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Writing for a TV, on screen... (1 Viewer)

Sock

Senior Member
I am having trouble writing for a Television program that the character is watching. It is an "E! True Hollywood Moment". I'll show you what I have, knowing its incorrect, and ask if anyone knows how I would go about this? (I know its not formatted correctly either, this is pasted from Final Draft, with minor edits to make it easier to read)

INT. HOTEL ROOM

Michael lies in the same spot. His arm moves lethargically, searching along the carpet until it finds a bottle of tequila.

He brings it to his lips and spills it into his mouth.

The TV finishes playing a commercial, before “E! True Hollywood Moment” comes onto the screen.

An image of Michael comes into frame.

TV NARRATOR
Michael Goldberg bursted into the American home in 1984, co-starring as Dudley Derwood, the awkwardly comical whiz kid on the hit show Drat!

The Camera moves INTO the television. QUICK DISSOLVE TO:

INT. TELEVISION IMAGE-TRUE HOLLYWOOD MOMENT- THAT MOMENT

We are in the VIDEO.

The young image of Michael fades away and is replaced by an interview shot. The date reads 1985 in the bottom corner. Michael is 20 years old.

YOUNG MICHAEL
Well, people ALWAYS call me Dudley. At first it was a little weird, but... I guess you get used to it after a while. I guess I’m just as much Dudley Derwood as I am Michael Goldberg!

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM

Michael reacts. He looks up at the screen and sees his younger self talking. He struggles off of his back and onto his knees. Staring at the TELEVISION.

INT. TELEVISION IMAGE- TRUE HOLLYWOOD MOMENT- THAT MOMENT

The interview shot becomes a monochromatic STILL of Michael.

TV NARRATOR
However, Goldberg went down an all to familiar road for young actors. The road of sex, drugs and alcohol.

A reenactment shows a hand dicing up cocaine under a cheesy trail effect.

TV NARRATOR (CONT'D)
In June of 1988, Goldberg was arrested for possession of...

SMASH CUT TO:

INT.HOTEL ROOM

Michael has some how made it onto his feet, and has his arm wrapped around the television set. He grips it firmly and RIPS it from the wall. Tossing it oafishly across the room.
 
Last edited:

Kimba

Senior Member
I don't think you'd mention the frames in the script. [ie An image of Michael comes into frame.] Don't you just write "Michael is watching the screen" instead? The director will then decide how that will be shot on the day of the actual filming.

Oh, and never mention camera directions in a script unless you intend to produce it yourself. It just serves as a distraction to the director.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
this is way overwritten and over-directed and not as you would write a spec script... plus, there shouldn't be any camera directions, unless you're also the director... here is a more proper way to write this scene:

INT. HOTEL ROOM

Michael lies on the bed. He half-heartedly fishes around on the floor for a bottle of tequila, takes a long, sloppy swig.

ON THE TV:

A car commercial ends, “E! True Hollywood Moment” begins. An old headshot of Michael is inset next to the host.

SHOW HOST (V.O.)​
Michael Goldberg bursted into the American home in 1984, co-starring on the hit show Drat! as Dudley Derwood, the awkwardly comical whiz kid.

The young image of Michael is replaced by him at about 20 years old, speaking to an interviewer. "1985" appears at bottom of screen.

YOUNG MICHAEL
(on TV)
Well, people always call me Dudley. At first it was a little weird, but... I guess you get used to it after a while. I guess I’m just as much Dudley Derwood as I am Michael Goldberg!

BACK TO SCENE

Michael stares at himself on the screen. He drunkenly lurches off the bed and sinks to his knees.

ON THE TV:
SHOW HOST (V.O.)
However, Goldberg went down an all too familiar road for young actors. The road of sex, drugs and alcohol.

A hand dices up cocaine.

SHOW HOST (V.O.)​
In June of 1988, Goldberg was arrested for possession of...

BACK TO SCENE

Michael is on his feet, one arm wrapped around the television set. He rips it from the wall, throws it across the room.

hope this helps... hugs, maia
 
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