Sunday, September 11, 2016

#Scriptchat Transcript Tim Schildberger @timschildberger - September 11, 2016

Award-winning screenwriter Tim Schildberger @timschildberger joined #scriptchat tonight to discuss the power of the live read in the writing process. Tim gives tips on finding actors, processing the experience, and how to analyze the notes given to elevate your next rewrite. All great advice. Enjoy! @jeannevb

Please read the transcript below or on the Storify site.

#Scriptchat Transcript Tim Schildberger @timschildberger - September 11, 2016

#Scriptchat Transcript Tim Schildberger @timschildberger - September 11, 2016

Award-winning screenwriter Tim Schildberger @timschildberger - TOPIC: The power of the live read in the writing process.

  1. @scriptchat @timschildberger Very timely topic for me. I'm planning one of these for later this month. #scriptchat
  2. Hi everybody! I missed you guys last week! Also thanks for joining us @timschildberger! #scriptchat
  3. @timschildberger watch for people tweeting out with a "Q" at the front of their tweet. #scriptchat
  4. It's useful at several stages. Often throwing the first 30 of half an idea up shows you if it's worth pursuing. #scriptchat
  5. @timschildberger Still looking into the cast. Probably some friends and some actors. #scriptchat
  6. Earlier is better - later - when you think you're close - it can mess with your head a little, or confirm your awesomeness. #scriptchat
  7. Chris - too many table reads with the same people muddies the water. People remember old drafts. #scriptchat
  8. I've never had an opportunity to do a table read, though most people who read my stuff tell me they start reading it out loud. #scriptchat
  9. Jeanne - do I try and include people's twitter names, or are first names good enough? :) #scriptchat
  10. @timschildberger I did do a table read w/my writers' group a while back. Was very, very helpful in my writing. #scriptchat
  11. Sarah - actors you know are easiest, and don't get to stressed about making sure they're 'perfect'. #scriptchat
  12. Q: How much prep time do you give actors? I've had cases ranging from 1 week to none, all in the same read. #scriptchat
  13. @timschildberger if you hit the arrow button to the right of the tweet, it'll add the person's name who asked the question. #scriptchat
  14. J Gideon - that's entirely up to you. Some actors love a cold read - good practice. Some freak. Prep usually helps. #scriptchat
  15. Sorry I'm late. I'm still a bit excited over the Lion's game. #scriptchat
  16. Personally, I think table reads bring each and every character to life. If not, time to kill some of your darlings... #scriptchat
  17. @AB2screenwriter I agree - if a character sucks in a read - it's usually the fault of the words, not the actor! #scriptchat
  18. Q: Do you read in your own table read? I've never done one, but just finished my first script and would like to try it. #scriptchat
  19. @SarahAlexis4 Scene descriptions and dialogue...without question. Too much description kills the vibe. #scriptchat
  20. @SarahAlexis4 If the description confuses an audience, imagine how a reader feels. And bad dialogue is super obvious. #scriptchat
  21. @SamSquamchman Try to avoid reading first time. You want distance, objectivity and perspective. Don't focus on your next line! #scriptchat
  22. @timschildberger if one doesn't have actor friends, another resource is theatre dept of a local college. #scriptchat
  23. @timschildberger #scriptchat The read is only as strong as the weakest actor with the least prep.
  24. @timschildberger Table reads should probably be done when you're close if not at the final draft, yes? #scriptchat
  25. @timschildberger Q: Are there any things that writers can pick up on (if you involve them in a table read), aside from actors? #scriptchat
  26. @SarahAlexis4 This came up earlier. Everyone has their own process. I write what I want down, saves time for me. Others record. #scriptchat
  27. @AB2screenwriter I like them earlier in the process - to gauge if you're on the right track...before too many drafts/work! #scriptchat
  28. @jeannevb @timschildberger #scriptchat and local theater companies. most actors jump at any chance to practise their craft
  29. @timschildberger Q: By that, I mean, if you didn't have access to actors and decided to do it with other writers? #scriptchat
  30. I definitely feel like I would be listening to a recording over na over again #scriptchat
  31. @timschildberger @SarahAlexis4 I think it would be useful, especially if actors aren't in the same city #scriptchat
  32. @filmwritr4 You don't need 'actors'. Find friends and family. Better than doing it yourself. It'll all help. #scriptchat
  33. @blueneumann The problem with that Chris - you can get distracted. Find what resonates in your head after a read... #scriptchat
  34. @SarahAlexis4 Sometimes yes. Especially if you have questions about plot, or a character nuance. Don't be afraid to ask after. #scriptchat
  35. @blueneumann I have had scenes read by actors and recorded them, esp their comments after. My memory sucks. #scriptchat
  36. @jeannevb Well then you should! I get overwhelmed with comments...I listen to my gut the next day...and check my notes. #scriptchat
  37. @jeannevb I take notes, but I still prefer to hear the words said by other people. More accurate #scriptchat
