Short film script ‘The search’ completed

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Finished my first short film script today. Its about a person who is searching for his missing wife inside a library. It clocks around 9-10 minutes. Now I have to sent it to some writer friends for some valuable opinion.

Writing the short film script was fun. Because the process is more flexible. With a feature length script, midway into the 2nd act, you cannot suddenly decide that you want to change the character or plot. You will be undoing a lot of work. On the other hand with a short film script you can experiment. And you are not in a hurry to make the story go from point A to point B. You can savour the small small events. It was a good break for me from the ‘heist’ script which involved a lot of planning for the ‘heist’ set pieces.
This short is for an assistant director who wants to do a short as a part of CV or something. Now I move on to my next short which is about two political party hit men and a party intellectual who set off for a political assassination. Something about where the boundary between a gang war and a ideological war blurs. It will be also around the same length.

In the mean time I am also doing a treatment for an idea given by a friend. He is planning to do a low budget movie of over 90 minutes with it. And I have to finish writing notes for a screenplay scripted by a friend.
After completing all these, I have to read the 1st draft of my heist script. Right now I am trying to maintain a distance from it so that I can be more objective in assessing it. Then I will start working on the second draft. Hopefully by the third draft I will have something presentable in my hands.

Photo by ~aspidistra~

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7 thoughts on “Short film script ‘The search’ completed

  1. Congratulations buddy! I know how hard it is.
    I was wondering about two things…reply when you have time:

    1. How long/number of hours it took for you to write a script for a short film.

    2. In your case, how do you first start working on a script? I mean is there some incident (happened with you or somebody else or something you read somewhere) which starts the process or there is some theme which you are interested in exploring & then around that theme you build a story?
    I know writers have different ways of working, but was just wondering about your style.

    P.S.: The wordplayer site is awesome..thanks a lot for directing me there.

    1. Dev,
      It took me around 4 hours (at a rate of 15-20 minutes/ day) to complete my script (total 7 pages). This includes certain amount of rewriting also.
      Regarding your second question, when I think about it, most probably the tone that I want to impart comes first. For the heist script, I started with ‘a conmovie which is comic, lighthearted, unapologetic and also intelligent’ as the first point. Characters and plot came later. But I am not sure whether tone and theme are synonymous. Any way this question is interesting and let me sit on this. I will make a blog post out of it.

    1. Ram,
      I would like to. But the friend for whom I have written it, liked it (He said, ‘It works’). So I am under strict orders not to circulate it till both of us have a detailed talk. So currently its on hold.
      By the way I liked your photos.

  2. Thanks for your reply. Iam impressed by your number of hours spent because from what I read/know of several people writing a short film script, average time spent is anything between a full weekend to couple of months ( 25hrs-200 hrs). I took around 20 hrs for my first short film script and that does not include all the time spent on deciding on a story/theme before I started working out scenarios and characters. And, on the top of it, it was a crappy script. 🙂
    Regarding theme vs tone, yes these two are very different from each other. Tone could be something like as you said funny, unapologetic or it could be gloomy, surreal, over the top etc. Theme is the underlying statement in a story, a world view of writer: for ex, it could be that ‘crime does not pay ( many film noir movies)’ or ‘ lot of people get away with crime in life (chinatown for ex)’ or that ‘ relationships are unpredictable (Annie hall) and so on..
    Last week I had decided to make a post on this issue of how one starts a story, with a theme or an incident or sometimes from a character (Big Lebowski). But then didnt get time to really write it..perhaps you can start now and then I might chip in. 🙂

    1. Dev,
      Just because I have written faster doesnot mean that my script is any better. Upto certain point, the quality of one’s script is proportional to the time one spends on it. A reason I did it faster may be that I didnt take it seriously. For me it was just a way of relaxing between feature film script rewrites.
      The way you have defined theme, it appears to me that if I have to choose between theme and character as the starting point, it would be theme most of the times.
      Please dont wait for my take on this. I am a moody blogger. I pick up topics on the spur of the moment. So it may happen that I dont blog about it in another two weeks. But definitely I would write about it in 2-3 wks. In the mean time, you can have a crack at it if you want.

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