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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

SCREENPLAY PRESENTATION: How to Submit a Hard Copy, Interesting Discussion on Facebook

Presentation. Someone of importance has asked you for your script, but they want a hard copy. What method of binding it do use, and what else do you be sure to do before handing it in?
    • Bind it with brads. Someone who wasn't all that important casually said he would read my script, with no possibility he would have any role in getting it made, so I gave him a copy, and his main reaction was that it should have been bound with brads - and when he sent it back he even enclosed a brad to show me what one looked like.

    • Howard Casner I use the standard three whole punch, but only two brads (I usually have them copied at a copy shop who already know the routine). I also use heavy stock on the front and back. I haven't, but I'm stupid for not--go through each copy and make sure there are no missing pages.

    • The three-hole punch with two brads is the only method I've ever heard recommended.

    • 20 pound bond paper; standard three hole punch, with 110 pound card stock--also standard three hole punched. Use same color card-stock on front and back. Take one and a quarter or one and a half inch brads with the large heads. Put one through the top hole front to back; one in the bottom hole front to back. Flatten prongs to the as much as possible in the back of the script on the covers.

      Of course make sure that when you open the script, you have the title page first: Title down about 17 lines from the top edge of the paper, centered; all in caps with smart quote marks on either side, then staying centered, triple space to the words Written by--with the letter W capped, then staying centered double space to your name or you and your partner's name on one line and be sure to connect you and your partner's name with an ampersand (&)--NOT the word and--between the two names. From there go down about three-quarters of the page from the top--not from the title block--and on the right side put your phone #--the one where they can most easily reach you--and your email. That's it, no date, no draft #, no copyright or WGA notice.

      The next page is page one, with title and FADE IN:--though I've seen many a script without one or either--and the screenplay begins. There is no number on page one. Page 2 begins the numbering with the number 2 and it's consecutively numbered from then on. Make sure it is consecutively numbered, that there are no blank pages or misplaced pages in the script and that THE END is not on a separate page.

      Hopefully, now your script is all dressed up with someplace nice to go!

    • Oh yeah, I hope it goes without saying--so I'll say in anyway--white paper. And any color card stock but white.

    • my ritual before handing any of my babies off to 'Someone' (as opposed to 'anyone else') is:

      - get drunk
      - post on FB and all my other screenwriting haunts all about how awesome I am and how everyone else sucks (because I'm way drunk by this point...)
      - page 1 rewrite, while still very drunk, and on thru the next day, hangover day...
      - at some point, I'm gonna have to throw up; I'll say it's due to excitement and adrenaline, but most likely, it's from the drunk... hopefully, I don't puke on the new, fresh script pages... or the cat...
      - print, collate, same-colored card stock front and back cover sheets, 3 hole punch, 2 brass brads, shipping box, shipping labels, professionally packaged to perfection
      - send that sucker off!
      - a few more long lonely days of drinking... actually, it's probably weeks, but, when you're drunk, time doesn't seem to matter or make sense any more, right?
      - at some point, I get a call or e-mail, maybe even a visit from some 'important offical' type person with some follow-up concerns and questions..

      the inquiry almost always has to do with why oh why did I send a dead, puke-covered cat to the rep or production company...

      oh, bother...

      write on!

    • One last item--I hope. Page # is four lines down from top edge of paper 7.2 inches from left edge of paper. In other words way to the right at the top of the page.

    • After that, then follow Rick Y's MO. :)

    • ‎3 hole punch, two brads, cardstock covers, final draft takes care of the format. I make sure the title page has the right contact info. make sure the pages are all there. I have no problem including the WGA or copyright # on the cover. I know some believe that it's unprofessional, but I really don't see why.

    • ^ copyright # on the title page, rather than cover :]

    • No Copyright because--or so I've been told--you're making subtext, text. By putting in Copyright and/or WGA, you're saying to the folks you're sending the screenplay to, "I don't trust you." Well, you don't, but first we assume you're a professional and have registered your copyright, and second, you don't go broadcasting the fact you don't trust them. It makes for bad feelings all the way around.

