Questions in your audience’s mind

I’m doing an online course on Digital Storytelling. Here I share four questions screenwriters need to ask when writing their scripts.

As I am a glutton for punishment, and as I am focusing on continuing my education and mastery of all things film, I have recently signed up and started an online course. The course is run through FutureLearn, and they have a series of free online courses across a range of topics. I have signed up to two courses –

Digital Storytelling, by the University of Birmingham, is run in association with Creative Skillset and the BBC Academy. It started on 28 September, and runs for four weeks.

Digital Marketing, by the University of Southhampton, starts on October 19.

I’m hoping that what I learn in these two courses will help me with my Masters focus, with my freelance producing work, and my work with Action On The Side. I’m looking at online education and pedagogy as part of my upcoming vlogs on filmmaking.

As part of the Digital Storytelling course, one section is on answering the audience’s questions. This comes from a video by Peter Ash, a consultant with the BBC. He says there are four questions the audience asks that you need to know.

Scriptwriters, this is your exercise.

What is the story?

Its type or genre; issue; content. Can you focus your story into one sentence? This is the Topline (in film terms, this is the one sentence logline).

Whose story is it?

Who is the protagonist? If it is unclear whose story we’re seeing, rewrite.

The audience relates to the protagonist, so this builds anticipation and suspense, as the audience asks ‘how will it all turn out?’.

What is the big story question?

This relates to the universal themes of the story. What is it actually about?

How will this story relate to me and my life?

The audience needs to be able to relate and connect to the story. They will put themselves in the situation, imagine themselves in the world, responding to the same issues. This will build a stronger connection to the story.

With these four points in mind, I’d like to invite the people who attend our Scriptwriters On The Side sessions to consider these four questions in particular with their scripts. I know it’s something I’m going to be working on.

Action On The Side: inspiration

Action On The Side Weekend Filmmaking
Action On The Side Weekend Filmmaking

Action On The Side has expanded to include regular inspiration, tips, tricks, and reminders for writers and filmmakers.

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The next Action On The Side project is July 2015.

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Upcoming Script Development meetings

Do you have a script? Do you have a story idea?
Want to meet with other scriptwriters and filmmakers to work on it?

We’ve started a regular script development meeting, and anyone can join us.

Any script.
Any idea.
Feature or short.
Bring scripts and ideas. All are welcome.

  • 7pm on Thursday 21 May. The Barley Mow
    127 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3AU
  • 7pm on Friday 05 June. Curzon Victoria
    58 Victoria Street, Westminster, London SW1E 6QW

Scriptwriting – a lesson

I’m supervising an Independent Study at the moment, on Scriptwriting. The student has a novel that he is adapting to screen. We spent an hour today talking about compulsion and goals, propelling the audience, forward momentum and the three-act structure, and more conversations on the differences between writing novels and writing for screen.

It was awesome.

I might have said that he can wax lyrical for 10 pages about a leaf in a novel, but not in a screenplay. 

Unless you’re Tarkovsky.

Tarkovsky can wax lyrical on film for as long as he wants. That is beautiful.

Day Six of Script Frenzy

I’m meant to be up to 20 pages. I’m at about 13. Not bad going, I say.

By day 6 of Script Frenzy, I’m meant to be up to 20 pages.

I had an assignment due for my Scriptwriting class. A 5-10 minute script. I did work on the short film that I had planned to write and hand in for this assignment. Whilst writing it, I realised that it’s at least a 15 minute film, so not ideal for the assignment. A few pages of new scenes were incorporated into Script Frenzy.

I had written the opening scene of a short film idea as part of Script Frenzy. I knew it could be a 5-10 minute film. So I wrote that. One 7-page script done. With the other short that I started, that puts me at about 13 pages.

Continue reading “Day Six of Script Frenzy”

Film, study, and assorted things

Lots on at the moment. A breakdown (of what’s on. Not in me. Not just yet. I don’t have time to breakdown).

There aren’t enough hours in the day. I suppose to make my blog more interesting, I should have done more regular posts on each of the things below. I simply don’t have time. So this is what I’m working on now…

Continue reading “Film, study, and assorted things”

Film study, screenings, watchings

Scriptwriting, Film Production, Film Festivals … just film in general.

Big. news.

I’ve been accepted into the Honours scriptwriting course at Victoria in 2011.


Fortunately, I had an idea for a feature length Western just the other day, which I’m going to start jotting down. I also have a few shorts and a biopic that I want to work on. That’ll keep me good and busy for the next year.

More news below…

Continue reading “Film study, screenings, watchings”