Forums The Writers’ Block

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    • #2281
      Matthew Boudreau
      Keymaster
    • #4923
      Monique Boudreau
      Keymaster

      I finally did it!!
      After years of working on the 11th Hour Audio Challenge event, I/we actually have a script this year.
      It’s absurd how hard it is to get around to the thing you love sometimes.

    • #4944
      Matthew Boudreau
      Keymaster

      How to Audio Drama: Script Formatting

      Wil Williams shares her process on writing for audio drama.

    • #5070
      Glenn Mercer
      Participant

      Since screenwriting has been my primary focus for a long time, I found it very difficult to write for audio only. I attempted to use a few templates for radio plays, but they just looked weird to me. Since there isn’t an industry standard for audio dramas, I’ve decided to write them as if they were screenplays, with just a bigger emphasis on the audio aspect as opposed to the visual. It’s still a bit different, but it works.

      Anyone else have opinions on AD script formatting?

      • #5071
        Matthew Boudreau
        Keymaster

        I came to AD from stage and film, so I use screenplay format. I like the readability and spacing, and actors are already familiar with the format. BBC had a radio play format that is pretty nice, too. But I’m stuck on screenplay.

        One thing I find helpful is to keep everything electronic. THat way if I work with someone who likes a different format, it can be easily converted in most writing software, like WriterDuet/WriterSolo. Celtx, and Final Draft

      • #5072
        Glenn Mercer
        Participant

        I agree. I just couldn’t get the hang of the margins. It looked too alien to me. And the SFX breakdowns seem too stringent and unnatural to read/write a story. At the end of the day, no matter the medium, we are storytellers and I believe the world needs to be as easily presented as possible.

        I have nearly every screenwriting program in existence… I have a thing for tools… so any format is available. You never know who might want something in .fdx or even .mmsw.

        As I briefly stated before, I was introduced to filmmaking from my friend Brian back in high school. He was this weird guy making movies in our small Pine Barrens town. He needed someone to read a line in his production of Hounds of the Baskervilles for his English class… the next thing I know I’m prancing around a field with a butterfly net and a hackneyed English accent… needless to say… I was hooked. I quickly became enamored with the process of filmmaking but didn’t have any money for a camera, so I took up screenwriting.

        I still have some filmmaking dreams, but screenwriting is my main pursuit. The problem with screenwriting is that it’s a lonely endeavor. They’re not necessarily the easiest of reads and unless you make a sale, or enter a contest, it’s pretty difficult to get much feedback. I have a pretty good support group that have offered their time to read my paltry stories, but I would like to hear/see my words come to life. As I said, film is my first love, but I can definitely see/hear the appeal of the audio drama. And to be honest, I am consistently blown away at the level of professionalism in the indie audio drama world.

      • #5078
        Matthew Boudreau
        Keymaster

        The cost of film is why a lot of us moved over. Kc came out of film. Faith McQuinn as well. For me, I’m a writer and sound designer, so I was looking for a way to create a portfolio to get audio work, and ended up doing podcasting and writing as a career. Little right turns, y’know. Suddenly you’re on a completely different road.

        The AD community has put me in contact with some stunning talents. I’m really jazzed that 11th Hour has managed to pull in some really excellent creators over the years, and that many of them are still creating with us.

      • #5192
        Glenn Mercer
        Participant

        Filmmaking is expensive. Even on the DIY/Zero Budget projects I work on, the costs add up quick. I didn’t know KC and Faith came from film as well. I guess that makes sense, though.

        I really like the punk rock aspect of AD. I was talking to Owen about that recently… I find it so cool that a piece can be recorded on the other side of the world and emailed to the producer and strung together to create such immersive worlds.

        If you don’t mind me asking… what type of writing do you do for a living? I’ve always been laser focused with screenplays but as I get older, I realize how unlikely that spec sale is. And after 25 years working a job that I hate, I’m looking for a change

        Anyway, I’m looking forward to working on your production. I have a few ideas for a small piece that I hope to put together in October. My GF is an actress, but she’s also disabled so she can’t do theatre or film anymore. When Owen introduced me to audio dramas, I was instantly interested due to the simplicity of putting together short pieces with me and her.

        Btw, how stringent are the rules regarding teams? I know part of the point of 11th Hour is introducing new people to audio dramas and getting different people to work together on productions… but would a small drama with only a couple characters be allowed if the teams have worked together before? Since I am a complete production newbie, I’d prefer to keep it small and work with a few people I already know so I don’t overwhelm myself.

