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Your Final and Writing for Film

Your final will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday Dec. 11.

As I mentioned in class your final will consist of a TV episode or film idea of Your own.
You are to come up with three character biographies, a treatment for your film/tv episode and write out the first 5 pages of your script.

Here is what you are to submit on Wednesday:
1. Submit three character biographies. (A protagonist, an antagonist and a supporting character). Each character biography should be 3 paragraphs minimum.

2. Your treatment, should be 6-14 pages. Follow the Sinbad format. Remember this is your outline or summary of your tv episode or film. Therefore, you should have a beginning, middle and end of your script. Remember the formula – you must have an inciting action, the conflicts the hero/protagonist encounters, a climax and a resolution (the end of the story). Again – this is a summary of your tv episode/film. But you must format it correctly.

3. The first 5 pages of your script (this includes the title page). The first 5 pages of your script is the beginning of your story. Please format it correctly. If you use Celtx or Final Draft it will automatically format it for you. But if you are using Microsoft word use the following steps to get your script to be formatted properly: HOW to write a Script Using Microsoft Word:

Here are the script Do’s and Don’ts: formatting-your-script

Remember your title page needs to have your contact information at the bottom right. (Name, phone number and email). And the title of your script needs to be centered at a 1/3 of the page.
Also – remember that character names and sounds in the script are always capitalized.

Here are some examples of scripts to follow: jane-eyre-screenplay or hanna-screenplay.

As I mentioned to you – you will have 2 hours in class on Wednesday to complete your project – however, I STRONGLY recommend you get started on this (especially your treatment) this week.

Title (sample)



Blogging and Defamation

Last week we touched on blogging and vlogging.

Today- we will examine what you can and can not say and what can get you into trouble for writing or saying false statements about someone or something.

Writing for the Internet allows us to express ourselves – but it also allows us to be tempted to copy others.

Below is our class lecture on Blogging, Vlogging, Copyright and Defamation.


Your homework – study the lecture for a quiz. And make sure to read the manuscripts below we will discuss on Wednesday.

Harmful Headline (129-130)

New York Times v. Sullivan (131-152)

Civil Code Provisions (125-128)

The Final

The end is here!

Your final will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m, Tuesday, May 14th.

For your final you must submit the following:

1. Three character biographies – to include your main character (the protagonist); the main character’s enemy (the antagonist); and one more supporting character (This can be the main character’s/antagonist’s friend or family or significant other, etc.)
– Each character biography must be at least 3 paragraphs. (That’s minimum of 5 sentences per graph)
– Each character biography must tell me about the character and have some detailed description about them.

2. An original treatment of your own using the characters you created.
– Remember the treatment must have a Concept, a Theme, the character descriptions and an outline of your TV episode or film.
– The length must be 3 to 5 pages minimum.
– Font should be Courier 12 or Times New Roman 12. Subheads should not be larger than size 14 and in bold.
– Again follow the Sinbad Format  —>Sinbad

3. The first 5 pages of your original script (This includes the title page. So your script should be a correctly formatted title page, and the first four pages of dialogue, narrative, etc of your script._
– Go back and review your scripts from the in class exercise and the notes
– Remember to make sure the spacing is correct.
– And remember to have the font be size 12 Courier.
– Your characters dialogue and what they say should be “natural.” That means don’t try to force your character to say things they would never say. Unless they are being ironic.

Here’s a sample of the title page: Title
Here’s the sample of a script: hanna-screenplay

Below is a quick review of what I will be looking in your treatments. Remember the different formats and the different formulas to write a story:


Formatting your script 3

Finally, here is the lecture regarding Copyright.
This is very important for you to know in general so that you don’t
get swindled from different agencies.
Knowledge is power!

Ways to get Copyrighted:

1. The U.S. Library of Congress

2. Join the Writer’s Guild of America

FOR THURSDAY:   Be sure to use the time to finish your treatments as these are the most time consuming.

Be also sure to review the Copyright Lecture. We will have a quiz.

Formatting your title page and script

Hello everyone,

My apologies for not posting this up sooner, the school district meeting i was covering ran later than expected.

Anyway, with just a few weeks in the semester left these last few class sessions will be focused on formatting a script.

To start you must first have a proper title page. Without a title page that is properly formatted your script will not get read. Remember you must not place any fancy font on the page or try to make it stand out. If it stands out it screams that you are an amateur.

