The Director’s Chair Issue #126 – Jan. 15, 2012 (What Directors Look for in the First Script Read-Through)

by Peter D Marshall

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THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
Free Monthly Ezine for Independent Filmmakers

January 16, 2012                Scene 13 – Take 1
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Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Website: http://actioncutprint.com
Blog: http://filmdirectingtips.com

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Contents
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1. Introduction
2. Bonuses for Subscribing to The Director’s Chair
3. Live Online Filmmaking Chats
4. Social Media Contact Information
5. FEATURE ARTICLE: The First Script Read-Through
6. Write an Article for The Director’s Chair
7. The Modern Moviemaking Movement
8. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
9. Filmmaking Links of Interest
10. Blog – Film Directing Tips
11. Filmmaking Workshops
12. Product Promotion and Film Workshops
13. Suggestions and Comments
14. Copyright Information

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1. Introduction
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Welcome to Issue #126 of The Director’s Chair Jan. 16, 2012

1. Feature Article – The feature article this month is called:
What a Director Looks for in the First Script Read-Through: “A
director needs to understand every detail about the story you
are telling. And in order to understand the script, a director
needs to be able to operate in the sub-world of the
characters.” (Read full article below.)

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—–
Enjoy.

Peter D. Marshall

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2. Two Bonuses For Subscribing To The Director’s Chair
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Thank you very much for subscribing to this ezine.

BONUS #1 – Here is the link to download Day One (30 pages) of
“The Art and Craft of the Director Audio Seminar.”
http://actioncutprint.com/xxx

BONUS #2 – Here is the link to download the first 26 pages of
the “Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course.”
http://actioncutprint.com/xxx

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3. Live Online Filmmaking Chats
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I have started hosting a series of Live Online Chats. Each 2
hour session will focus on one specific filmmaking topic.

To find out when the next Live Chat will be, check my website
at http://actioncutprint.com. Look at the bottom right of the
page and you will see a blue bar that will say “Live Chat
(Date & Time TBC)”.

I will also send you a notification email before each session
along with the topic for that evening.

I have also created a Live Online Chat Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/peterdmarshall#!/livefilmmakingchats

Next Online Filmmaking Chat: will be on Tuesday, January 24
from 7:00pm-9:00pm PST. The topic will be “The Director in
Pre-Production.”

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4. Social Media Contact Information
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1. Facebook – The Director’s Chair has it’s own page on
Facebook. If you are already a member of Facebook, here is the
direct link to the page: http://snipurl.com/923qh. Once you
sign up as a fan you can join the discussion forums, post
photos, watch videos and write on the Walls.

2. Twitter – if you have a Twitter account, let’s follow each
other. You can follow me at http://twitter.com/bcfilmmaker.

3. LinkedIn – is the world’s largest professional network with
over 120 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn helps
you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a
broader network of professionals. Here is my LinkedIn profile
page: http://www.linkedin.com/in/peterdmarshall

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5. FEATURE ARTICLE: The Director’s First Script Read-Through
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What a Director Looks for in the First Script Read-Through

A director needs to understand every detail about the story
you are telling. And in order to understand the script, a
director needs to be able to operate in the sub-world of the
characters.

Therefore, one of the main purposes of script analysis is to
find out who the characters are and what happens to them.

(1). First Impressions

1. When you first get a script, the first thing you should do
is just read the script through once – without making any
notes. This is important because it lets you get to know what
the story is about and what happens to the characters.

2. Read the script over several more times

a. This begins the process of understanding the characters and
the events of the script

b. You start to feel things and see things about the
characters

c. This process gives you ideas for backstory and subtext

d. Anytime you find a line of dialogue or an action that is
confusing or doesn’t make sense, make a note of it.

3. Find the facts behind the words

a. Always look for the fact or the reality behind a line (what
does it REALLY mean)

(2) Script Facts

1. Script facts are situations, actions or events that happen
in a story before a scene starts

2. They are not subject to interpretation because they have
already happened (they are in fact, FACT!)

(3) Questions

Your questions are one of the most important parts of your
script analysis. Why? Because they lead to research.

1. Why IS the most important question a director can ask!

“WHY?” Because when you ask someone WHY, you begin to get a
deeper understanding of a situation, problem or challenge and
your approach to solving this question will become
progressively clearer as you go through the script

“WHAT?” To help find out about situations and character,
always ask, “what is the character NOT saying in this scene”
and “what is HAPPENING in this scene for the FIRST time”

(4) Script Stage Directions

Stage directions are the writer’s ideas, suggestions or
concepts for the director, the actors and the production
designer that show or describe various things such as:

1. Certain backstory facts pertaining to a scene or a
character

2. The behavior, or inner life, of a character

3. The staging or blocking the writer would like to see (actor
business)

(5) The Spine of the Script

1. To answer the question, “what is the SPINE of a script,”
just think of the spine in the body and what its purpose is.
Simply, the spine LINKS the story together. And what happens
when one of the links are out of place – you get a disjointed
story (and a pain the back!)

2. The spine is basically the reason for the character’s
journey – it is what the character WANTS and the spine of your
main character will usually run parallel to the central theme
of the script

3. In any film, a character should have only one spine for the
whole story

4. To find a specific character’s spine, look for the
character’s transforming event and its end result

(6) Script Beats and Events

1. Events are things (action or dialogue) that happen in the
scene and once they take place they become facts

2. Every scene should have something happen between the
characters (this is called a central emotional event)

3. It is the director’s responsibility to make sure an
emotional event occurs between characters and that all of
these events are put together in a cohesive manner to make a
story

4. The best way to find the event of a scene is to break the
scene down into a series of beats (or units)

5. The best way to identify a scene beat is find out where the
subject changes – then that is a new beat

6. You should identify, at the very least, three major beats
in any scene (beginning, middle, end)

(7) Back Story (What happened just before the scene)

1. This is the moment in a character’s life just before the
scene starts. It is usually an off-camera beat and it gives us
a sense that the scene is in the middle of something.