    • Yeah, I've heard the same thing. But I just feel like people who read into the posting of copyright on that deep a level - as a statement of mistrust - might be taking it way too personally... Competitions seem to require proof of copyright or registration these days, so I wonder if the unspoken rule of 'don't show the copyright' is changing.

    • Copyrighting seems standard to me and not an announcement that you don't trust someone.

    • Copyrighting is standard, which is another reason you don't need to announce it.

    • Yes, but if you do, and people are offended by it, I agree with Diane they must be a little over-sensitive. Don't writers have to scrape and grovel enough to potential readers without being afraid to even say their work is copyright, to assert ownership?

    • Don't most people read all their scripts on a Kindle anymore? I haven't been asked for anything other than in an e-mail in the last few years? I know most agencies and management companies put everything on their e-readers, and can even do notes on them (don't ask me how that works...)

    • Never put THE END at the end.

    • I have access to a repro center, so I just print on normal (non-punched) 20 lb. stock, and then later I use a paper drill to make the holes. Then I bind with those "professional" alternate non-brad binders that spin shut, like a screw. Then I add in the index with all my drawings, concept art, character bios, diagrams, maps and the other stuff you're supposed to include with every script.

      But when I say this, I mostly mean just for me - because in the five years I've been pursing this, only one company asked for a hardcopy.

      And I don't include the copyright info/date, or the WGA registration number, for the reasons stated above. Just a note that says "DO NOT STEAL OR I WILL FIND YOU", which I'm told is industry standard.

    • I haven't used a smart quote yet. What do you think - something by Einstein or Newton?

    • ‎...and just before you send it. Re-read. Again. And...once again.

    • Yeah, you def. Register your script, to get copy written at the admin. Office and Never ever Hand in the original. Always have extra copies. And to the ppl out there who don't know all about getting it reg. At the copywrite office, you can always just mail it to yourself, in a self addressed envelope, then when you receieve it, do not open it. Lol just. Store it in a good spot til you need it. :) happy scriptwriting Friday, everyone!!

    • Howard Casner Sorry, Nicole, but I'm not sure I understand what you're saying about mailing it to yourself at the copyright office. Are you suggesting that mailing it to yourself is sufficient? In theory it is (in theory, once you write it, it's yours, period), but in actuality, I would never depend on that; it's far too dangerous and you'll probably never be able to get any monetary damages if someone steals your script and it's a real dicey legal situation. Always register with the copyright office. Always. Even if you register with the WGA, register with the copyright office. Always.

    • I just got a script from a production company to evaluate and mark up. It came with plastic spiral binding. But that's from a company. I have always sent hard-copies, three-hole punched with #6 brads and card-stock covers.

    • Howard Casner Sally, that's happened to me. I've gotten them with butterfly clips. I think that's probably how they got it and just sent it on to you as was.

    • Howard Casner But speaking of being asked for a hard copy of the script by a production company, etc., rather than a PDF, to be honest, warning bells do go off a bit in my head. I would send it, of course, but I would wonder why this guy was so out of the zeitgeist.

    • Howard: Maybe it's my age, but hard copy is easier to read, catch errors, determine what is working and what isn't. Of course, that's for critiquing a script. For just reading to know if it's good to produce, maybe it doesn't matter so much if it's on the computer or hard copy.

      And, yes, I realize all one has to do is print it, but that takes ink and paper and a bit of time, and from all I can figure out about agents and producers, they really don't want to have to be bothered by all that.

      Or did I miss something somewhere?

    • I use plastic spiral with a clear cover from staples. Easy to read, durable, and I've never got a complaint or mention about it. I've also seen them with a spine and print on both pages.

    • And I have been asked for hard copies from producers and an agency. APA.

    • Agents and producers have interns to do their printing, or they can read it on their iPad. And if they want someone else to read a script they liked, it's much easier to e-mail an electronic copy than copy a hard-copy or hand over the only copy.

    • I understand that, and I always assume I'll be emailing it, but I have been asked. Bottom line; give them what they want and make it as easy and pleasant as possible for them to read. That includes content and grammar.

    • Yeah, what Marty said and watch those typos and spaces.

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