between writing for stage and screen, which is more complicated?

Discussion in 'Writing for Stage and Screen' started by Pmartins, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Pmartins

    Pmartins New Member

    When writing a script, there is a lot of research put in place and a lot of technicalities involved that if you are not careful or expertized in this very regard you might do some heavy missteps leaving your work porous and served as a hot dish for the critics.

    When you write for stage, you are writing for a set of people where there words and actions are more pronounced and emphasized more than the screen. the stage also most times requires minimal props and sets unlike its heavily budgeted compatriot the screen.

    If you are in turn writing for the screen or doing the screenplay then you become careful not miss out specifying the interior shots (INT) the exterior (EXT) and other Localities, Periods and Seasons same as Time if not you start failing before you have even started.

    A lot of intricacies to consider... what are your experiences like?
  2. Sandra Harriette

    Sandra Harriette New Member

    No experiences to divulge. What is your experience?

    Are you a freelance screenwriter?
  3. Carmilina

    Carmilina Member

    I've been a scriptwriter for plays during my highschool and college days. I know that is way different for writing for a screen. But it seems that a lot people I converse with saying that writing in a screen is quite hard , like if the director doesn't like the line you place they tend to change the whole thing and the result of it may different from what you envisioned.
  4. hjamys

    hjamys New Member

    I have been a scriptwriter for stage plays and films during my High School and College days, even up to now as my ministry in our church. It's both easy and hard it depends on your forte, but for me, its more easy to write for screen/ films than stage play. Why? Because in stage play you need to consider everything, the props, the lights, the effects, the budget, the people who will play the role etc. Unlike in Screen/Film, in the technology now a days, you just need to have a chroma screen and a great video editor and a great director. Why did I mention all these? Because in Script writing for you to maximize your imagination, you also need to consider every resources that you have.
  5. jhonner

    jhonner New Member

    I think it is hard to writing for stage purposes because it requires poetic but simple words and short but meaningful lines.
  6. Jeff1

    Jeff1 New Member

    I can't say which is more complicated between stage and screen writing cause I've not really done a mate rial for stage, but for screen I can say it's plenty complicated.

    As an up coming screen writer you're faced with a lot of challenges, ranging from writing movies with low cost budget, writing the scenes to Hollywood standard, that is one minute per scene, and sale of the script.

    Things always get complicated with the budget frame because you're not just writing the scenes alone, you're writing each scene to correspond with a budget frame that'll make anyone funding or wanting to fund such movies to do so without a second thought, and at the same time keep the movie captivating all at the same time.

    In writing scripts for screen, there must be a time frame which makes it easy to project how long a movie will run, the do not go easy here because each scene is written to correspond to a one minute time frame and it's not easy because as you write more and more interesting ideas flows in and one isn't careful enough would let a scene run for even up to 5-8 mins, so the screen writer is battling with livening up each scene as well as ensuring that each dialogue or conversation is within the one minute time frame.

    Every screen writer must ensure that the opening scenes catches the readers attention, because only when the opening scenes sucks it's reader in completely, cause only when a producer or promoter is captivated that he/she could keep on reading and reading until the end.If the opening scenes are uninteresting you'll have a hard time convincing the reader to keep on reading.

    Also the dialogues, putting together interesting dialogues isn't an easy thing to do, you have to make the dialogues fun, with a little humour once in a while because long conversation without humour, twist, etc will even bore the actors/actresses while acting these roles, so you have to write fun conversation within designated time frames.

    Also, trying to make the movie as unpredictable as possible is a complicated thing in screen writing, unpredictable movies are the best because you don't know what to expect, what will happen next, who will die now, who finally gets the girl etc, things really get complicated because the screen writer in an effort to bring in twists, maybe just end up destroying a well though out story, so putting together twists that makes the movie fun is another but one that indicates a very interesting movie.

    The sale of the script, the movie business, just like every other business is one which everyone wants to get the highest possible outcome with little or no input, so screen writers must be careful because producers may collect your script with a view to better go through it and produce and market the movies on there own, without paying you for your effort so one must be careful as to who they trust.
  7. gc773124

    gc773124 New Member

    Generally, the stage is a very hard platform than the screen. Everything that happens on a stage needs to be mistake-less. There are no retakes. And you have to consider everything you have to write for it. You need to write on a higher level of literature. Screenwriting is not very either but it can be adjusted any way the director wants. While when you write for the stage, you need to check how every dialogue you wrote sounds. Even if the dialogue is good, it may sound bad. You just can't bare such small mistakes. But on the screen, you can always change the venue and adjust the timings. It just becomes easier so you don't have to think much before you write your script.
    Overall, you need a great kit of skills for the stage or theatre. Screen experience can't always be useful there.
  8. msg17

