The Study of Writing scripts – A televisual experience

Script writing is often overlooked by people, thinking that it’s a waste of time, that it’s boring because it’s theoretical. I really enjoy the process though. It requires you to think of a story and how to re-create on paper so that other people understand your vision.I learned of the importance of having a script and storyboard during a shoot we did over a period of four weeks, before the script writing.

When you’re working with a group of students there passion is to get their hands on the camera, to film and to experiment, see what comes out. Without a script you need to be a very strong leader but this is not as interesting. I was caught between wanting to direct and wanting to let them find out for themselves, giving them the creative process.

I personally longed for a script, longed for a list of shots. With a list of shots you decide on what action is taking place, seeing which angles to cover it and how to make sure to have enough material.

We’ve been working on the conventions of script writing rather than script writing itself and it’s interesting because from how I understand the process the idea of the script is to provide an outline and a guide as to the story that is being told but without taking other people’s creative process. The way I understood the course is that as a script writer your job is to create a maquette from which the director of photography and the director can decide on how best to show the story. We were discouraged from writing camera angles, actors actions and such leaving this open for interpretation.

I appreciate this lesson because my understanding of script writing for fiction has changed from believing that we should create a shooting script to creating a mould and letting other people paint it and give it life. In other words the process is initiated by an idea which we have. Other people interpret our idea and so the film is born.

We’re a group of uni students learning the whole production process and this is one of the more interesting of the modules. Using cameras and editing are things we can learn when training to do our job whilst script writing is something often overlooked. I love the creative process of video and television production. I love thinking about the content, thinking of the possibilities and narrowing down to what we actually want to create. It’s probably for this reason that I enjoy editing so much, the fact that this is where the film comes to life. If you wrote a good script chances are that a person may have the same vision and what had been a few words on a page have now become a program.

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