This was a scene that didn’t come the synopsis but it came from the character bio. I needed a way to show the main character is haunted by his actions in the past. The flashback, the dream, I wanted something quick to convey this, since this is a short, time is off the essence. 22 seconds, in accordance with it.
For those wondering I am using Adobe Story Plus. So far I have not done anything with this that defines that I need to pay for the subscription. I will be using Premiere and After Effect and possibly more and obviously story.
So, what can I show you about Adobe Story. Things aren’t as simple to use as you might think with many Adobe products, but once you know, you have a wide array of options.
Once it is written, a scene can be viewed through the Scene Properties. To open the scene properties panel, Click View | Scene Properties Panel.
Once open, you are given many and I do say many collapsable areas where the script scene information can be further expanded. It gives you some basic information initially.
The basic information is the scene length, number of pages broken into 8ths if less than a page.
The time of the scene, this is based on the 1 page to 1 minutes rule and therefore 1/8th is about 7 seconds. So the 2/8 of a page is 14 seconds as it states. The time of day, the day in the story as well. If this is important but it helps with continuity in some regards. So, if you know, put it in there as well as any time of day, once again this is a continuity thing especially if there are clocks in the scene we will be able to see the time and make sure we get it right.
Below are characters, if there is someone speaking in the scene then you will see that character already in there. Non-speaking characters can be included in this. They are “/” delimited if you wish to include more. Press the Edit button and it will open the dialog. The easiest way I have found to make sure it works properly is you enter a name, Press CTRL + Enter, then click Edit again and repeat the process. Each time the [NS] tag is appended to the end of the character name.
Extras are the same, speaking extras come from the names of the extras from that list. My feeling is since in the free version I am unsure how you can manage the lists of characters in this version. In Story Plus there is a manage lists option for the project and you can update these. So if a character is in the character list or the extras list this will mark how it used.
Synopsis is a very quick run down of the scene. Notes are for any notes you wish, these are not anything to do with the comments. So if there is a note needed for that scene, this is the place for it.
Budget I am a little disappointed in it is an open text field. They could have just provided a little more structure to it. But more on this later. State of Part, I do not know what this is I am sorry as I am unable to add more information into this field as it doesn’t seem editable. Once I know I will provide an update.
The storyboards need to exist on the internet. So, all storyboards need to be uploaded to some location that is accessible from the internet for anyone. The image above I found a storyboard and I included it as to show. I also tried using a view link from One Drive and this, to the left is what it looked like. Since the link is meant to take you to OneDrive in which the file will be streamed to your client, since it isn’t a direct file, this is difficult to work.
Drop Box and Google Drive might provide a better way to do it but since I don’t have either I can’t properly conform if they do or don’t. One drive provides a mechanism however to download the file. This link, can be included into the image link and it will then display in the box. It takes a little while as there are various additional steps that need to go through to get the image to you. But select the image.
Right Click Download and click Copy Shortcut (IE) Copy Link Location (Firefox). This URL can then be based into the link location, and it takes a couple of seconds for it to appear.
But I can’t be sure either if this link will work if NOT signed into OneDrive or with someone who doesn’t have access to it, I will update this as I find out more.
Camera Shots, this changes the script format. You are unable to put the camera shots in without a new copy of the script created.
You do get to put this shot into the scene, once the details are entered it will insert the information into the shot list as described in the collapsable panel and it will include it into the script.
The custom properties are just freeform text for entering anything that might enable you to use either in another part of the production pipeline or somewhere else.
Breakdown – This isn’t as easy to find in comparison to others and it is used within the VERY expansive Tag system used. Adobe know metadata and they are relying use of these tags throughout the entire production pipeline.
I might save this for another post since the tag system is a very all encompassing thing that has you highlighting the script, choosing colours, etc… so I will have a follow-up post on using the tags.
But, if you are writing the script, it is one area that depending on the length of it can take a LONG time. If you have the budget, there are external services that read through scripts and provide a very thorough report on all of the elements needed for production.
But this is it. Once you have taken your scene and fill in the various details about it. Story has much that can be defined and though in Celtx that are in your face, labels as such, in Story that are not as obvious and you need to get access to them.
