Tuesday, September 18, 2007

SP Terms - Shooting vs Spec

A screenplay that is written but not as part of a paid assignment is known as a “Spec”, because it is deemed speculative.

A screenplay that is put together to support the production of an actual movie is known as a “Shooting script”, because these scripts don’t just tell the story, they also have a bunch of technical content (e.g. scene numbers, special effects etc).

It is obviously best if the two aren’t confused.

In other words, go to someplace on-line like Amazon and search for “shooting script” and you’ll see a variety of available publications that elaborate how a given motion picture was made... the detailed instructions supporting each scene in the movie, the exact dialogue used between characters, the transitions between scenes, any effects required and so-on.

This kind of detail should always be absent from a Spec.


Probably because the writer should focus on the what and not concern themselves with the mechanics of how it will be made.

To dwell on that interferes with the telling of the story, besides which the story itself will be rewritten in potentially dozens of drafts long before any thought of making it will arise. In fact, the odds of the script becoming a shooting script at all are very slim. So it probably comes across as presumptuous (at least) or unnecessarily dictatorial (at most).

No comments: