Monday, February 14, 2011

If you plan to turn a book into a screenplay, here are some terms you need to know:

Biopic -- a biographical movie.

Target -- audience who the producers think will pay money to watch the movie.

Pitch or pitching – a pitch is an attempt to sell the story idea to the decision maker or investor. It can be lot like a sales pitch.

Green light – means someone with the power to say "Yes" his given the OK to make the movie.

Raising the stakes – in a screenplay, somebody must want something and take action to get it. To raise the stakes means to put even greater pressure on the protagonist , which makes achieving the objective that much more critical.

Backstory – everything that happened before the story begins. Can include the characters' education, job history, relationships, health, major events, both happy and traumatic, that shaped your character and set up the situation.

Pace – how fast the screenplay moves. Some have leisurely pace with long scenes, other have shorter scenes, which conflict rises quickly and increases in speed.

Synopsis – a short overview of the story, hitting all the major plot points. Does not contain dialogue. Like the screenplay, it is written in the present tense. Usually just a few hundred words.

Treatment – is a longer version of the synopsis. It can be short or long, four or five pages up to about 20 pages.

Logline -- a one or two sentence description used to sell a movie idea. It contains the main selling point of the story.

Inciting incident – gets the story moving. In the beginning of the movie, we are first introduced to the protagonist and their life. The inciting incident thrusts a change upon them, forcing them to move their life into a different direction. It must occur within the first 20 pages, though many happen much sooner.

Dramatic Irony – happens when the audience knows something that the character or characters do not.

Beat – a short pause, either in dialogue or before someone commits an action or reacts to an event or statement.

INT. – stands for interior, meaning inside.

EXT. – Exterior, meaning outside.

Slugline – begins each scene. The slugline indicates whether the scene is inside or outside, where the scene takes place and the time of day.

Montage – a series of scenes used to denote the passage of time or a theme.


Tags: screenwriting,screen writing, book into a movie, turn a book into a movie, movie script