        Glenn

    • #5194
      Andrew Wardlaw
      Participant

      Fade In is also a good screenwriting option. Reasonable price, good features, enough working pro’s use it that if you’re ever talking to a film/tv producer, there’s no baggage. And it’s common enough that on my last writing collaboration, everyone just happened to be using it.

      (I also come from film/tv.)

      • #5197
        Glenn Mercer
        Participant

        I have Fade In as well. It’s the program I use most right now. As you know, it’s very similar to Final Draft, but cheaper. There are also a few features that seem a bit more intuitive with Fade In. The best program I’ve ever used is Movie Magic Screenwriter. Without a doubt it is the most intuitive program that gets out of your and just lets you write. Unfortunately, it wasn’t updated for years and now it’s unusable on modern Macs. I’ve read they’re Beta testing a new version, but it’s been a slow process. When/if they get it working, I’ll definitely go back to it.

      • #5198
        Andrew Wardlaw
        Participant

        Woah, sending me back with Movie Magic. I used to have a (stolen) copy of both Final Draft and Movie Magic, back when you’d “confirm” it was real by putting the CD in the computer. I’d bounce between the two, usually based on whichever one gave me the page count I preferred, lol.

      • #5199
        Glenn Mercer
        Participant

        Haha, nice. I can go back even further… Hollywood Screenwriter… it was basically a no frills, Windows only, Movie Magic Screenwriter. I think they made it before software companies started giving out free trials. I think I had to load the disk every time I opened the program.

        Speaking of Movie Magic, though. It had two features built into its default template that I miss every time I use Final Draft, or Fade In. With MM, if you want to split a dialogue passage and add a line of action, in between, you’d just hit enter where you want it split and the the character name would automatically go into place for both lines of dialogue. With FD and FI, you have to hit enter a couple times and then go to the line above the second dialogue and tab over to add the character name, and then when you hit enter you have to go down and delete the line that was created by entering the character. It is so infuriating. Also, in MM you have the option of centering your title on the top of your first page as an element in the default template. With FD and FI, you have to create a new element for that and then save it as a new template if you want to use it on another script. MMSW had a few simple ways of doing things. Even their margin/page cheats seemed to work better.

    • #5203
      Matthew Boudreau
      Keymaster

      I’m thankful for any software that format’s the script for me. Back in college, I had to format everything myself, which was a pain in the ass that led to more formatting and less flow. I started out like Andy, with a grifted copy of MM. I tried Final Draft for a while, but like all industry standards, it was clunky, overblown and didn’t really play well with others. I’m using a pro version of WriterDuet. It lets me collaborate with other writers in realtime and has a huge chink of reports and tweaks for post-production.

      • #5209
        Glenn Mercer
        Participant

        I hear you Matt! Back in the day when I started writing, I bought a composition book and wrote the script by hand and then I attempted to use a word processor that had a ribbon sized screen. The good old days. Although I have thought about getting a composition book and writing a script by hand again. I have the Writer Duet app on my phone. It’s pretty good but I haven’t tried the desktop version.

    • #5210
      Glenn Mercer
      Participant

      So, I just finished a basic rewrite of one of my screenplays for a contest… entered. It needs some work but I needed to strip away some of the fat and get to the barebones of the story. The contest deadline forced me to do just that. I’m going to let it simmer for a few weeks while I start my next feature and audio script. I already have some ideas.

    • #5217
      Leslie M
      Participant

      I have a script. How do I gather a team? Where do I advertise? 😉

      • #5226
        Matthew Boudreau
        Keymaster

        Hi Leslie! Welcome aboard!
        Apologies for my delayed response. Monique and I have been in South Dakota picking up our son from fieldwork with Americorps and just got back.

        Pardon our dust. The site is new and we’re transitioning away from a Facebook-focused group so others can participate.

        Starting with the basics: Are you looking to direct the script yourself? Do you have any portion of a team that you are looking to work with or are you starting from scratch? If you’re just learning and want to do a lot of it yourself, I and others are available to guide you. All of our moderators have experience producing audio scripts, so definitely get their insights!

        Monique mentioned another post so I’ll catch up with you over there.

      • #5251
        Leslie M
        Participant

        Thanks, Matthew! As you will have seen in the other post, I have a script, an ally in Patricia, and not much else. Rod Henderson (not on this site but I’ll let him know to join) is interested in co-directing or co-producing. Looking forward to teaming up with some folks! Thank you.

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