature, TV shows and even other movies. As long as your screenplay is well-written and has a coherent storyline it has every chance of getting industry recognition.

-    Don’t worry if you’ve never written a script before. Everyone has to start somewhere, and as with any new activity, the best way to improve your technique is through assisted practice. Even if you don’t know exactly how a screenplay should be set out, there are many useful tools that can help you. Screenwriting software can guide you on those first steps towards writing a structured story that meets industry requirements.

Script It! Hits the Mac App Store

Filed under: Press Releases by admin @ 4:41 pm on February 18, 2011

18 February, 2011 (London, UK) — UK technology company Nuvotech announced today that its new cross-platform creative writing package Script It! for Mac and PC is now available on the Mac App Store. This coincides with the full boxed retail release of the software, allowing customers to have flexible purchasing options via multiple channels.

“We are delighted to launch Script It! on the Mac App Store since this gives Mac OS X users instant access to the software and instils consumer confidence in our company and products by its association with the Apple brand”, commented Evelyne Kennedy, Product Manager for Nuvotech.

Key Features

  • Fully integrated step-outlining and scene organization
  • Industry standard script formatting with auto-pagination and auto-complete
  • Script writing glossary with over 250 filmmaking terms and definitions
  • Character name generator categorized by origin, gender and meaning
  • Includes scene by scene story and analysis of Ghost, Spider-Man and Scream
  • Scratch Pad to manage script snippets, research, character notes and plot ideas.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for quick editing and auto-convert/auto-capitalization as you type
  • Export outline, script and notes to plain text, rich text, html and PDF files
  • Auto-backup, auto-save and unlimited undo/redo
  • 100% cross-platform – easily exchange files between Mac and PC

“Script It! helps you organize your thoughts and build your story and screenplay beat by beat, making the process of writing a script less daunting and more intuitive, especially for first-timers learning the craft.”
– Professor Richard Walter
Chairman of the UCLA Screenwriting Program.

Pricing

Script It! will initially be available on the Mac App Store at a discounted price of $49.99 for a limited time before it returns to its full MSRP of $79.95.

About Nuvotech

Nuvotech Limited is a software and Web 2.0 services company based in London, England. It was founded in 1999 by produced screenwriter and director Dan Bronzite to publish innovative software and services for the creative industry. Its most recognized brands are Movie Outline a cross-platform screenplay development application and Hollywood Script Express a script copying, copyright and delivery service in Los Angeles.

Nuvotech Invites People to Unlock Their Imaginations with Script It! Creative Writing Software

Filed under: Press Releases by admin @ 7:14 pm on February 11, 2011

February 11, 2011  (London, UK) — UK technology company Nuvotech, known for its professional screenwriting software Movie Outline® and innovative cloud service for script copying and shipping Hollywood Script Express, today announced the availability of the much anticipated boxed version of its popular cross-platform creative writing package Script It! for Mac and PC.

This retail ready update also includes three scene by scene story breakdowns and analyses of Hollywood blockbusters Ghost, Spider-Man and Scream, and will be available both as a download and through retail stores and dot coms across North America, and – as a result of a new distribution deal – now also in the UK.

“Script It! was developed to help writers of any discipline organize their ideas and plan their story with ease, whether it be a novel, screenplay, stage play, pitch or presentation ”, commented Dan Bronzite, CEO of Nuvotech. “While designed for the formats of stage and screen, the software is extremely versatile and the tools included will aid any kind of creative writing.”

Key Features

  • Fully integrated step-outlining and scene organization
  • Industry standard script formatting with auto-pagination and auto-complete
  • Script writing glossary with over 250 filmmaking terms and definitions
  • Character name generator categorized by origin, gender and meaning
  • Includes scene by scene story and analysis of Ghost, Spider-Man and Scream
  • Scratch Pad to manage script snippets, research, character notes and plot ideas.

View features comparison between Script It! and Movie Outline 3 and download a free trial.

Educational Solutions

Script It! is ideal for students learning screenwriting because of its intuitive and structured approach to story development, which can easily be tailored into modules for teaching. The software is already being adopted by schools and universities, and Nuvotech strongly support this through affordable academic pricing for individual licenses and multiple seats for writing labs.

“Script It! helps you organize your thoughts and build your story and screenplay beat by beat, making the process of writing a script less daunting and more intuitive, especially for first-timers learning the craft.”

–- Professor Richard Walter, Chairman of the UCLA Screenwriting Program.

Pricing & Availability

Script It! is currently available from Nuvotech’s online software store, and will roll out across major retail and independent resellers over the coming months. The suggested retail price is $79.95.

About Nuvotech

Nuvotech Limited is a software and Web 2.0 services company based in London, England. It was founded in 1999 by produced screenwriter and director Dan Bronzite to publish innovative software and services for the creative industry. Its most recognized brands are Movie Outline a cross-platform screenplay development application and Hollywood Script Express a script copying, copyright and delivery service in Los Angeles.

