Script Writing as an Amateur

Usually when I’m out and about I get short-lived ideas of what I think would be pretty great content for the screen. I’ll think of characters, a plot or sometimes just an interesting way to film a specific scene.

I’ve never actually gone through with the ideas being that I don’t have much of a creative outlet for such ideas other than writing them down. But that’s actually what I’ve decided to do.

A blog might be a pretty good place to post my ideas. The only downside I can think about are copyright issues like if someone tries stealing my stuff. (It can happen.)

Copyright issues

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 9.43.25 PM The copyright.gov website has an awesome FAQ page that answered my top questions. The gist of copyright is as follows:

  • “…protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression…”
  • “Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form…”
  • On having to register work for copyright protection, “…registration is voluntary…You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement…”

There was one more tidbit that was interesting, the poor man’s copyright. It’s a method used back in the old days where someone would mail themselves their idea as a method of copyright.

However, the website says that the law doesn’t see this method as something similar to copyright or as evidence, since envelopes can be tampered with.

Which sucks because I thought that was a great thing to do. Why would anyone want to tamper with mail?

But that just reinforces my idea of posting it on my blog since the internet is a form of archiving. If someone were to steal it (again, it can happen) I’d have proof of authorship through my blog.

Here’s me awesome idea

Four friends go to the zoo to for the day. They’re celebrating one of the friend’s birthday. The plan is also to get stoned. But it’ll never really say they’re gonna smoke or show them smoking.

So they spend a day at the zoo. One important plot point in the beginning has security called on them so they have to hide from the security as they continue their day. For the rest of the story they’ll be running and hiding from security.

One cool thing I thought of adding was to make their day seem really long even though they spend about two or three hours at the zoo. Ya know, as an effect of smoking.

Anyway, the friends learn a few things about themselves and about each other and what it means to mature. Something like that.

And the best part, it’ll be titled Zoo Trip. I think it’s clever.

I actually had this idea a while back and told a few people I know about it. Their first statement after I tell them is, do you even smoke? I don’t.

But I’m from California. I’m sure I can go to downtown LA (or to my group of friends), close my eyes and point randomly and they’ll be a smoker.

The idea in a tangible form

So what better way to write a script than in the form of a script? None.

I started writing the script on Celtx but apparently the website needs you to be part of a subscription, it seems like.

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 10.09.03 PMI ditched it and found WriterDuet. It said sign-up for free and had a quote from someone having to do something from the movie “Men in Black” which made it seem legit.

It’s really user friendly. It’ll indent correctly on its own, have the character name as a shortcut and it saves automatically. It’s meant for multiple people to be able to work on it but I doubt I’ll use that feature.

And in the end you can export it as a PDF, Text or a ton of other formats.

During work I’ve been writing the script in a little notepad and then I type it out when I have time. It’s a system that seems to work for now.

Not sure if it’ll actually be anything big, I can’t say I’ll actively be looking for someone who can produce it and make it happen.

But who knows, I work near Hollywood. I could be sipping my Starbucks beverage walking down Highland and a producer could randomly come up to me and ask if I had a movie idea that’ll make me rich beyond my wildest dreams. I’ll be ready.

In the meantime I’ll work on writing it. Here’s a quick bit I wrote.

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 10.07.43 PM

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