2. In other words, an actor does not just “walk in the door.”
They need to know what they were doing just before they open
the door. It can be a fact in the script or something they
make up. But they HAVE to know where they were and what they
were doing before that door opens.

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6. Do You Want To Write An Article For The Director’s Chair?
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If you would like to contribute articles, tips, links of
interest, industry news, interviews, special event dates or
other resources to The Director’s Chair, please email me at:
mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

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7. Give This to a Filmmaker – The Modern Moviemaking Movement
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If you have been following filmmaking trends you know the
world of indie filmmaking is changing fast.

Inexpensive production technology coupled with the decline of
traditional movie distribution has forever transformed the
ways in which movies are marketed, seen and sold.

These days, filmmakers must not only make great movies, but in
order to prosper, modern moviemakers must now master
crowdfunding, internet marketing and social media.

To help you succeed as an independent filmmaker, I
collaborated with TEN of the most prominent filmmaker thought
leaders in the world to provide you with a complementary
filmmaking Action Guide on how to survive and thrive in this
ever changing industry.

It’s called “The Modern Moviemaking Movement” and it will
provide you with over 100 pages of useful, modern, no-fluff
filmmaking information.

So if you want an action guide that will help you survive and
thrive in this ever changing industry, grab your complementary
copy now of “The Modern MovieMaking Movement:”
http://www.ModernMovieMaking.com

Also, if you like this 100 page Action Pack, PLEASE GIVE IT
AWAY to your closest filmmaking friends. 🙂

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8. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion (Free Advertising)
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The Director’s Chair gives you an incredible opportunity to
get Free Advertising for your services and your films.

Each month, I give two subscribers an opportunity to promote
themselves, their company or their productions in this
section.

So if you want over 6000 filmmakers around the world to know
about you and your films, please send me your “shameless
self-promotion” to: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com.

Please limit your promotion to 300 words. I reserve the right
to edit the promotion for length, spelling and formatting.

—————

(1) MY NAME IS ELIEL OTOTE A, A MOVIE MAKER FROM NIGERIA.
C.E.O. OF ARTS PAVILION MEDIA CONCEPTS AND AUTHOR OF
“DIRECTORIAL TRINITY” WHICH WAS ONCE PUBLISHED ON
“ACTIONCUTPRINT.COM”.

MY MOVIES INCLUDE “OSE-NOBI”, “SACRED MASK”, “DESERT GOLD”
ETC. I`M CURRENTLY ON LOCATION FOR “THORNS ON OUR FLESH”-A TV
DRAMA ON YOUTH DEVELOPMENT. I ALSO SHOOT TV COMMERCIALS AND
DOCUMENTARIES.

YOU CAN REACH ME ON 2348033742167, OR
mailto:elielotote@yahoo.co.uk

(2) I am submitting my film “Quarter Life Crisis,” for
shameless self promotion.

My film played in the Toronto Italian Film Festival and it’s
in major indie stores to rent in Toronto, Canada. I am
distributing it to rent, buy or download on amazon.com

Here is the link to the download and VOD:
http://www.amazon.com/Quarter-Life-Crisis/dp/B003B08JR2/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1323758688&sr=8-4

DVD:
http://www.amazon.com/Quarter-Life-Crisis-Christian-Gallant/dp/B00359FGHK/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1323758688&sr=8-5

Regards,

Vince Sannuto

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9. Filmmaking Links of Interest
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1. Making your own movie? Indie pros offer their advice
http://su.pr/2w0jB5

2. Shrewd handling of indie films yields real profits
http://su.pr/2ovwXu

3. Films need substance before flash
http://su.pr/1rC0DU

4. A peek into the celluloid past
http://su.pr/1gVtZR

5. Hollywood says goodbye to celluloid
http://su.pr/AfhyRQ

6. Hollywood remake mania
http://su.pr/18IT7g

7. Filmmaking should be a collective effort
http://su.pr/1Ra8qE

8. Script continues to be king.
http://su.pr/1cWhO6

9. 10 Ways Roger Corman Changed Filmmaking
http://su.pr/4arxYo

10. Director taps online fans to get film going
http://su.pr/30gDDz

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10. Blog – Film Directing Tips
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Please take a look at the many articles on my blog,
http://FilmDirectingTips.com and make some comments on the
posts. Your feedback is important to me because they will help
me decide on the content of this blog.
http://filmdirectingtips.com/wp-rss.php
http://feeds.feedburner.com/FilmDirectingTipsAndResources

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11. Filmmaking Workshops – Peter D. Marshall
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I have worked in the Film and Television Industry for over 38
years – as a Film Director, Television Producer, First
Assistant Director and Series Creative Consultant. I’ve been
asked many times to share my Film and TV production knowledge
with others. As a result, I developed several workshops that I
have successfully presented over the past 18 years.

To find out more about these workshops, just click on the link
below. If you are interested in any of these four workshops
for yourself or your organization, please contact me to
discuss how we can bring these workshops to you.
http://actioncutprint.com/workshops

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12. Product Promotion And Film Workshops
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From time to time, I will contact you to inform you of film
workshops, filmmaking products or Online courses that I feel
are beneficial to filmmakers like yourself. Of course, you are
under no obligation to purchase anything – I only offer this
information as a service to subscribers of this free ezine.

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13. Suggestions And Comments
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Send any comments, suggestions, questions or advice to:
mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

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14. Copyright Information
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Copyright (c) 2000-2012
ActionCutPrint.com
Peter D. Marshall
All Rights Reserved

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