HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT 4 – SCREENPLAY CLASS

Hi everyone,

Your assignment for this week has two parts:

1_Imagine a script for a full length movie and jot down a list of scenes from it. Make sure you know the beginning, middle and end of it.

For example, here’s a very rough summary of a script I made up

  1. A woman lives with her 16 year old daughter. She works for an ad agency. She hates her job and the junk she writes ad copy for but likes the money.
  2. She has an argument with her daughter. Then her disappears with a strange man.
  3. She finds out the man took her to another country. The police won’t help because there’s no extradition agreement.
  4. She realizes she will have to go there herself to save her daughter. But she’ll miss an opportunity to work with an important client, a major step in her career. She decides to try to do both.
  5. She flies to the country and finds that her daughter is one of a dozen teenaged girls being groomed to be used by wealthy clients. She can save her daughter and leave, but this evil will still be going on in the world.
  6. She makes a decision to get her daughter and all of the other girls home alive, knowing there will be a price to pay.
  7. She succeeds, but it’s at the loss of one of not only her promotion, but her job. But she’s proud of what she’s done. Her daughter’s life, and others’ lives, were  more important than her movement up the career ladder. She says “fuck it” (figuratively speaking) and sets up a new career raising money to help endangered young women.

My little treatment above isn’t complete, it just a rough outline.  Write a similar one for a movie of your own. Feel free to just make up a plot on the spot like I did. Then break down one of the steps into scenes (each step might have several scenes). Then write 2 or 3 of them. (Or just one scene if it’s a long scene.) Let’s say you can write up to 7 pages this time.

Remember that a scene should not answer every question it raises; it should leave some elements dangling to be resolved in future scenes.


SCENES WITHOUT DIALOGUE:

Your scene may or may not need dialogue. How I’d write “silent” scene from a movie in a screenplay – here’s a scene from “Maddie” and how I’d write a scene similar to it:

 

Here’s how I’d write a scene similar to the one in the video above:

INT. THEATER – NIGHT

Bright lights. A packed audience. High energy music plays. A young girl, Maddie, dances, sings,  twirls against a painted backdrop in perfect form. She spins, lands in a perfect pirouette.
The audience cheers, applauds. The girl is energized, happy, alive. She belongs here and knows it.
Her mother watches, enthralled. The judges smile, catching her energy. Her scores are high and she knows it. She revels in the attention, smiles for the audience – and is overjoyed as she wins the crown. Two other girls watch from the audience with a frown.

A filmed example of a scene

Here’s an example of a scene from my movie Demea (later formatted as a web series); you can view the episode made from this scene below.

The script for scene 1 (to compare with what was filmed): DEMEA (SCENE 1 ONLY)