For uni this week I had an assignment that consisted of either answering a question, or doing a creative piece in the form of a screenplay, and well seeing as I want to be a writer, I decided to do the screenplay option.
Our task was to rewrite one of the films or books we had been studying on my course for the last few weeks. I chose to do Pride and Prejudice because it is one of my favourite books and I absolutely love Joe Wright’s 2005 version with Matthew Macfadyen and Kiera Knightley. I decided to write it in the form of an adaptation as I wanted to change the genre of the original to that of a Gothic Horror.
I was worried at first that I wouldn’t be any good at screenplays, as anyone who has read my writing knows that I include a lot of exposition in my pieces. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to write good enough dialogue to carry my story along and that I wouldn’t be able to emphasise the action I was seeing in my mind.
I was pleasantly surprised therefore, when the screenplay moved along very quickly with the action and dialogue seemingly coming naturally to the script. After finishing my piece I let my flatmate read it who also had the same assignment as me. He declared it a success and I have to admit, I feel like it is one of the best pieces I have written lately. I even feel like I would one day like to finish the script even though screenplays have never interested me in the slightest before as a possible writing job.
I also have to add a note about a program I was recommended to use for this assignment by another friend. Celtx is a free program you can download from the internet which automatically formats your work in whatever is the chosen form you have selected for it. For instance, I selected Film Project and automatically my characters, camera shots, action sequences and dialogue all became formatted with minimal effort on my part. You simply select what Heading you are writing under at that particular moment and in my case, it capitalised and indented my work for me, all to a generic screenplay format which I assume would be correct if submitted to a company. I found this program immensely helpful for this assignment as I had never written a screenplay before and I was very unsure of the correct format to use.
Here is a link to the Celtx website: http://www.celtx.com/. Simply go on it, then select to download either the free version, which I used, or the Celtx Plus version which you have to pay for but has added extras you can purchase separately.