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Anyone have experience hiring a screenwriter?
#1  Pierre Lawrence 01-04-2022, 07:21 AM
I've just about finished a novella of about 27k words, and believe it would lend itself to a screenplay. Writing the thing was very much a Red Smith exercise, and I have no desire to even attempt converting it myself. Does anyone have a recommendation for a competent screenwriter I might hire, and what the cost would be? If I went forward, does anyone know of an agent that could pitch the screenplay to potential buyers? Thanks for your comments.
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#2  Pierre Lawrence 01-05-2022, 06:22 AM
In continuing to work on this, I came across an article suggesting a way (a long shot) to submit the piece to potential movie producers unchanged. Here's the link:

http://www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/screenwriting-faq/submitting-a-novel-to-producers-as-a-movie-idea/
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#3  rcentros 01-06-2022, 12:30 AM
Quote Pierre Lawrence
I've just about finished a novella of about 27k words, and believe it would lend itself to a screenplay. Writing the thing was very much a Red Smith exercise, and I have no desire to even attempt converting it myself. ...
I know you don't want to write it yourself but, realistically, that's probably your best chance at marketing it. Good screenwriters who have access to agents usually have their own ideas to work on. Once you've written your screenplay you can hire a screenplay consultant who can help you make it presentable. Some aren't too expensive -- some advertise at Done Deal Pro (a forum dealing with screenwriting).

https://messageboard.donedealpro.com/boards/

Screenplay format is not that hard to figure out. Show, don't tell. Nearly always write in present tense. Find important details and be succinct. Most screenplays have a lot of white space.

There are four main elements...

Scene (where and when whatever is happening happens)...

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY ("INT." stands for interior. "EXT." for exterior.)

Action (Just regular descriptive that tells you what's going on. Usually an action paragraph shouldn't be more than three or four lines.)

Character Name and...

Dialogue

An example of the format...

Code
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
JOE and PETE watch NASCAR while guzzling beer, scarfing
pizza and scratching their bums.
They're accomplished multi-taskers. PETE WOW! Look at 'em. 'Round and 'round and 'round! JOE (nodding vigorously) Da-yum I love NASCAR!
What's under JOE's name is a parenthetical (or wrylie). These aren't supposed to be used often, but they work as shorthand.

You don't really need to remember any of this. There is good, free, screenplay writing software. It's easier to use it than explain it -- but these applications take care of all the formatting.

Two of these are WriterSolo and KIT Scenarist, both available for Linux, Windows or Macs. WriterSolo works online or offline. KIT Scenarist is offline only.

https://writersolo.com or https://freescreenwriting.com

https://kitscenarist.ru/en/index.html

You can ask questions at Done Deal Pro, it's not as busy as it once was, but pros still show up there from time to time. You can also ask questions in this thread, but I'm a wannabe who's been playing around at it (unsuccessfully) for about 20 years.

Good luck.
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#4  Pierre Lawrence 01-06-2022, 05:54 AM
Thanks so much for your comments - in their helpfulness they go way beyond anything I expected (as a side note, "bums" suggests you are a transplanted Englishman).
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#5  rcentros 01-06-2022, 07:29 AM
Quote Pierre Lawrence
Thanks so much for your comments - in their helpfulness they go way beyond anything I expected (as a side note, "bums" suggests you are a transplanted Englishman).
I'm not. In the U.S. "bums" doesn't seem quite as rude as the word I would normally use. Probably the opposite is true in England (I sometimes forget this is an international forum).
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#6  Pierre Lawrence 01-07-2022, 05:05 AM
Just downloaded WriterSolo - amazing that such an incredible piece of software is available for free. Thanks again for recommending!
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#7  rcentros 01-07-2022, 06:39 PM
Quote Pierre Lawrence
Just downloaded WriterSolo - amazing that such an incredible piece of software is available for free. Thanks again for recommending!
It's good software. The developers also produce WriterDuet, which is their online software with online collaboration features (limited free features). But it has no advantage over WriterSolo if you're not collaborating.

A new screenplay application (by the folks who produce KIT Scenarist) has just been released into public beta, Story Architect (Starc).

It's fast for the features I use (writing and print PDFs) but many of the more advanced features are not yet implemented. At any any rate, another option.

https://starc.app/

This one will have pro features (at a price when out of beta).
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#8  Pierre Lawrence 01-17-2022, 07:47 AM
More on screenplay writing software (first a thank you once again to rcentros for his recommendations). In 1998, Stephen King published Storm of the Century as a screenplay rather than a novel. In the Forward to the book, he notes that it was written with the assistance of Final Draft. Because the book was written so long ago I checked to see if that software was still around - it is, Version 12. Here's the link, if interested:

https://www.finaldraft.com/learn/final-draft-12-quick-start/#quick-start-guide-fd12
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#9  rcentros 01-17-2022, 06:19 PM
Quote Pierre Lawrence
More on screenplay writing software (first a thank you once again to rcentros for his recommendations). In 1998, Stephen King published Storm of the Century as a screenplay rather than a novel. In the Forward to the book, he notes that it was written with the assistance of Final Draft. Because the book was written so long ago I checked to see if that software was still around - it is, Version 12. Here's the link, if interested:

https://www.finaldraft.com/learn/final-draft-12-quick-start/#quick-start-guide-fd12
I would never suggest paying about $200 for software when so many good, free or cheap, options are available. Final Draft claims to be the "standard" but the standard is really the PDF you produce with the software -- and any screenplay writing application will produce a standard PDF file.

If you're collaborating with another writer who uses Final Draft or re-writing for a studio that's a "Final Draft 'shop'" than that's when you may need Final Draft. But, at that point, it would probably be a business expense. And the other applications (cheap or free) can export to Final Draft format.
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#10  Pierre Lawrence 01-18-2022, 03:43 AM
Agree - a word processing analogy would be Google Docs and Open Office (which I use) as alternatives to MS Word. Alas, due to Microsoft's stranglehold on the operating system, Word has become so pervasive in many instances you need to convert your file to the .doc format. Fortunately Open Office's "save as" function allows you to do that.
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