Screenwriting: Simplify to ClarifyMany stories actually contain way too much information or take too long to make their point. When was the last time you heard anyone complaining that a film was too short? Being able to ‘murder your darlings’ and cut out your favourite scenes, moments or shots is crucial to being able to tell a story well.As editors we’ve got to find ways to convey the same story beats but in as concise a way as possible. Can you eliminate one half of the dialogue and still have a great scene? Can you take a whole scene out because its not clear that scenes purpose. Could another scene already have made that point?Ira Glass has a great 4 part video series on storytelling that is well worth checking out. This nicely put together typography piece will give you a decent flavour of what’s in store:Step Back: Big Picture ScriptwritingFilm editor Walter Murch uses a system of cards mapping out the story structure, based on the screenplay (very much like screenwriters do when writing the script in the first place) to help him visualize what’s going on in the film.The above cards cards are from Cold Mountain, for which Walter was nominated for an Oscar:“Blue with a yellow background means Inman (Jude Law) is in a scene; plain blue means Inman is not in that scene. A lot of blue cards in a row means not much Inman – which makes me wonder ‘is that a good idea?’ A triangle indicates I feel it is a pivot scene. The size of card equals the approximate length of a scene.”Being able to step back and see the story as a whole is crucial to seeing what’s working well and what’s not adding to the overall experience. Sometimes a great scene is hurting the rest of film.Screening your film with people who don’t know anything about it is also a good way to a) see it with fresh eyes and b) discover if it actually makes sense. A huge part of successful storytelling and screenwriting is mapping out the emotional arc and narrative, while weaving those together. Sometimes withholding information from the audience or a character can dramatically alter those dynamics.Have screenwriting and scriptwriting tips to share?Let us know in the comments below! As an editor, the key to shaping the story hidden amid the footage is to understand the fundamentals of scriptwriting.The two tweets below got me inspired to put together a post on scriptwriting and storytelling for editors and creatives alike. If you’re like me and keen to beef up your story structure skills, these scriptwriting tips and videos should help you improve your craft. Jeff Ford, editor on The Avengers, mentions several things that he feels editors should learn – sound, acting and scriptwriting – in the course of this interview for Avid. It’s well worth watching.Follow Basic Scriptwriting FormulasThe basics sound pretty basic, but if you don’t follow these simple things your story will be all over the place and impossible for the audience to follow.You’ve got to have a beginning, a middle and an end. Set up, develop and pay off. If you’ve got problems with your pay off at the end of your story, go back and check that everything that precedes it is lining up to make that point. If you’re arranging an interview as the basis for your story structure and you’ve got a clip that conveys the information of a beginning piece but tonally feels like an ending, its definitely best to go with how it will feel…or leave it out all together.This talk on the Power of Storytelling given by professional storyteller Jay O’Callahan is one of my absolute favorites from any 99percent conference because for 17 and a half minutes you get to see a master craftsman at work:
Commonwealth Games organising committee (OC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi today claimed that the standard of training facilities available at the Delhi Games Village is best in the world.”The standard of training facilities that are available here are not available anywhere else in the world. This is one of the best Games Villages that anyone has seen,” Kalmadi said on the occasion of the soft launch of the Commonwealth Games Village here today.”All the facilities in the Village are top class and I am sure the athletes are going to love it. “The training areas comprising of the swimming pool, athletic track, gymnasium, weightlifting and wrestling areas are simply wonderful. In a Games Village, generally, all these facilities are not available at such a large scale,” he added.Putting to rest all rumours about the readiness of the Games Village, Kalmadi, himself led the media contingent to the various parts of the Games Village.”The whole village is ready. The international, the training centres and the accommodations are all in place. The Games Village will open from September 23 and we will have a lot of athletes coming in on September 23, 24 and 25 and they will continue to come till October 2,” said Kalmadi.He also stressed that it is not only their stay at the Games Village that the athletes are going to enjoy but also the event as a whole. “Every evening we are going to have entertainment programmes for the athletes.”Also for the first time, the athletes would be watching the opening ceremony of the CWG. Usually, after the march past they go outside. But here they would come back and sit inside the stadium and watch the cultural programmes, which is going to show 500 years of Indian culture.advertisement”By the time they will go back they will be like a family. They will come as a friend and go back as family. They will enjoy themselves,” said Kalmadi.Addressing the security concerns during the sporting extravaganza that is going to take place from October 3-14, the OC Chairman said, “We just had a security meeting and all issues of security have been sorted out. The Delhi Police have done a great job.”In fact, some of the top officials of Delhi Police have previous experiences of how to run the security during the Games as they have been to Olympics and Commonwealth Games in other countries. The security in the Games Village is of top priority and I am very happy with the arrangement.”All 71 countries are coming. Nobody is afraid. Everyone’s coming. The CWG Association had comprised a team, who used to visit India after every two months. So everyone’s happy about the security,” Kalmadi said.Speaking on the utilisation of the space in the Village, which is spread over 158.4 acres of land, after the Games are over, Kalmadi said it would be a challenge. “There have been a lot of discussion on how to utilise large portions of land after the Games are over. Usually, after such big events there is always a question of how to use these structures and that is a challenge.”The DDA has a lot of sports background. They have opened lot of clubs in the city. After the Asian Games, they opened clubs for the public use and I am sure in this case also they will use it for the public,” he said.Kalmadi also rubbished reports that Dengue will pose a threat to the athletes as the Games Village is still surrounded by a lot of flood water from Yamuna and said there is no need to panic.”Central government, State govt and the MCD are on war footing as far as Dengue is concerned. Lot of Insecticides have been put into place. Lot of fogging is also being done. “The fogging of the Games Village is going to take place from tomorrow. So, we are taking all steps to have safe and healthy Games. There is no cause for alarm at all.