Saturday, March 27, 2010

Prepping for Scrpt Frenzy

The last 24 hours have been all about prep work for Script Frenzy which included research on Wikipedia on Gustav Holst and his symphony The Planets; on the planets themselves and on the mythological characters they were named for and a bit of astrology too since Holst named his movements based on the astrological significance of the seven planets.

I also spent some time on the Script Frenzy Writer's Resources page for a brush up on the rules for formatting scripts. And more than a little bit of time on Think Baby Names looking for likely names for characters.

But by a very high ratio, the bulk of that time was spent learning my way around the Celtx Media Production software in which I will write my script. It is the same open source application I used last year but it has upgraded from 1.0 to 2.7 and A LOT of new features have been added.

Here we are with the main script writing feature with both sidebars open. Either or both can be closed to lessen distraction if desired. One new feature is the Notes that can be inserted in the draft and an extra tool downloaded from the Celtx wiki community provides a color picker so the notes can be color-coded.

Technically I'm not supposed to start writing on the script until Thursday at 12AM so all I did in this was put in a possible slugline for a possible opening scene as an exercise for learning my way around the ap and for purposes of these screenshots for this post.

To really follow along you're probably going to want to view the image at its full size by right-clicking on them and opening in a new tab or window.

Celtix has a tabbed environment. All items opened from the Project Library in the left hand sidebar remain open until closed and can be accessed by the tabs across the top below the toolbar.

Above shows the Master Catalog opened. This is the database containing all items from Actors to Wardrobe. It is a long list and includes the categories of Character, Scene, Animal, Prop, Extras, Camera, Lights, Set, Location, FX, CGI, etc. Like I said, this is set up to carry a script from concept to screen.

My catalog so far includes only two characters and three scenes--opening, climatic and closing. I've selected Opening Scene and below the catalog list is the top of the form to be filled out with the info relevant to that scene. The form fills the screen twice:

My focus will be primarily on the steps from concept to first draft and I will try to refrain from playing too much with the director's and producer's toys.

By the way Celtx provides the industry standard for all major media production: TV and big screen films; Audio; Audio-Visual, Theater; Graphic Novel or Comic Book. It also provides an environment that fosters teamwork and collaboration on and offline from start to finish.

As you can see, it is possible to close the catalog list window, allowing the selected item's form as much of the screen as possible. And when one is working on a netbook screen that is very helpful.

And now we proceed to a character's form. Note how the forms for scenes have a green bar at top and those for characters have blue ones:

Again, the form for a character fills the window three times. At least on my netbook screen.

I was going to list the elements of this forms but instead I'll leave it to those who are interested enough in it to click on the images to see the 1200x600 version in which the fonts are readable.

Besides the script itself, you can have multiple text documents and other files in the Project Library. Below shows the one in which I dropped the text from the three flash fiction pieces I wrote previously in which the protagonist for my screenplay stars. I named this one Storyseed which is a term I made up years ago to reflect a barely begun WIP.

Above and below show two sections of the Misc text file in which I am dropping notes, thoughts, citations, links etc. Above is some of the info on Holst and The Planets including the list of movements with their full titles. Below shows me playing with the word 'hitch'. I'll be doing the same with the words 'glitch' and 'snag'. All three words are in my title as you have probably spotted if you enlarged the pics.

The calendar is a new feature in this version. You can set events as well as tasks with or without reminders. The task list in the left sidebar has check boxes and as you can see just above, when you check the box it also puts a strikethrough through the text. For demo purposes I checked as done the task of learning the Celtx application. I was thinking I'd uncheck it after this but I'm having second thoughts. I think I'm good to go and I now need to put my focus on the needs of the story itself.

0 tell me a story:

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