The budgets is the area not covered much in Story. It is possibly because there is no additional information that is needed in any other Adobe product that could come from here, this is no Adobe budgeting software, or reports directly that can be printed.
So as I learn Story I will add more posts about it, the true test will be if all of this data that can be collected against the script can be used down the production process when capturing the data logging the clips and so on.
I recently worked on a post regarding the changes to Celtx and how one could get and keep their original offline versions of software so those who have invested into the platform could maintain it. But as I have been also posting about I have been slowly getting back into my filmmaking side and exploring ways to proceed into it. But it has been sometimes since the days of past where I could pull up my favourite editor and whittle away the hours tapping away on a keyboard but more one my issues with that later.
It has occurred to me that the software I once used is no longer supported in fact the guy who wrote has dropped off the face of the earth. The other collaborative tool I used was Celtx and it has changed significantly since I last used it. Final Draft has gone under 2 revisions (and it still is pretty much the same software) and I have never touched Movie Magic.
But there are other players, free, not so free and the outright bizarre. I am not going to look into each and do a massive review, but the one thing I will be looking is the leap of faith people take and then find their product has gone, not supported, shut down or a shadow of themselves. What does one do when this happens? I look a new player in the landscape in general but not to the field is Adobe with their Adobe Story. A script writing platform, which is web based only, offer a free and a premium version for a subscription cost and provide some cloud storage.
Its premium version has scheduling and production reports (the full suite I do not know), can export into Excel, which I am presuming allows for budgeting but it is the lack of offline versioning that makes it tricky. If you decide to take the leap, since “I will be using Premiere and After Effects” then why not. It speaks of integration but I have yet to try it and I think I will when I go the whole hog, when I have spoke with some people to determine what collaboration I can get I will look further into this and provide a more end to end up date on it. But, that said, I am trying it for one project, but for those who go the whole hog, web only, documents in the cloud and the service shuts down, they can, it is in their terms of service, they would burn a lot of bridges if they did that but it is a reality. What then? My friend and I had 26 different scripts and that equated to about 290 or so files including all of the different versions and this was on Celtx. They stopped providing the software to use the old system and were unrepentant about it, but through some diligence and searching I found their last version, installed, hope it worked and downloaded them all. My issue is now it is all in the format of the software that is no longer supported.
I have scripts in Final Draft, which is still available but I have to find my licence for it. I have them in Sophocles formats and so on. Each one, has their pros and cons and not one can provide me with everything I want.
Another one I found out recently was Fade In, not long ago there was Movie Outline and I still get spam mails from there about their product which I believe started as an outline and pre-script tool and progressed into a fully fledged application. There is of course Final Draft, Celtx and Movie Magic Screenwriter.
So for those uninitiated I have just shown 6 different screenwriting applications all providing one thing in common, if not more, they all write screenplays. Their costs vary and being in Australia it is even worse for some.
|Adobe Story||Free ($9.99/month Story Plus)|
|Celtx||Free ($9.99/month Standard, $19.99/month Premium)|
|Final Draft||$249.99 (AU$319.64)|
It is an interesting cost difference for software that does very much the same thing as what I am using now, or what Microsoft Word does. I know there will be people who argue it, but to devote so much of your time writing, creating stories only to be bound to a product or worse be left with manually converting scripts because you selected product is now gone. Not to mention actual cost investment.
Some of these packages aren’t cheap, Final Draft likes it prices high because if you look at their testimonials page we have so many Hollywood screenwriters endorsing their use. I remember a post did a while back regarding George RR Martin and what he uses for his writing, and old DOS machine. Which he gets to work it enables him to write his books and then export it and send it to the publisher for editing and finally publishing. Does anyone of these products enable you to write a BETTER script, no, since that is up to you. If I pay the money for Final Draft and more academy award winning screenwriters use it does that statistically mean I will receive an academy award one day or at leats have a statistical chance to get one. Well one thing I can say is statistics do not take into account other than actual numbers and under those I would say yes, there is a statistical chance if I use it I will get one. But the reality is, I have an equal chance of getting an award for screenwriting using ANY of the above products.
