Scripting

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Topic

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2

Scriptwriting
The Concept

L EARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1.

Define six out of eight basic scriptwriting concepts;

2.

Identify five different concepts of the use of audio in scriptwriting;

3.

Describe three stages in the development of scriptwriting.

X INTRODUCTION
From the beginning of this topic, you must have guessed that this course is not as easy as one would have have assumed! Scriptwriting is not only about writing, but it is also a process of thoughts on content and the environment that the script is to be used. It is a rather challenging process. Nevertheless, many famous scriptwriters have managed to overcome this successfully. There has to be something special about the scriptwriter do you have what it takes?

2.1

CONCEPTS OF SCRIPTS, WRITING AND
SCRIPTWRITING

After watching a movie or drama on television, you would usually hear comments such as „the script was so good!‰, „that was such a lame script‰, and even, „the script was weak, the acting was a nightmare!‰ This topic will provide guidance in understanding what scriptwriting is about, who a scriptwriter is and what people think of scriptwriting in general.

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2.1.1

TOPIC 2

SCRIPTWRITING – THE CONCEPT

Concept of Script
SELF-CHECK 2.1
Based on your experience, what have people said about scripts and what do you know about scripts?

A script, in this module, is defined as a written work containing ideas that are used to guide a communication process, when it is read or presented either through audio or visual stimulation (or even both) to someone or to an audience. This concept means that scripts are not merely writing on a piece of paper, but writing that brings meaning. „Meaning‰, in this context, is to be viewed in a wider perspective.

2.1.2

Writers, Scriptwriters and Screenwriters

Generally, a scriptwriterÊs concept means what is written by the screenwriter. Nevertheless, what is written can evolve into two different items. Figure 2.1 shows the two different types of scriptwriters.

Figure 2.1: Forms of writers

TOPIC 2

SCRIPTWRITING – THE CONCEPT

W

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Both scenarios exist in Malaysia. In fact, the first scenario is often the norm, in which a writer is asked to write a script based on someone elseÊs original idea. Sometimes, in the credit roll, the original writer is acknowledged as the scriptwriter.

In the second scenario, the writer goes through the entire process of scriptwriting, from the process of thought and research to writing a script, before he becomes a screenplay writer.
Straczynski (1996), who does not differentiate between the two, defines both as screenwriting. According to Stracyznski (1996), assessment to a scriptwriter is made based on whether or not the script produced is complete with audio and visual direction, movement direction, thoughts and dialogue. However, the generalised opinion of this is varied.

Table 2.1: The Difference between Scriptwriters and Screenplay Writers Category

Difference

Scriptwriter

A writer who structures the story and dialogue and provides a directional approach in a script without the complete technical direction.

Screenplay Writer

A writer who provides all directional arrangement, in terms of audio, visual, movement and thought processes.

Due to this, screenplay writers normally direct their work themselves as a strategy to ensure that they get the effect that they envision.

ACTIVITY 2.1
Can you name as many screenplay writers and scriptwriters that you know of?

2.1.3

Scriptwriters in Electronic Media, Film and
Multimedia

How do you apply what you have learnt about scriptwriting? What do you need to know in order to get jobs with movie production houses? How do you become a drama or teledrama writer? This topic will explain the current status of scriptwriters in the Malaysian film industry.

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TOPIC 2

SCRIPTWRITING – THE...
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