  38. #scriptchat Reads typically pick up on clunky dialog. I have a Q&A after to ask audience about story issues.
  39. @jeannevb @blueneumann When I've had them done, I had my own copy of the script, which I'd try to scribble notes on live. #scriptchat
  40. @blueneumann @jeannevb @timschildberger Q: Typically, how often (in general) should you have table reads? Maybe once or twice? #scriptchat
  41. Q: Is it a good idea to copyright your script before you do this or is that paranoid? #scriptchat
  42. @jgsarantinos I disagree. Unless the read is horrendous - there's much to be gained regardless of the readers. #scriptchat
  43. It would be a ton of fun for all of us to get together and read each others' stuff via Skype #scriptchat
  44. @timschildberger you started @liveReadLA recently. Do the writers get to prep the actors before the read? #scriptchat
  45. @timschildberger The great thing about table reads are the distinctly different voices around the table... #scriptchat
  46. Just got that glorious call from @Matt_Dy at @austinfilmfest. My script is in the top 1% of 9100 scripts submitted. #scriptchat
  47. @SarahAlexis4 I've discovered giant story holes, unformed characters, and whether the whole thing is a waste of time! #scriptchat
  48. @AB2screenwriter I agree. Actors can show you something you may not have noticed on the page. #scriptchat
  49. @filmwritr4 @blueneumann @jeannevb I was in a group where I had a script up monthly. Good discipline but can get overused. #scriptchat
  50. @timschildberger not to mention dialogue is often completely different when delivered via a different source... #scriptchat
  51. the scriptwriter should be listening with a copy.... listening hard for crap in their story, plot etc. y/n? #scriptchat
  52. Q: Can one person do multiple small parts or do you need a different person for each character? #scriptchat
  53. @SamSquamchman One person can read multiples. Definitely. I try to limit it to 3 roles. Just not 2 in the same scene! #scriptchat
  54. @Angie_Lavallee Up to the writer. I put the script away and just listen. See how it all feels. Others follow along making notes. #scriptchat
  55. @SamSquamchman I'd say one person can double up on multiple small characters, especially if space and # of people are concerns. #scriptchat
  56. @SarahAlexis4 Cookies help. And water. But most people enjoy the experience without bribes. #scriptchat
  57. Q: Should I highlight everyone's part for them on the script they'll be reading from? #scriptchat
  58. @Angie_Lavallee @timschildberger @SamSquamchman Q: From your experience, what's best kind of feedback you get from table reads? #scriptchat
  59. @JonFour @SamSquamchman Totally agree. Actors do too. Gives them more to do. Who wants 2 lines? #scriptchat
  60. @SamSquamchman I highlight the actor names only when it's a cold read & they're seeing script for 1st time. #scriptchat
  61. Do we have any actors here tonight to add their thoughts on table reads? #scriptchat #AGYST
  62. @timschildberger Seeing your script read around a table is damn satisfying... Yes, even if your script coach doesn't like it! #scriptchat
  63. @SamSquamchman Best...that the script rules? :) Usually notes on character, and story logic are best for me. #scriptchat
  64. Q: How long should I expect it to last if my script is 110 pages? #scriptchat
  65. May I add after reading many scripts this month - please - tighter scene descriptions. No-one wants to hear endless description. #scriptchat
  66. @timschildberger the cool thing that I like is hearing your words - seeing how other people relate to your dialogue... #scriptchat
  67. @SarahAlexis4 @liveReadLA No specifics. Imperfect scripts that will read well, actor friendly, and we can help make better. #scriptchat
  68. Q: Do you do an intermission or just plow through it in one go? #scriptchat
  69. @AB2screenwriter Or don't get that awesome joke you assume is awesome and everyone should laugh. Dose of humility! #scriptchat
  70. @filmwritr4 @SamSquamchman Comedy works well. Complex sci-fi is tougher I must confess,but not impossible. #scriptchat
  71. @timschildberger Q: Is it because of the story universe/descriptions/technical jargon in sci-fi? #scriptchat
  72. @SamSquamchman We're only reading 25 pages - but a full 90-100 page read - may want a short break. Up to you. #scriptchat
  73. @timschildberger how about advice to writers about notes received during the read? #scriptchat
  74. @timschildberger The bottom line is it gives you an idea how GOOD or BAD your dialogue really is... #scriptchat
  75. @AB2screenwriter Exactly! If the audience gets confused, they drift off. And it shows your story may be too complex? #scriptchat
  76. @AB2screenwriter Definitely. Just an indication. Not Gospel. Others may appreciate the joke. It's just one room. #scriptchat
  77. @filmwritr4 @SarahAlexis4 @jeannevb Cold reading takes practice and skill. Shifting characters is fun. Being professional. #scriptchat
  78. @timschildberger @AB2screenwriter Comedy is definitely subjective. Not everyone finds one kind of joke funny, and so on... #scriptchat
  79. @SarahAlexis4 I write the person's name - and then their notes. If I don't know their name - a quick description. #scriptchat
  80. @AB2screenwriter @timschildberger Definitely. It's both an eye opening experience, and something to learn a lot from. #scriptchat