So which do I use, which platform do I decide to sink my teeth or my money into. Well the biggest draws at the moment are Adobe Story or Celtx for one main reason, collaboration. I can, with my friend sit down with the application open, and run through at different locations and use Skype and update the script. My friend has been my First AD and chances are will remain to, while I direct as he is the best one I have worked with and his work ethic is second to none. But I am looking at it from a project by project aspect and it isn’t an easy choice but at least Story enables importing Final Draft which I do have documents of floating around but the Celtx offering still enables so much more than script writing and as a pre-production took, like the Sophocles product I used to use, it is a stand out.
I am wary of a leap of faith again and I might keep my options often and export and keep backups of all my version in a nice open format that I can use anywhere depending on the situation and what happens to my platform of choice, like Celtx and Sophocles of past.
Last night, was the first time in a VERY long time where I came up with a story idea that I feel is fairly decent and would be turned into a very good script. The second element of my amazement is with this story it is also one that would be EASY to film. Could I be getting my film mojo back, I will wait until I say “Action” on the first shot before I write anything to the extent of having my mojo back.
What makes this more refreshing than some of the ideas I have come up with before and there have been a couple is, the tone of it. It seems to have a very real aspect from within, not anything I have done, want to do, but it is also a product of the nature of the mind having been altered chemically and its need to accommodate the changes in chemistry to make up any shortfall, as a consequence I have come up with a VERY dark and VERY disturbing story that for someone who might know me might be very curious where it has come from.
Much is unknown about the mind of humans less about any one person. Like the ocean and there is many areas that show everything from the surface and others are so deep, covered by the darkness that lurks and hides things that are sometimes best to remain hidden.
That said I will expand on this story as I feel I have the first 1 ½ to 2 acts of the story very briefly outlined. And I know with the help of my writing friend, I will have the last part finished and be on my way to writing the script. More and more elements are coming together there is a spark which show the light, I will speak with another friend who is an actor if she would be interested in playing a part in it.
I am a long way from ever getting things together but I feel I am a lot closer to that than I have ever been in a very long time.
I have a DOS operating system at home. I know the redundancy of saying a Disk Operating System Operating System, but DOS is its name, despite it having an acronym. I do like using it, it takes me back to a days when computing was simpler but also more complex at the same time, viruses were propagated by the sharing of floppies, spyware and malware were words not invented and despite there being some issues it often just worked.
So why am I writing about this and George RR Martin using DOS, well why, DOS was decent for 1992 but we have moved on and not just for the worst, see below;
‘Game of Thrones’ author George RR Martin has explained why he does all his writing on an obsolete disk operating system (DOS) computer – because it does not correct his spelling.
His reason for it and using WordStar was it never corrected his spelling. I can relate to what, when writing novels using modern word processors they are trying to correct everything, spelling, grammar, improper word usage. Now some of these features have been a god send in some ways, but the auto correction item sometimes makes sentences like “As I pushed my hands into the earth I knew I belonged on the Earth.” so, it is difficult for applications to know which context is what, as a reader we can work these out.
So, for you George RR Martin, move into the realm of modern computing (I know your internet machine is) but there is much more that Word 2013 can offer than WordStar. I know what it is used to but this is a nice tip anyway.
Click the File Tab and click Options
This opens Words options. Under there is proofing which is where all the spell checking happens, so I will go through these options to help enlighten how they work and then, how to turn it off and turn your Microsoft Word 2013 into a sometimes less annoying application, at least when it comes to spelling.
When correcting spelling in Microsoft Office programs
These items are some exceptions to the general spelling rules.
Ignore words in UPPERCASE – Simply put, when you write acronyms, etc… like DOS, the spell checker will simply ignore the word as it knows you are possibly referring to an acronym. Uncheck it and you will see those pesky words you have typed in uppercase to have the red squiggly lined under them.
Ignore words that contain numbers – Numbers within words, why would ne1 would want to do that? Yes, we have started to become a society of abreviations for words that really don’t need them, thx to the texting generation or now the Twitter generation where getting the words out for what you had for breakfast might put you over the 144 character limit.
Ignore internet and file addresses – Type a URL or URI which can and often does have words that are not real, http://www.whereismyworld.com (This is made up, well maybe I haven’t checked it). So, we can see that whereismyworld is not a proper word and Word would rightly flag it so, unless you using the http:// or the file: qualifiers to state what comes next.
