24 Frames per Second
Cine.ma - Writing Screenplays & Media Plays - Using online tools wherever you are
First in a series
Each day, professional, aspiring and student film and media-makers come through the doors of the Library for the Performing Arts (LPA) seeking resources that will aid in making their creativity become a reality.
If the 16th century focused on painting, the 19th on photography and the 20th on cinema, the 21st is all about integrated media.
Better stated, it is all about integrated performing arts media, and for the casual to the academic, there is no better place then LPA for the beginning, middle or end of a project's life. Better yet, it is located on the Lincoln Center Plaza with some of the best views of the sloping grasses, mini-forest or even a sculpture or two.
For many of the patrons and researchers who use LPA each day, this means a need to understand, manipulate and create not only in the artist's primary format but also across formats. Hence, integrated media arts may cover cinema, theatre, dance, music as well as moving towards interactive performance using computing devices, software and audience participation. Although clearly the year is 2010, the following video from 2003 will give you an idea of what has been and will continue to be defined as integrated performing arts media.
As many of the researchers who access the world's largest integrated collection dedicated to the performing arts know best, planning is the key to success! Whether in the early stages of pre-production, or moving through a project's implementation, the ongoing planning and ideating of projects leads to that production's success.
As more of us jump from coffee shop, to wifi enabled plaza, to wifi enabled libraries and back to our own apartments in a single day, we are able to bring our thoughts with us wherever we happen to be. The only serious caveat is you must lug around all your gear, or at least make choices about what gear, tools and reading materials you bring along for the creative ride. A laptop may weigh five pounds, but once you include your reusuable metal water container, packed brown bag lunch, portable harddrives, cameras, cell phones, media players, 3G devices, head phones, and up to 50 circulating library materials, decisions have to be made as to what to leave behind and what to bring with you. One thing you should never leave behind are your creative thoughts, right, so what ends up getting the axe?
So writing and hammering out the pre-production for a screenplay, media play, or tele-play, and you don't have access to your thumb drive or personal computer and frankly that the touchscreen keyboard just isn't cutting it anymore, rest assured there is a better way: log in to your Google Documents, begin a new document from templates and use the free template to write screenplays or subvert it to write your integrated performing arts mediaplay. It couldn't be easier, cheaper and more efficient especially when you can leave all those electro-techno devices at home and instead focus on the idea, saving room in your bag for some of the following:
1) David Mamet's On Directing Film is a great book to get your gears going
2) Alexander Mackendrick's On Filmmaking is a nice text as well
3) Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush's Alternative scriptwriting: successfully breaking the rules is another great book
4) Once you've written your screenplay, give Mick Hurbis-Cherrier's phenomenal text Voice & Vision a thorough read (We'll be having an online conversation with him in the near future!)
Over the course of this Cine.ma Series, another 46 titles will be forthcoming just in case you decide to get a bigger bag so stay tuned!
Leave a comment and let others know some of your tricks and if the Google Docs screenplay template is working for you. Have you already read the listed books above ~ contribute and let others know what should be on the list!
-cMc | IV April 2010 | Library for the Performing Arts