    msg17 Member

    I personally think that writing for the stage plays is more complicated. Compared to writing for the screenplays. Because for me personally, when you end up writing for the stage play, you will have to calculate each and every lines for the members of the cast. For the reason that everything that's happening is live. And you can not edit anything that is going on in there if ever the cast were to make a mistake. Writing for stage plays are very much complicated. So it must be given a fair amount of effort.
  9. cherri

    cherri New Member

    They're both complicated in their own way, honestly. When you write for the stage, you have to consider the restrictions of performing live in a static venue, which means you only have one stage, and any major location changes in your story have to be reflected on that one stage, which can mean changing sets during the show. That can get difficult to do in short periods of time between scenes, so you often have to scale your vision down in order to make it work for the stage, whereas if you write for television, you can shoot scenes on location, use special effects, and all kinds of other options that can help bring your story to life. When writing for television, though, you are constricted to certain time limitations (approximately 22 minutes for a half hour show, approximately 45 minutes for an hour long show, etc), as well as censorship depending on which network your show airs. Stage plays are a little less restricted in that way, many plays include nudity or adult language, and you're not as restricted to a specific time limitation as you are with television.
  10. Lillylabelle

    Lillylabelle New Member

    In my opinion writing for stage is more harder than screen writing. You only have one shot to get it right and impress your audience considering you have a limited audience. For screen is abit more flexible and you can also edit your content. Thus the challenges of stage writing outweighs those of screen play.
  11. J53772

    J53772 New Member

    No doubt writing for stage is much more complicated than for films. That is because with writing plays, you have to make sure that any audience from different locations get the message or understands the story. With films, everyone seems to see the same thing because it is viewed on a flat screen. Writing for stage also means that the lines must have more impact and is much more powerful since this would help the actor embody the character and exaggerate their actions. Basically, what makes writing for stage more complicated than writing for films is that writing for stage requires more creativity and drama whereas writing for films has to be natural and subtle (involves conversations that we can observe in our day to day life).
  12. Ed_idied

    Ed_idied New Member

    I think both are difficult to accomplish. The writer should be aware that the words that will be spewed out are instantly absorbed by the audience. A slight occurrence of mistake or any minimal inconvenience could bring enormous impact on the entire play. But i still think stage writing is more difficult compared to screen writing since there are really times when unwanted events happen out of nowhere. Example, a stage actor might experience "stage fright" and might make several mistakes with his script.
  13. Kelmag26

    Kelmag26 New Member

    I actually think it’s harder to write for the stage. Yes with film there is a lot more you need to consider but with the stage all you have is the actors and your voice as a writer. The whole production is completely dependent on the writing. In film there is location, cinematography , special effects and of course the magic of editing. A week film script can be overcome with great acting and great directing, but on the stage the script is king. If you play is not written well there is no way to overcome it.
  14. excelgarcia

    excelgarcia New Member

    I am a playwright, but I have found here at Stage 32 that most of its patrons lean towards screen writing, not that I am against it, still learn a lot from the posts and connections that I make here. So other than writing plays for the stage and writing screen plays for the big screen, how does it differ one from the other. I know that I am writing for a live audience, one take and that I am limited to capabilities of the theatre, where screen plays are versatile in various methods from film shooting C.G.I. What is the approach that one takes in writing a screen play if one is use to writing for the live stage and can a play script be translated into a screen play?
  15. excelgarcia

    excelgarcia New Member

    There are so many differences... some just subtle, others not. I will only address the screen play. 1. you are writing for the camera. 2. Action and business may be more or less written out (and this depends whether you are writing your script for an investor or prepping it for production.) 3. The screen play should be written with a ballpark budget in mind - so the writer should have some idea of, say, how much a given action sequence or fight scene might cost and how complex it might be to film. 4. Formatting, as film and TV have specific written formats which equate to roughly 1-page-per-day of filming time. 5. Camera angle, camera viewpoint, OTS (over-the-shoulder), VO (voice over), OS (Off Screen) and then cut-to, crossfade-to, dissolve, match-cut scene endings which add to the visual style of the script and are often expressed by the writer... 6. Idiomatic style - film and tv usually require a more common language style then theater, even today. 7. Exposition in language - show don't tell applies even more in a screenplay because there is the requirment and opportunity for things to be shown... often what is acceptable exposition in theatrical dialog is just bad film dialog. There are more.

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