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Info on show writing

 
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admin
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Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Posts: 381

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:45 am    Post subject: Info on show writing Reply with quote

I'll keep looking, but haven't found anything here, yet, on show writing. I've found that there are show writers out there, but wanted to find out more about the formats that are used. Is it just standard script format? And is it different, depending on what it is for? Is there something to follow for ride/attraction, backstory, restaurant, exhibit...
I know that the formats for TV, Film, and Theater (and AV presentations) are all a little different, but all include dialogue. How do these compare?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Doug

jeffreyyapp
Member
Posts: 338
(5/2/06 7:06 am)
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New Post Show Writing
Hey Doug!

Since every design house approaches their production a little differently, I don't think there really is a "standard format" like there is for screenplays and teleplays. Every attraction is a little different and will necessitate a slightly different format. Most of the work I’ve done has been sort of a combination between short story and screenplay.

If you’re doing a dark ride with lots of dialogue, action sequences and scenic descriptions might be paragraphs long, for instance; while in a screenplay those passages are usually only 4 lines or so and broken up by all the dialogue. In attractions with very little or no dialogue, (a themed coaster, for example) the script might be written entirely like a short story. For live shows, it might be written like a stage play, with the stage blocking and such being left intentionally vague (since the show director will stage the show the way he wants anyway.)

An artist will paint a concept artwork that will show visually what the attraction should “Feel” like emotionally. With the color palette they choose, the “rhythm” of the piece, the scale and tone and "mass"—any designer who looks at the painting should instantly know how their work should reflect the same visual interpretation. In other words, every paint stroke, every prop and detail- should all help tell that visual, emotional story. The show script should do exactly the same thing. The format is not nearly as important as the content.

Besides, theme park designers hate “rules” anyway. If a writer turned in a script written in crayon on construction paper—and the script was brilliant—what would I care what the margins and line spacing was? Very Happy

Jeffrey

dougbain
Member
Posts: 2
(5/2/06 6:46 pm)
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New Post Re: Show Writing Thanks! That helps a lot. Is there anything specific that people would want to see, to show as a sample/spec/portfolio, and should it include different types of things?

Doug

naversen1
ezOP
Posts: 34
(5/3/06 9:40 am)
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New Post Re: Info on show writing In my experience, as a show writer you should concentrate on 2 things first:

1) A guest experience narrative. This describes in vivid detail everything the guest will see, smell, hear, touch, experience as they make their way through the attraction. This works for ride attractions as well as themed spaces.

2) Show script. Just like any screenplay, this script details the story of the attraction as it is experienced and acted out (whether by live actors, animatronics, voice-over, etc...)

That's the way all show writers in themed entertainment do it.

Nathan Naversen

dougbain
Member
Posts: 3
(5/3/06 1:10 pm)
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New Post Re: Info on show writing Thanks! I really appreciate the help.
I'm taking the Theme Park Engineering class right now, and trying to find what my focus will be, and how to use experience from the past.
This site has helped a whole lot.
Doug

dougbain
Member
Posts: 4
(10/30/06 2:54 am)
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New Post more questions I came up with a few more questions. I am interested in being a show writer for the themed entertainment industry. I am trying to get information on how to get in, and want to get serious about really doing it, now.

I have worked in the television industry for many years, in just about every crew position. I have written a few spec sit-com scripts, and have been working on a children's book, and an animated feature on spec. A couple of years ago, I was working on a T.V. drama pilot and a feature with a partner, but those have fallen through, for now.

I am trying to find out:
- Is it better to be freelance, or full-time?
- Disney Imagineering or someplace like Thinkwell, BRC...?
- Do I need a proven track record of produced work, or will specs get me to where I want to be?
- Should I try to get in with these companies using my other background of technical skills first?
- What are they looking for, in samples and experience?
- Does the work involve only writing, or is it more of a producing type of position?
- Is there room for more show writers?
- Is it possible to be specifically show writing, or is it better to be writing other things, as well?

Any help that anyone could give would be very greatly appreciated.

Doug Bain
Long Beach, CA
bainhome4@yahoo.com

dougbain
Member
Posts: 6
(11/22/06 2:19 am)
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New Post Re: more questions I just found the new question and answer section on the themed attractions main page. There is great info there, and was extremely helpful. Thanks again for a great site.

Doug
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