Movie Making Mondays

Girl holding clapperboard in front of a blue background.

Movie Making Mondays

Throughout the month of September, the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library will present a series of teen programs about film-making. Teens can learn the process of creating a short movie. Each Monday there will be a program about a different aspect of making a short movie.

Dates and Programs

The first program will be on September 9th. Teens will learn different techniques to write a script and storyboard their ideas.

On September 16th, teens will have the opportunity to use iPads to film material in the library for their shorts. For example, they can shoot a scene in Teen Central.

The program on September 23rd is all about editing.  There will be a brief demonstration about using editing software, and then teens will have the opportunity to edit their footage to construct a finalized project. Help will be provided if needed.

The final program is on September 30th. Teens will be able to watch each other’s films. Snacks will be provided for the screening.

Tips for Writing a Screenplay

To kick things off, here are some tips for teens on how to become amazing scriptwriters:

  1. Read books, watch movies, and take copious notes: Above all best way to learn plot structure is to read as often as possible. Teen Central has exciting, new novels that can inspire you. Reading non-fiction can also be fruitful as it expands the well of knowledge you can draw from as you write. Watching movies will implicitly teach film language, which is the method of making movies. Taking notes while you read books and watch movies will help you avoid derivative work, and can help you know what to write.
  2. Don’t write with a budget in mind: Do not let a lack of money or resources prevent you from writing something complex. Write the story you want to tell. Subsequently, you can always rewrite it to fit your budget. Sometimes limitations can cause innovation and your movie will be better for it.
  3. Keep your writing visual: You can write the screenplay with as much dialogue as you want, but you should remember that movies are a visual medium. Consider how to show rather than tell your audience the ideas you want to share with your short.
  4. Always be cutting: The first draft is seldom good enough to shoot. As you rewrite, cut out material that does not fit your goals. No matter how much you might like a scene or a bit of dialogue, cut it if that makes your writing stronger.
  5. Finish your script: Even if you don’t decide to make your script into a short, just finish it. You can always return your writing later if you choose film it. Finishing your script can help improve your writing in school as you gain practice writing.
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