Making a box office hit is a process that involves a lot of work and people. Film making is divided into three main stages, pre-production, production, and post-production. This article will focus on the pre-production stage, starting with writing a script and developing it until it is ready to be produced. Script writing is not just about coming up with a great story. There are some formatting guidelines and rules that one must follow to be taken seriously in the film industry. Luckily, there is a couple of screenwriting software to help both new and professional script writers write according to industry standards.
1. Script Formatting
A box office script has a specific arrangement. In the past and maybe even today, scriptwriters used words to type their stories. Using words is okay, but it can take you a long time to format your work as needed. Many scriptwriters today are using celtx to write their film scripts. Celtx has a variety of formats available such as film, stage plays, audiovisual, story boarding, and many others.
The software removes all the formatting stress from the writer. Your job is to write because the software will automatically arrange the text for you. You can also format manually by choosing from a drop down dialogue what you want to do next. For example, if you’re going to write dialogue, you can go to the dialogue box on your left side, click on the drop down arrow and choose the dialogue option. The keyboard cursor will automatically go where you need it to be.
2. Script Breakdown
Breaking down the script is an essential part of pre-production. The process involves dissecting the script to know the small details about characters, location, costume, makeup, among other things. The script breakdown is done scene by scene. The task can be very exhausting, especially if you are doing it all by yourself. Luckily, celtx has come to the rescue making the process much simpler.
First off, the software gives you the option to include the breakdown as you write the script. The breakdown window is usually on the left side once you enable it. Additionally, if you have completed the script, and you are ready to work on the breakdown, there is a button that looks like a notepad on your right side. Once you click on it, you will see several options like actors, hair, crew, lighting, and many others. The software will then go ahead and identify, let’s say, characters in your script automatically.
It is essential to double-check because you might have to tag some things manually, for example, characters in the story who do not have dialogue. You are the one who knows your script best the software is just there to assist.
3. Story Boarding and Shot-blocking
A storyboard is like a blueprint of your film. It’s the same way you need a plan to build your house. You have to know whether the idea works or it doesn’t. A storyboard will reveal most, if not all, technicalities of the film. A storyboard contains both images and notes describing the character or camera’s movement, which is known as blocking. After you complete making a storyboard, it should look like a comic book with images and words describing the action.
In the past, people used to sketch the storyboard either by themselves or hire a sketch artist to illustrate the significant shots. Imagine how much time it will take you to sketch a 60-page script. In the celtx software, you can choose the storyboard option in the new projects panel. A new window will open where you will upload images or add sketches to visualize your story’s significant shots. You also have the option of editing, adding, changing, duplicating, and removing a shot from the storyboard.
The shot blocker tool helps you to create a floor plan where you can block a specific shot in a scene. You can also make your sketches using the shot blocker canvas, which will be saved in the software and can be reused in later projects. Other additional features help you create and layer stand-ins or edit their placement in the shot. A stand-in is someone who assumes the characters position before filming for technical purposes such as scene set-up or lighting. If script writing is not your thing, you can always hire a professional freelance Celtx expert from Guru. All you have to do is have your story outline and choose the best freelancer to work on it for you. There are a variety of freelance writers online with specialized knowledge in different writing styles and formats. It is better to hire an expert than write a bad story for your film. If you have been in the industry for a long time, you must know that a great story makes a good movie and vice versa.