New Media Part 1 – Dead End or Inside Track?

Published on: August 20, 2015

Filled Under: Efficient Work

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Having a hard time recognizing if your writing is effective?  Why not try your hand at shooting some of it, and see how people react?  It’s all part of New Media – Dead End or Inside Track?  With new technologies and inexpensive ways to produce scenes from your script, you can increase your odds of winning a contest.  Here’s a new way to polish your script with feedback from the people who would most likely be interested in your story!

Hopefully, you’ve got some time before the deadline is upon you for that upcoming screenwriting contest so you can get feedback on your script.  Every writer has been where you are; no matter how many times you’ve stared at the words on the page you still find yourself a little confused.  Is your message getting across?  Does your dialogue really pop off the page?  Are the scenes too long, or just right?

If only there was a way to find out if your script actually works.  There is, welcome to the 21st Century!  Utilize the inexpensively accessible aspects of New Media to your advantage.  Get the feedback you need and have some fun in the process.  What the heck am I talking about?  The internet!

I want you to bring your story to life.  Shoot a scene, post it online and get some feedback on your writing.  I’m talking about taking a small leap from writer to producer.  It’s not that hard, really.

Read through your script and find one scene that contains a very important plot-point; possibly the scene that catapults your protagonist (or anti-hero, depending on your story) from the First Act into the Second Act.  As long as it’s a cost-effective scene to create, you’ll be well on your way to getting results.  Keep away from special effects, focus on the action in the scene that’s portrayed by the actor or actors.

No matter where you live in this world, you can always find a group of thespians who are eager to get some material for their reel.  Is there anybody out there who doesn’t own a video camera or know someone with access to one?  If you’re really in a bind, use your smart phone.

Spend a day, it might only take an afternoon, to shoot the scene.  There’s no need to do a dress rehearsal, simply shoot everything.  You’d be surprised how much great quality material you’ll have to work with on your first take.   Shoot it from different angles, experiment with different versions of the scene, do whatever feels right.  Try a couple things that are awkward.

When you’re all done, edit the material together.  Don’t have the equipment, time or skills to edit the piece together?  How many people do you have to ask before you can find someone to help you out; ten people, five, three?  Get creative, if you find someone will only edit for cash, see if you can work out a barter deal.   There’s always a way to make it happen.

For your final step, post your completed scene onto the internet.  There’s YouTube, Facebook, you can attach a link to a Twitter account, just to name a few sites.  Where ever you post it, ask for honest feedback regarding your scene.  Here’s where things get interesting.

Remember those actors who you gathered together to perform in your scene?  They have friends they can blast an email out to, in addition to their Facebook accounts.  Before you know it, you’ll have dozens of people giving you honest feedback.  Granted, you’ll be dealing with people on the internet, so you may get some trolls saying overly mean things just to get a reaction out of you.  But in the end, you will get some very interesting pointers regarding a scene – that you created – from your screenplay.

Who knows if you’ll stop at only the one scene, you may find that you’ll be able to actually bring your project to life on the internet.  New Media gives you the ability to bring your project to the people regardless of where they live.  Utilize it to your advantage and most important, have fun with it.

Don’t believe that it’ll work?  Diablo Cody (Academy Award winning writer for Juno) was discovered through a blog she was writing.  While she had aspirations to become a successful writer, it was this very unconventional way that got her noticed.  New Media in all its forms is a way to create and deliver your material  through untapped paths.

Wondering why your script didn’t even make it as a finalist?  Read Great Beginnings so you can understand why it’s vital to hook the person reading your script from page one.  Don’t let your story get lost in the shuffle because you didn’t follow these Three Simple Tips.

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