Flag repeated words – Handy in much of my writing, who, who indeed, has not had this problem when they need to use two words in a row, Wagga Wagga and Mullem Mullem are examples, certainly in Australian Aboriginal lexicon.
Enforce accented uppercase in French – There are words in the French language that their definition is different between one spelling and another and the difference to them is merely an accent character. Remember the option of ignoring uppercase words, well this above will mean if you want to talk about “The sign above their head read CURE.”, well this would not be right since our intrepid heroes, being in France, are looking, not for a cure but a priest, which is, “The sign above their head read CURÉ”. There are many different words that are like this but in Word this is often used with French (Canadian) selected (and is defaulted too).
Suggest from main dictionary only – Simple, any custom words you have added will not be included when you right click the word and it shows the suggestions available. Unsure where you would want this, I guess to use within an enterprise who do not want people getting around spelling mistakes by using custom dictionaries to add words.
Custom Dictionaries – Opens a dialog that enables you to include any dictionary you want. You can look up Medical dictionaries, legal ones, computing ones and so on. You might have free ones, but many might be pay. But this is where you would add any new or custom dictionaries you want to include.
This is the area that Mr. Martin didn’t want to do, and thankfully for him you can turn a lot of these off. Sick of having those (c) being turned into © or worse. Each of these can be turned off, like all options. Though the AutoCorrect feature is handy, especially when it comes to words I just have trouble typing properly.
Show AutoCorrect Options buttons – These are handy options that will initially display as a small underline, then as you hover a drop down button appears with some options to reverse the change, turn off this auto correct or go to the AutoCorrect options.
Correct TWo INitial CApitals – This is a handy feature I must say, it happens a bit just because I am not a touch typist so I might just hold the shift key down a little longer than needed and then I have hit the next key.
Capitalise first let of sentences – Says what it does. When typing a new sentence, which is the start of a new paragraph or the first word following a full stop. It will automatically capitalise the word for you.
Capitalise first letter of table cells – Like the sentence one, this will look at the first word of a table cell to need to be capitalised.
Capitalise names of days – Monday, tuesday, wednesday and so on, these days of the week and proper nouns and therefore need to be capitalised.
Correct accident usage of cAPS LOCK key – This one fixes the mistake of you hitting the caps lock key, and continuing you writing and will also turn the caps lock key, off.
Each of these options can be turned off, and it will no longer correct anything for you automatically.
When correcting spelling and grammar in Word
These options are for the spell and grammar checking in Microsoft Word. Once again, each of these can be turned off if you do not want to even see your mistakes.
Check spelling as your type – This will show that red squiggly line under the mistake. When this came in, with Microsoft Word 95 (I believed I saw it in Word 6.0 but I could be wrong). Was a real step forward in the spelling mantra of word processors, and you now see it all over the place. In the later versions of web browsers that are now including these same marks to enable you to see the mistakes in web pages. Don’t want to see them, then turn them off.
Mark Grammar errors as you type – Once again when this was introduced into Word it was an external application they bought and then integrated it into Word. It didn’t work well when first introduced as it would often not pick up the different spelling of words based on the context they’re used in. But this can be annoying in some respects but it shows a blue squiggly line when it detects and issue, so, turn it off and you will not know how grammatically correct your sentences is or isn’t. This is annoying when it comes to a sentence fragment. I like them.
Frequently confused words – There are words that are often confused. Which words, well my mind pours over this poorly written work to know it isn’t the paws of a cat causing this nor is it the pore within my skin. That is a poor example, but you get the point. It is supposed to determine the context and which word would go there, or was it their, or they’re, who knows, well I do and most of the time, Word does too, or to. Damn.
Check grammar with spelling – Remember once upon a time, you would click F7 and you would them be displayed a dialog.
Yes that is the one. Though it did look different, and it shows you the work, selects it and shows you the options. Once, this was the ONLY way to check the spelling in your documents. I would be curious to know, who still uses the F7 key to check spelling.
Granted now, I can get definitions and hear how it is pronounced, if you haven’t hear it before. But times have changed since the humble spelling and now grammar dialog.
Show readability statistics – I know what this does, but I don’t. Off the bat it tells me if the sentence I have written or even that matter the document will provide too much for the person clasping their eyes, trying to make sense of this madness, written before them, or if it is too easy and maybe the difficulty needs to be ramped up.
