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tabasco5
May 2nd, 2013, 03:57 PM
Do documentary films use scripts similar to other movies? I figured they use a basic outline and not a set script but I could be wrong. Any information appreciated.

Robert_S
May 2nd, 2013, 06:09 PM
Here's a could hits from google:

http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/pdf/programme_doc_documentary_script.pdf
How To Write A Script For A Documentary (http://www.desktop-documentaries.com/how-to-write-a-script.html)

Short_Story_G
June 24th, 2013, 03:01 PM
Hello Everyone,

I have a question. When you are writing a script for a short film but the actual characters have no lines is all improvisational acting. In what manner would you structure the script ? Do you just write out scenes and leave everything else blank?

Robert_S
June 24th, 2013, 10:27 PM
Well, the whole idea behind a script is that it is telling a story in scripted format. You could do something a bit more loose, by having a slugline, followed by a description of the scene, any scripted actions, then list dialog queues with a parenthetical stating it's improvised. Something like:

INT. BAR - NIGHT
A redneck bar with a single pool table. Biker type wander and wobble about, hitting on girls.

GRAYDEN
(improvised)
ACKLEY
(improvised)
A sexy brunette in leather walks by.

ACKLEY
(improvised sexist comment)
GRAYDEN
(corrects GRAYDEN)

Short_Story_G
June 25th, 2013, 05:05 PM
Thanks Robert I am so use to writing short stories and poems I was really lost with the idea of how to write a script properly. Is there any script software out in the market you would recommend ? Because I could use the spell checking and structured format. I have used an professional editor before on other projects she is great, but it would be nice to avoid using her services if that is possible. Only because I am on a tight budget.

Robert_S
June 25th, 2013, 06:11 PM
Well, the three I am familiar with are Celtx (free), Scrivener ($40) and Final Draft 8 ($250). All have a spell checker, but I would rate Scrivener as the most cost effective product: it's outline system really shines. I also like the way it approaches writing as a project as opposed to a single, monolithic document. Scivener's approach is to make it a hierarchy of folders and text documents which reflects in the outline system. It lacks any real analysis tools and it would be nice if L&L would make an add-on system for it, but it's not the end of the world. Scrivener was designed for shorts, novels, screenplays, etc. I like the inline notes system of Celtx over Scrivener, but it's not the EOW.

In short, I think Scrivener is best all around.

pink lemonade
July 3rd, 2015, 12:44 PM
Scripts are all visual, so I think they could be written even without characters and just pointing toward the scenes. For documentaries, I'd write them basically like I'd write any other scripts. Point to the visuals and then to characters or people (whoever they are) who explain what you're theme or focus is.