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Scene in a spec script.

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Hair-dressing scene in a spec script...
A girl is taken to a hair salon and giving a full make-over but everything in a spec script has to be minimalist... Should I just say 'she looks different but similar'? That sounds pathetic... Fail. What am I allowed to say?
#1 - May 24, 2013, 04:26 PM

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When you say everything has to be minimalist, do you mean you can only use minimal stage directions?

I don't know that you need any explanation after a make-over scene, though. It's clear what the purpose of the makeover scene is and I imagine it will be apparent by what follows the make-over whether or not the make-over was a success.
#2 - May 24, 2013, 04:32 PM

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From my understanding of spec scripts, and I leave it to the experts on this board to correct me, the biggest difference as Christine mentioned, is the lack of technical additions such as camera directions i.e. ZOOM, PULL BACK, CLOSE ON, PAN, etc., or scene numbers. In other words, what would be added to a shooting script. Every scene should be fully fleshed out for the reader just as it would in a shooting script.

#3 - May 24, 2013, 04:42 PM

"different but similar" doesn't really say anything, though, does it?
I'm not a screenwriter, but if this were me, I'd read lots and lots of scripts to get an idea of how this sort of thing is handled. In the meantime, be clear for yourself, so that you can go back and format it correctly later.
If she's totally made over, say "she went from frumpy to vavavoom" so you know what happened.
If she's just more polished, say that. Then read, read read while you're working on this.
Then go back, and fix it...
#4 - May 24, 2013, 04:46 PM

Bookworm, you've simply got to start reading more scripts. Otherwise you're going to have a block for every scene.

Go to Imsbd scripts, download some scripts, and start reading. See how other writers have organized scenes. What you leave out is as important as what you put in.

There's truly no substitute for reading and seeing what other writers have done to give you a sense of your own style and what may work for any particular type of scene. That will help unlock you. Maybe even put off writing your script until you have a chance to read a bunch and absorb different styles. 

(cross posted with Robin   :yup)
#5 - May 24, 2013, 04:49 PM

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Robin makes an excellent point, bookworm. While a spec script or any other script lacks the prose of novel writing, the goal is the same. Your goal with your spec script is to keep the reader reading! You have to pull them in and keep them there and a shortcut through a scene will make stop. If you haven't taken the time with it why should the reader? Does that make sense?

I hope this helps!  :goodluck

Cross posted with CC...Yes! I second that. This post has a great link,
#6 - May 24, 2013, 04:53 PM

Cross posted with CC...Yes! I second that. This post has a great link,

Not sure if you are writing TV or film -- but this is another film script site to download scripts:

And if you go on the Done Deal Boards and post 3-5 pages of your work they will critique it for you. It's not for the faint at heart, they are brutally honest. And not always right. But you may get more info there than on this board which is mostly for kidlit writers.

I urge you to read, SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder. It helps you think about film in terms of Acts and structure and what goes in each act -- how scripts are organized.
#7 - May 24, 2013, 05:09 PM

Chiming in -- agree with CC, big time. You learn to write by reading and writing, and scripts are no different than books in this regard. Read. Read every script you can get your hands on -- movies, television, maybe even plays -- and study how others work.
#8 - May 28, 2013, 06:49 AM
SHUFFLE, REPEAT (2016, Random House)


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