It shows the number of words and the like, but the what determines the Flesch Reading Ease or Flesch-Kincaid Grade level mean something, mostly I am sure Flesch and Kincaid. But if these are important you can see this after using F7 and everything is checked and complete.
Writing Styles – If you use the grammar checker then this will be of some benefit. If you understand the differences with all of the variations of sentence style or grammar then you will be more at home in this dialog.
The dialog shows all of the different forms of grammar and then writing style that can be checked in your document. But since you can turn off grammar checking, this might not be of to much interest if you have the check grammar with spelling turned off.
I don’t think I will go through these options and tell you the difference between Passive sentences and wordiness.
Now, if all of these options are too much for you to bear that is OK, baring all like this will help. But you can also not care and turn them off, or just hide them in your current document.
So for Mr. Martin, turn off Check text as your type, check spelling as your type and check grammar as you type and you will not be bothered with any of the issues that make you want to use the old DOS WordStar. If there was grammar checking in this Live Writer, I think what I have written here would possibly break all the rules of any grammar checker.
Just for reference, turn it on in Word will make it look like;
Too many squiggly lines if you ask me. Perhaps George is onto something.
Now, I have my timer running, while I am writing this using Windows Live Writer and I will see how well I can go with a clock running. So, The National Novel Writers Month is going to be tomorrow, but today is Halloween, yikes, though in Australia this is becoming a more and more common where people go out and trick or treat. When I grew in the days before being driven to school, potential paedophiles around every conceivable corner and that dreaded iPhone that seems to be in so many people’s hands (now mine, though it is only for work), Halloween was something that you saw in TV shows that came from America, but like many things from American it permeates its way through western culture like a culture does and it is becoming bigger and bigger, I personally think it is a push from the retailers to have yet another excuse to make us buy something, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas. Why is Father’s day smaller, well it is only partially as important as the others. And Certainly as soon as dawn breaks on the First Sunday in September (Australia) that the shops are pulling out their Christmas decorations. Halloween sits right in the middle there and I believe that so many people who are following this newest of new traditions fail to understand the why it is celebrated at all.
So, like all good Australian Government Ministers wanting to do quality research on Climate Change, head to Wikipedia and just put a meaning of it.
It is typically a festival to celebrate the eve of the end of Summer or All Hallows Day (or Holy Day). Much of these origins from either the Romanic Christians to the previous Celtic religions that existed prior to any Roman invasion. I am unaware of exactly where the dressing up like scary beings, ghosts, souls etc… started exactly, some believe that it was a mainly Christian influence on these, as it represents the souls who are in purgatory as a means of representing those who can’t be there. The bells toll for those who are in this transitive place as to provide them solace (in a place of punishment) to know they are being remembered. Or something or such.
The pagan roots are in there as well, but I am unable to find a great deal of information other than it representing the oncoming of Winter, being often the darkest part (shortest daylight), also where no much in terms of harvestable produce can grow. So to celebrate the last of the Autumn Harvest a great feast is to be head. But there is a lot of cross pollination of some of the Pagan and Gaelic traditions with some traditions with the Christian versions and vice versa and like any good chain whispering that is passed along that starts out being “Start the Engine, Pass it on” to “Nan on a Pension, suck my dong” there might be truth in all or none at all.
Back to the words of the moment, the 50,000 pending words which begins 1 November 2013, I had a brief think about some ideas for a story, one about something happening on the Trans-Siberian Railway, what I am unsure another idea I have toying with is something less adventurous bit more bold as it touches a controversial topic to many, well possibly to about 99% of many in the world (I am unsure of the factuality of the stats on that). Perhaps I could cross them over too, but my mind is there, that I will attempt to do this, yet again, perhaps this time to finish, or to come up with a new excuse, a different one, I have never used the Dog ate my homework since my dogs seem more interested in eating food and even if I were to spread my homework in Peanut Butter I think all that would happen is I would have a wet, peanut smelling homework, plus how do you convince a dog to each a computer, shoes are one thing, aluminium encased laptops are another, and certainly my dog will not eat fruit, see Apple not everyone finds your devices appetising , no matter how much I make it doggy palatable.