When writing your title page be sure to have the title about a 1/3 of the way down the page, use courier new as your font, and then in the bottom right hand corner you would have your contact information.
Here is a link on how to do a title page: Formatting the Title Page

When you are done your title page should look something like this: Title

Once you’ve done a title page – you move onto writing your script. Remember there are no page numbers on the title page.

Only the actual script should have page numbers. This is how a properly formatted script should look like.



Notice that the characters names are in ALL CAPS, and that the subheads – or the SLUGS as they are called are also in ALL CAPS.

Review this format: Click on the image to zoom in.

To review how to properly format a script on Microsoft Word please check out this link: Using Microsoft for Script writing.

As I mentioned in class it’s a very tedious tedious process to go through and write a script using Microsoft word – but it Can be done.
However, if you have Final Draft or CelTx or other script writing software I would suggest that you use that. CelTx has a free version for download and Final Draft may have a 30 day trial. Check out the product sites to see what free options are available to you.

Okay, so for Thursday please select a script of your choice and bring the first 5 pages of it to class. (It can be on a USB or you can email to yourself or you can bring a hard copy.) You will be using those five pages for a formatting exercise.

You can find scripts available for download at or just Google Free Scripts.

If you have a laptop that has CelTx or Final Draft or another script writing program you may bring it and use it. If not, you can use Microsoft Word.

Here is the PowerPoint for review: Formatting your script

Plotting your story and Treatment beginnings

Hello hello hello!

So on Thursday, April 11, we had an interesting class.
We had some presentations on your own antagonists and protagonists. Please keep in mind that these are the type of guidelines you will need to come up with meaningful characters when writing a story.

After the presentations we went over what a Plot is and the elements that are needed. During an in-class exercise we came up with an interesting plot – Henry “Squirt” the Turtle, 144, from Madagascar wants to go visit the Arctic.
On his way to his journey he encounters a dolphin who becomes his friend. And in between they are chased by Roy, the shark.

Here’s the exercise: Characters

While this simple assignment was fun, it just goes to show that creating a plot takes a few moments of time and some very creative ideas.
Following our fun exercise we revisited the format of what a treatment should look like once you come up with your characters. Remember to follow the “Sinbad” treatment format.

Using the Sinbad formula and given the practice of describing characters – your homework is the following:

Using the “Sinbad” format for a treatment check out a Sitcom show or an episode of a mini-series. (Can be online or TV).
Watch it and write a treatment from it using the Sinbad formula.
– So for example: An episode of Gilmore Girls would look like this: Gilmore Girls
Please keep in mind that the character descriptions need to be about a paragraph MINIMUM (that’s 5 sentences.)
Bring your treatment to class on Tuesday.
Here is the PowerPoint Presentation lecture for your review Treatment


Character Bio and Treatments

Hello again,

So on Tuesday we went over and reviewed what should be included in a character’s biography.

Again, I know I keep repeating myself, but having a character and knowing their bio is essential to a script. You can NOT have script without knowing your characters.

I asked you on Thursday (April 4), to think of two characters – a protagonist and an antagonist – and come up with their background, who they are and what their flaws are.

Some of you had questions coming into class on Tuesday regarding the Antagonist and the Protagonist bios. With that in mind, I allowed you to work on them during the last 20 mintues of class and answered any questions.

For those of you that didn’t finish the bios in class please refer to the sample below:

The Antagonist sample

You can also follow the paragrpah format used in the Sinbad Script to describe your character.


If you have a hard time coming up with two characters – go back to the lessons of the Heroe’s Journey or the ACTS lesson – review it and start thinking of the type of characters you commonly see.

For Thursday study the format of the Sinbad script. This is the format we will be using for your treatment. It is probably the most basic and yet most commonly used format in Hollywood. Once your name gets known and you are IN the business then you can format your treatment however you want.

But for NOW, you must use the Sinbad format.
Also, don’t forget to read Chapter 10.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to email me at or text me.

See you Thursday!


Creating your Character

Okay, so on Thursday we discussed the creation of a character and its importance.

Remember, knowing who your characters are, how they would react in certain situations or how they would respond is what moves the script forward.

You have to know the background of your character, their history, who they like what they like, their hobbies, etc.
And of course their flaw because nobody is perfect.

Below is the lecture from Thursday’s class. Remember to complete your character profiles and bring them to class on Tuesday.