Script Preparation for Amazon Studios

Over the last week, I prepared my script The Anger Trap to submit to Amazon Studios. I’m not quite done yet, but I’m close. It was much more work than I thought it would be.

To start, I converted the script from MS Word to Celtx. In MS Word, my script ran to 93 pages, but in Celtx it came out at 80 pages. Amazon Studios won’t accept a script under 85 pages, so I had to expand the script.

I had planned to do just a minor reformat, but in the end, I made quite a few changes.

  • Changed the title back to The Doorman’s Sacrifice.
  • Changed the names of nine of the seventeen characters and added three new characters.
  • Restructured the first half of the script. One nice thing about Celtx is that it is very easy to move scenes around.
  • Added three new scenes,
  • Expanded a few scenes,
  • Split one scene into two scenes and
  • Split another scene into three scenes

The revised script came in at 86 pages.

When I checked out the submission requirements in more detail, it turned out that they want the script as a Rich Text Format file. Celtx doesn’t output an rtf file. I didn’t want to go back to MS Word again, because I thought the template I used didn’t reproduce the standard script format. I tried a couple of other script writing programs, Page2Stage and Scriptmaker. They both output rtf files, but I couldn’t import files from Celtx.

I downloaded a script from Amazon Studios and studied the format they used. That convinced me that MS Word was the way to go, but I wanted to develop my own template. I found several “Official” script format descriptions on the Internet, none of which agreed with any of the others. I picked one that gave me a 93-page script.

Steve Hanon told me I use too many “ing” verbs in my writing, so I replaced most of them. I noticed I use “anything” and “something” a lot. Maybe I should change some of those too. I reformatted some “hidden” shots, into the proper shot format. When I went through the script, I fixed a few other minor problems I spotted. The script is 94 pages now.

Amazon Studios wants a synopsis and a log line that I still need to prepare, but I think I should have the whole package ready to post in a few days. Of course, that is what I thought last Sunday.

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