  81. @SarahAlexis4 It's important to remember where the note came from. People have different opinions. I think. :) #scriptchat
  82. @timschildberger re: notes, tips about how to decide what notes to us, what to toss aside & the art of graciously taking them? #scriptchat
  83. @jeannevb It's important not to listen to every note. You'll end up with script by committee...yuk. #scriptchat
  84. @jeannevb So I think about what resonates with me. With what I heard. Try to be open minded, humble, look for patterns too. #scriptchat
  85. @SarahAlexis4 you will ALWAYS get conflicting notes. Unless your script is a disaster. Listen to all - your gut is final vote. #scriptchat
  86. @timschildberger @Al_1701 @AB2screenwriter Where all the hijinks are happening on-camera, and the news becomes an afterthought #scriptchat
  87. If you get into a regular reading group - you can start to experiment with drafts, and directions. #scriptchat
  88. Sometimes you have half an idea. Nothing wrong with trying 30 pages - see how it flies in a room - then maybe shelve. #scriptchat
  89. @timschildberger Q: When you do a table read, how do you know if an idea/script does or doesn't work? #scriptchat
  90. @timschildberger Eh, sucks is fine, I can let it sit as a part. GOOD and I can't finish annoys the hell out of me #scriptchat
  91. @timschildberger I find it interesting that oftentimes whoever might be portraying character during TR is forever dubbed... #scriptchat 😅
  92. @JimJackson1138 Great to have you here, Jim! *waves* Sorry I didn't welcome you before, but welcome! #scriptchat
  93. It's important to be humble. If you're the only one laughing at your jokes - it's probably not the room/actor's fault. #scriptchat
  94. @blueneumann No argument here. The good ideas are way more stressful. Execution becomes the key! #scriptchat
  95. @Al_1701 MANY times I've heard writers blame the universe for their crap joke not landing in a read. Gotta have eyes open. #scriptchat
  96. @timschildberger A shit idea is one you're free to really mess around with. A good idea is one you have to be careful with #scriptchat
  97. @timschildberger While I mostly agree, I certainly have seen jokes fail because an actor didn't know how to emphasize right. #scriptchat
  98. @JonFour Definitely! Definitely! But some apply that to the entire script. #scriptchat
  99. @JonFour Hey Jonathan! Meant to say hey to you earlier but great to have you here! Hope your table read goes well! *waves* #scriptchat
  100. @JimJackson1138 Sometimes a crap joke works. However, it needs context to be crap in universe. #scriptchat
  101. @timschildberger Not that that's the actor's fault... hard to avoid with limited reading/rehearsing time. #scriptchat
  102. @JonFour Only rarely would I ever blame an actor. If they're trying their best...all you can ask. Always grateful. #scriptchat
  103. @JonFour What they do is at least as tough - being judged on appearance? We'd all probably die. :) #scriptchat
  104. @Al_1701 @JonFour @timschildberger Q: How can actors/other writers/people tell if a joke or idea doesn't work in the read? #scriptchat
  105. It's okay to miscast someone sometimes...just to see what happens. Can be fun, and revealing. #scriptchat
  106. Been lurking. Now they're closing the Starbucks on Hwoodvd! #scriptchat
  107. I mean - cast an older actor as a younger woman. A strong character should survive. #scriptchat
  108. @filmwritr4 @Al_1701 @JonFour Lack of laughter, a flat 'vibe' in the room. A comedy not landing 'feels' obvious. #scriptchat
  109. @timschildberger Didn't intend to actor blame. Just sayin, don't necessarily toss a joke you like if it doesn't read right once. #scriptchat
  110. Anyone play Cards Against Humanity? That's a good practice in comedy. #scriptchat
  111. How much improvisation/experimentation do you usually allow in a table read? #scriptchat
  112. @JonFour Totally agree. One read should not define anything. Unless stuff matches your own fears/suspicions. #scriptchat
  113. @blueneumann ZERO. ZERO. ZERO. You're there to hear how your hard earned words play. Why waste time with random improv? #scriptchat
  114. @timschildberger Q: How do you manage to sort out the good advice from the bad (or questionable?) in a table read? #scriptchat
  115. @filmwritr4 @Al_1701 I hate cards against humanity. It all comes down to who has the most shocking card #scriptchat
  116. @filmwritr4 If it makes sense, leads to new ways of thinking...consider. But if it's not the story you want to tell - ignore. #scriptchat
  117. Another great chat! Thanks everyone... especially @timschildberger and as always: @jeannevb! Happy writing everybody! #scriptchat
  118. And if in LA - come on 9/26 to our reading in West Hollywood! #scriptchat
  119. @timschildberge Huh. Wonder if I can get my draft done in time. Of course, I'm not in LA, so... #scriptchat
  120. @clpike_horror @timschildberger @jeannevb Thanks for the great insight/information Tim! Very happy you could join us! #scriptchat
  121. @timschildberger thanks so much, Tim! I'll grab a transcript and tag you when it's live. #scriptchat
  122. OK - I gotta go feed some children. Have a great night, and thanks to all. I hope it helped! #scriptchat
  123. As always, thanks to all of you for showing up each week! Love this community. #scriptchat

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