Scriptwriting II, of casting calls, recording, and other fun stuff
- Why I tend to structure in ~30min chunks and what exactly goes into each 30 minutes.
- How to break apart a bigger narrative story, and my approach to writing when I know I’m attacking a big project and need to start somewhere.
- Then, pivoting to SHORT SHORTs, and how it can actually be pretty hard to write a satisfying shorter piece!
- Some thoughts on dramatic stakes, story elements, and building satisfying conclusions… In a lot of beginner writing I look at, I see a lot of big ideas and interesting concepts, but often a lot of loose threads and moments that feel unearned or could be chopped away by a good editor. It is hard to be your own editor! But it’s also important to understand that as a storyteller, your job is to distill a story into its essential elements… While in the real world we exist in this place where there are all kinds of unrelated things and things happen that are sort of random and there are side-quests that don’t really go anywhere… a good story will be crafted such that every component part has a job, which is to move the story forward. “Less is more” “Omit needless words” “Show don’t tell” etc.
Please read the explainer file (in the Dropbox folder) for what’s in here and why I included it. Also, some screenwriting education recommendations from my Facebook friends!
Then we do a 180! And we start talking about pre-production and recording
Being a producer/writer is hard because the writer is going to write in things that the producer brain will say, “WTF are you insane?! how are we going to come up with 75 dancing mimes in an audioplay?!” and the writer will be like, “Uhhh you figure it out.”
And eventually the writer-me becomes the producer-me and the producer-me has to furrow the eyebrow moodily at writer-me, who by that point is hiding under the table and producer-me just has to figure out how to move on…
Never on a single project (one that I cared about anyway) have I not been intimidated by what writer-me came up with. To me, it’s important to continually challenge yourself artistically, and writer-me seems to have a diabolical desire to continue to push the envelope, whether that’s the technical elements of sound design, breaking format with story structure, writing in characters that I know I’ll have difficulty casting, etc.
So we’ll talk a little bit of the personal part of being a producer – how to recognize and own the fear/anxiety/intimidation/
imposter syndrome and then learn to “Keep Calm, Carry On” and make a thing. Honestly this is the crux of the whole class; SO MANY PEOPLE get stuck in the process of trying to make something, and never bring it to fruition, because of anxiety inflicted at this stage. WE ARE GOING TO LEARN HOW TO POWER THROUGH THAT!
Whew… okay at this point you‘re thinking, “That’s a lot to cover” — but holy smokes, that’s hardly half of it!
We’re then going to pivot to one of the most important tasks of a producer, which is TO GET SOMETHING CAST!
I’ll share a casting template, and talk about where I go looking for voice actor auditions. I’m actually looking to cast one of my own short pieces so as to demonstrate how the process works so I may have a little bit of work on that to share.
Last but not least…
We’ll get into home recording — which could itself be an entire course!! — and I’ll be at your full disposal to talk about actually getting sounds recorded to gear… I will be happy to hang on doing Q&A about home recording set-ups until the cows come home, as I kind of am geeking out about this a lot right now and am really excited to see the innovations people are coming up with.
Though perhaps by way of background we can also talk about mic set-ups that you‘d use if a studio were still available, see this piece I did as a follow-up to PodTales late last year – https://www.finalrune.com/
Aside — my recommendeded kits for entry level home recording – https://www.bhphotovideo.
com/c/product/1508692-REG/ focusrite_scarlett_home_ recording_kit.html — and — https://www.bhphotovideo. com/c/product/1389851-REG/ rode_nt1_complete_studio_kit. html
If you are serious about doing VO work having some home set-up is really a great investment, and practically speaking the only way you‘re going to get gigs for some indefinite period of time…