Getting Started on a Screenplay

Filed under: Screenwriting by admin @ 3:03 pm on February 7, 2011

Writing a script is a dream for many people. You might be an excellent writer who has come up with an innovative concept, but have no idea where to start. With research and practice it’s possible to learn how to write a professional-quality script. Here are some tips to get you started:

- Before putting pen to paper, you should read as many screenplays as you possibly can. This will help you to pick up basic screenwriting skills, such as how scripts are constructed, the kind of language that is used and how directions are written. As a general rule, you should only include as much detail as is absolutely necessary.

- Read every book and reliable online resource on screenwriting techniques you can find. Books are particularly useful for learning how other screenwriters work and what the nuances of a successful screenplay are. Make sure that when looking online for information, you opt for advice from reputable sources as otherwise you may find bad advice which can hinder your progress. We have a great resource section packed with useful articles to help you along your screenwriting journey. These articles and other advice could also give you the inspiration and belief needed to take the first steps on your screenwriting journey.

- Before beginning work on your final script, you should learn how to write an outline of your story, as this will make it easier to keep the dialogue flowing naturally throughout. By taking time to map out the direction of your plot, you’ll find it easier to write a script that is exciting, fast paced and interesting.

- Invest in some screenwriting software. Producers and agents are unlikely to even look at a screenplay that isn’t correctly formatted, and screenplay writing software will help you get it right. Screenwriting software will also aid your attempts at producing original dialogue and developing three-dimensional characters.

How to Write a Script

Filed under: How to Write a Script by admin @ 11:31 am on December 26, 2010

Instruction Manual

Every movie needs a script. A script is the instruction manual for any movie, as it details every visual and aural aspect of a story. Because so many people are involved in the production of a movie, a script must be presented in a certain format so that everyone will understand it. A correctly formatted script allows the director, cast and crew to all be on the same page when they interpret (and later re-interpret) the initial premise of a story.

Looking Professional

It is quite possible for any aspiring writer with a half decent story to learn how to write a script. Commercial screenwriting software makes it possible for a screenplay to be converted into the all-important format which the studios demand. This is of particular benefit to up and coming screenwriters as any screenplay they submit will immediately look professional. Also, the time saved can be put to good use by learning more about the craft of screenwriting.

Learning the Craft

Successful screenwriters do not tell the audience a story; they show them. What is written is not what the audience will read, but what they will see and hear. A writer may know exactly what their characters are thinking and feeling, but the essence of good screenwriting is in having the ability to convey it on the big screen. As long as a script includes all the pictures, sounds, and dialogue needed to show a story, then it will be on the right road.

Writing Scripts & Getting Ahead

Filed under: Screenplay Writing Software by admin @ 12:23 pm on December 14, 2010

Writing screenplays for major Hollywood studios is the ultimate ambition for many frustrated script writers. But where do you start?

Screenwriting can be a complicated business but thankfully there are products available on the market which can prove invaluable. One of the most effective and widely accepted tools for aspiring screenwriters is script writing software.

Script writing software allows writers to cut and move scenes within a user-friendly interface to help determine the ideal flow of their story. Organizing a screenplay in this way can be very beneficial to writers, as it can help them discover that extra magic needed to take their story to a higher level. Similarly, it can help a writer see that a scene they thought was indispensible is in fact not needed.

Screen writing software also formats screenplays to comply with the accepted industry standards which the readers in Hollywood insist upon. This is very important as the decision makers in the industry will only read screenplays which are in this authorized format and layout. Should a script not even meet this most basic requirement then it will not be considered, no matter how good it might be.

Screenwriting is a competitive business, and becoming an established script writer is no easy task. However, once a writer has the basics down and can correctly structure and format scripts, they will be that much closer to Hollywood success.

Can Software Guarantee Script Writing Success?

Filed under: Screenplay Writing Software by admin @ 9:17 am on December 5, 2010

Many aspiring script writers and established screenwriters within the movie industry now use screenwriting software to help them write great scripts. Although screenwriting software can be an enormously valuable tool to help finalize a script, it cannot generate a story from nothing or guarantee that a script will be good enough to be fast-tracked for production.

Sadly, there are some screenwriters who believe that using specialized software will guarantee them Hollywood success. Some writers expect screenwriting software to create a story for them. It cannot do this, but it can provide you with the perfect formatting tools to make the best of a great script. You will need to supply your own believable characters, engaging dialogue, and a well-written plot.

Script writing software is designed to help writers flesh out good ideas and construct them into a professional piece of work. Although this alone is not guaranteed to turn a script into a blockbuster movie, it will certainly ensure that those receive your script will see that you are serious about the work.

One of the most affordable and effective screenwriting software options now available on the market is Movie Outline. Movie Outline is a well-developed software package which has many features, designed to make screenplay writing much more satisfying.

It has many different templates which enable writers to include notes and track changes between drafts, and also allows scripts to be formatted in the approved layout and correct font for final submission. Movie Outline can provide the means for success, but it is up to you to provide the magic.

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