So, “The night was…” a line that can begin so much and yet frustrate you if that is the path you take. Because the guy in hat looks at the other guy in the hat and they know they want the same thing as the guy in the hat asks coyly as to why the other guy in the hat is staring at him.
So, remember a “Writer writes, always”
NaNoWriMo, it rolls of the tongue far better than it does off the fingers and onto the keyboard, and I believe this is the exact way that many who might be trying to undertake this feat feel when it comes to writing a novel. I have tried many a year to attempt this, started and stopped because;
- I forgot what I was writing about
- I felt it sucked and couldn’t bare the shame of finishing something do terrible (especially since I will mock publically released terrible things, especially works of fiction, check this bad boy out.)
- I forgot to start (This was an interesting one, I got myself all worked up, was ready to start my writing, I woke up, had some bacon and eggs, turned the telly one and did squat, repeat times 30 and you will get what happened for the month of November, though bacon and eggs for a whole month sounds more like heaven)
- Started and stopped, lost mojo
- Life intervened
There are many others but suffice to say I have attempt to do a NaNoWriMo for about 10 years and each time I have started and never completed or never started for any number of reasons.
Which is it that might cause concern? The 30 days, the 50,00 words. Well some who read my Long Reads (Though I thought I wrote longer ones than these), and then also work colleagues who have seen any number of documents have seen that I can write, 50,000 words in a pinch, certainly on any topic I feel any level of passion about or have any great understanding of.
So, starting in Friday, 1 November 2013 I would begin that ever fateful trip down the lane of the National Novel Writing Month, so write a novel;
An extended fictional work in prose; usually in the form of a story.
I have many extended pieces of fictional work laying around the place, I have a folder on my flash drive, with about 40 or so folders of screenplay ideas (some are brilliant, others, well let me say that they be novels I would start to write and stop, see point 2 above for excuse). Or should I start something completely different, I have many an idea floating around in my head.
There is one thing that has crossed my mind, crossed mind you and nothing more. That I post each day the writings I have done, put up the 1,667 words or so up online for the ridicule of the world and certainly like putting my old fella’ onto a chopping block waiting for the inevitable to happen and wait for criticism on my creative work. This is where I grit my teeth, sweat bullets, shit a brick, or any other metaphor for stressing out over waiting for the words come, “ I thought it was gooood, but…” Yes, the precursor to the beating to death with foam bats, that long drawn out good the pause that seems to last as long as takes for the Milky Way to revolve once and the but tells you that the first part was to help soften the hit from the 20 car freight train coming in the but.
There has been various pieces of information I have gleaned from days of yore. In those I speak of when I was able to write fiction with a great deal of aplomb and often thought of new stories while sitting precariously perched performing one of life’s daily duties, but today it seems a little hard and harder (much like one of life’s daily duties, perhaps more fibre). Often the best writing comes when done in short bursts, 5 or 10 minute stints, helps keep the mind clear and enables you then also focus on any task at hand, thereafter.
These short stints are there to stop writers block since it often comes when labouring over the work for hours and hours on end, stop boredom with the project which I am sure many of us do if we aren’t liking the story and at the end of the 30 days, having done max 10 minutes a day you have only done 5 hours of writing, which isn’t too bad considering how many terribly movies have you sat through, time you will never get back and who can say, I wrote a novel in 5 hours, a good boasting point then.
So some quick states, if you write 50,000 as the task suggests, that is 1667 words in a day, which means you need to look at how fast one can type, me, it is 30 words a minute, well I could possibly do more than that, but since I am not really counting then it is difficult to know. Then workout how many words a minute you need to write. If I write 30 words a minute I will then write 300 words in 10 minutes which means I will need about 5, 10 minute sessions a day to cover my allotted 1667 words a day.
So, I will ponder on it for another day, finish a small piece of software I am writing for the occasion (a timer for Windows Live Writer) to help me keep track on my short stints to prevent me from being bored and then come Friday we will see what I can possibly do to make this year the year I finally get my fingers to finish that novel. Since in the end it is really my fingers that do it, not my mind, always my fingers.
Just for the record, this rambling of me writing 50,000 words, or possibly 50,00 words, since I haven’t said yes yet, managed to reach the heady heights of nearly 1000 words, strange that when I don’t put my mind to it, how many words I can really write.