Monday, May 13, 2013

Take One!

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a script for my novel, Net Switch. Since I am working on several projects, this ‘idea’ is on the back burner for the time being. Even so, I’ve seen samples of scripts and movie quotes to get a sense of how a script is laid out. I have no idea how to write a script, nor do I have the software, but I can’t help being intrigued by the formatting and writing. 

Then I ask myself, “What will you do with the script when you’re done?” The answer is, “I have no idea”. Trying to publish a book the traditional route is difficult, but trying to get it made into a movie is close to impossible unless you have connections.  So, do I write to quench my desire to write the script, or is it a waste of time?

Here are two separate scenes from one of my favorite 80’s movies, The Sure Thing.

Professor Taub: [commenting on students' papers] Miss Bradbury. You, on the other hand, you express your ideas very clearly. Except that, your paper is dry, Alison. There's not enough of *you* coming through. Loosen up, Alison. Have some fun! Yes, sleep when you feel like it, not when you think you should. Eat food that is bad for you - at least once in a while. Have conversations with people whose clothes are not color coordinated.

[class laughs]

Professor Taub: Make love in a hammock!

[class hoots, hollers, and high-fives]

Professor Taub: Life is the ultimate experience, and you have to live it to write about it.

[Alison raises her hand]

Professor Taub: Yes, Alison?

Alison Bradbury: What did you say after "hammock?"

Gib: [talks to Alison while she swims] I flunk English, I'm outta here. Kiss college goodbye. I don't know what I'll do. Dad will be pissed off. Mom will be heartbroken. If I play my cards right, I get maybe a six-month grace period and then I gotta get a job, and you know what that means.

[Alison ignores him]

Gib: That's right, they start me at the drive-up window and I gradually work my way up from shakes to burgers, and then one day my lucky break comes: the french fry guy dies and they offer me the job! But the day I'm supposed to start, some men come by in a black Lincoln Continental and tell me I can make a quick 300 just for driving a van back from Mexico! When I get out of jail I'm 36 years old. Living in a flop house. No job. No home. No upward mobility. Very few teeth. And then one day they find me, face down, talking to the gutter, clutching a bottle of paint thinner. And *why*? Because *you* wouldn't help me in English, no! You were too busy to help me! Too busy to help a drowning man!

[he falls into the pool]

This movie is full of humor and the writing is pretty good compared to some other 80’s movies. I’m not a descriptive writer, so I thought I might do all right with a script.

Is there a genre you’ve been interested in attempting? What are your favorite movie scenes?

Scripts and Chances,


  1. Probably one of my favorite scenes of all time comes from the movie Excalibur. The night before Arthur's final confrontation with Mordred, Merlin comes to Arthur in a dream. They talk of the war and the future and where Merlin has gone. At the end of the conversation Arthur asks if Merlin is only a dream. Merlin answers "A dream to some, a nightmare to others!" (que dramatic music).

    The next scene you find Merlin deep into Morganna's camp, where he visits Morganna. Through their conversation he tricks her into using the charm of making to call in the fog of war. This becomes her undoing.

    Pure geekitude but great portions of a great movie.

  2. I've always wanted to attempt a movie script, and I even wrote a 10-minute play when I taught a drama unit three years running to my creative writing students. The only way I would probably ever get serious about it would be to take a class. That's how I can get myself to buckle down and learn new things about craft.

    One of my favorite movie scenes is the scene from Fastimes at Ridgemont high when Spicolli has pizza delivered to class and then Mr. Hand give the pizza to all the other students. The whole your time/my time dichotomy still cracks me up.

    1. You at least achieved writing a play, which I believe is in the same format.

      Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a hilarious movie and that scene is very funny.

  3. Two of my all-time favorite movies are Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. They are slice-of-life and pretty much no action, and thus, very heavy on the dialogue. So a few years ago I found & bought a book with both screenplays to study how to write dialogue. It intrigues me, how sparse the writing is, but then again, there was a lot of improvising on the part of the actors which makes it all the more amazing to see such a creative collaboration.

    I think it'd be fun to experiment with other forms of storytelling. it can only enhance your writing experience, don't you think? (In other words, if the idea excites you, and you learn from it, I would hardly consider it wasting time.)

    1. That is interesting, Barb. I never knew they sold books with screenplays. I'll have to look into that.

      You're right, if it's something I'm interested in then it isn't a waste of time. I appreciate your input.

  4. I liked the dialogue in 'Lincoln'. It made you wish you could go back in time just to hear the actual Lincoln speak, but not stay there, of course, because of the racism and lack of technology. Though I guess it was more the monologues than the dialogue. Good movie, though. You should totally write the script and get Spielberg to direct it.

    Btw - Is your blog named after the Transit song? I actually found this site by looking up their song 'Skipping Stones' which has in the chorus, "Every memory is like a skipping stone." Just curious. But this seems like an interesting blog site, too.

    1. Hey! Thanks for stopping by. I haven't seen Lincoln 'yet', but now I'm looking forward to it. :)

      I didn't get the name from the Transit song. I came up with Skipping Stones from throwing rocks across the water and having them skip. It's kinda like my blog. It talks about memories and skips over others.

  5. oh my are such a great blog writer man write it in real cool manner...i liked it so much please follow my blog also at

  6. You don't need connections. You just need people who are as crazy as you are and willing to put in the work. That seems to be working for us with our movie. :)

    1. I know. I meant to mention you guys in this post and forgot. Sorry about that. I think what you're doing is awesome and wish you the best.