Frenzied Direction

Status: I’m so so tired. Exhaustion is like a drug right now, and all I want to do is die in my seat.

Hello ladies and gents and persons of dubious quality. For me, the first day of Screnzy is just about to end in about one hour, and I’ve gotten myself no work done whatsoever. But I’m here to tell you all about my Screnzy experiences last year, and what I learnt from them.

Screnzy, as the name implies, is all about the script. Scriptwriting is something that is very different in terms of style from poetry and prose. It is about direction – it is about what we can see and what we can hear. In fact, if we were to look at Scriptwriting, the biggest adjustment one has to make in transition from prose to script is the fact that you are not in your character’s head anymore.

Nope, na-uh. Not a single bit. All your emotions, all your plans, they must now center around the actions and words of your characters. Rather than allowing us to sink directly into the character’s mind, one must give us a glimpse (but a worthy glimpse I must add) of the character’s mind. Of the character’s motivation, their tics and body behaviours, of their carriage.

But is that to say that script writing is harder? I don’t necessarily think so.

When it comes to script-writing, I find it intensely refreshing that I don’t have to worry about my writing style. To me, script is a directive play, one where I direct the story in my head in the form of a motion picture. I can see what my characters do, and I speculate on their actions about their motivations. Scenery is no problem either now – I love to write about scenery and how it interacts with the character. In script writing, I can do that. Stripped down to it’s barest bones, you are allowed to think visually rather than in word form, and this is a major plus if you are a visual thinker like me in many senses of the word.

I am a great lover of broadway. I love to watch plays which are focused on the nuances of the physical realm. Of the little shifts and movements, of the minute expressions of the face (brought to exaggeration, or minimised for effect). Were I rich, I’d probably watch plays all the time. Musicals are a particular soft spot of mine – I have always found broadway musicals to have some of the most lovely arrangements there are. And I bring this abiding love of the screen down to my writing when I attempt Screnzy, and I must add – it is far easier for me to complete a 100 page script than to complete a 50000 word novel!

As Raven said, if you want to consider script-writing a venture that you want to take seriously, please do your homework and find out terms that you must use in your script. Terms like cold open and mise en scene are going to be your bread and butter now. But if you’re like me, and you want to just dilly-dally around with a story, a game, or a movie – then just jump headfirst in. Enjoy the ride, have fun with your work. I know some of my favourite writers participate in Screnzy too (a casual shoutout to Diane Duane won’t hurt), and just imagining that I’m working with them to the same goal is reward enough for me.

Enjoy your Screnzy guys. Have fun, and don’t forget to be awesome.



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