Treating a Script

     For this post I’m going to touch on how I came up with the idea for For an Eye, and the process of writing the script.

     When I started thinking of what I wanted to do for my short film I had a million different ideas and idea fragments floating around in my head and I was completely at a loss for any inspiration. I tried to think of stories and short stories that I could adapt but none of them seemed plausible given my time and resources. But one that I stuck with for a while was Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart. And at the same time that I was thinking about how I could adapt that, I also had this idea of a story that takes place in the near future when our technology is slightly advanced, but still not Star Trek advanced. So once I realized that I had a story and a setting I decided to marry the two and was left with Edgar Allen Poe in the future. Interesting concept, right?

     My mentor, Nate Low of Studios 121, liked the idea of what I was getting at so he told me to write up an outline. So I wrote a very detailed outline because I wanted to be able to easily transfer it to script form. But my mentor read it and told me that I was basically writing a treatment. I had no idea what a film treatment was so he sent me some links to help me fix mine up:

And he also sent me a link with example film treatments which include George Lucas’s Star Wars, James Cameron’s Terminator, and many others:

     So I adjusted my pseudo-outline and after a couple of drafts arrived at a decent treatment. After that I just had to write the script. This also underwent many changes and adjustments, which I won’t bore you with, before I arrived at a good 18 page final copy. To write the script I used a program called Celtx, which was extremely helpful especially as far as being able to write on the fly with the iPhone and iPad apps. As this was my first actual script it was very helpful in terms of quickly formatting and organizing my script.

     Unfortunately due to the nature of my project I was not able to include everything that I had in my mind into the script. Some things that I was thinking elaborated on the state of the future and some story lines that could have lengthened the film, but were not reasonable for the project I was undertaking. And not all of the script made it into the short film either. But all in all I was pleased with the script and the way it transferred into the final product.

     The next post will cover storyboarding, stay tuned!

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