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Which clippings match 'Beatscript' keyword pg.1 of 1
17 JANUARY 2006

The prose storyboard as a tool for describing screen story elements

"The benefit of a prose storyboard is that it gets you thinking about the visual aspects of your film without making a big deal out of it, and it tends to be very accurate in indicating the essential ingredients – the essence of each moment – that must be conveyed to the audience in order that they can appreciate the unfolding of the story"

(Nicholas Proferes, Chapter 5. 'The Camera', p.51–53)

Nicholas, Proferes (2004). Film Directing Fundamentals: See Your Film Before Shooting, London, UK: Focal Press.


01 JULY 2005

Beatscript: action-centred scripting for shortfilms and animations

"Beats are a unit of action first described by Constantin Stanislavski. Although details about his specific terminology are sketchy, varying between beads, bits and beats, the meaning is consistent. Terence Smith who has published notes on Stanislavski explains that 'identifying actions involves breaking the play into segments (bits or beats). Each bit embodies a single action'.

Accordingly a beatscript is a scripting aid used for describing story ideas. It offers a level of detail not afforded by the standard feature–film screenplay format. This makes it especially useful for describing short–film, animation and short sequence ideas. Its structure is focused on action rather than thought. This allows screenwriters to organise their narrative ideas in a concise manner that is conducive to screen presentation. It prevents authors from describing non–tangible, subjective elements that are unable to be effectively represented in screen form. Beatscripts are used as the starting point for generating storyboards and shootingscripts. While beats are used to describe action, shots are used to describe the visual screen presentation of action. There isn't a direct relationship between individual beats and shots. In situations where an event is significant in a sequence, a single beat might equate to a single shot (and is likely to be framed as a close–up). Whereas where a series of beats might describe a general idea, these beats might collectively equate to a single shot (which is likely to be framed as a long–shot). The specific visual treatment of beatscript ideas is usually determined by the cinematographer or director (which on small projects is usually the same person)."

(Simon Perkins, 2005)



20053Dactionanimationbeads • beats • beatscript • bits • Constantin Stanislavskimethods for design practiceprose storyboardscreenplay formatscripting aidsequence • Sharon Carnicke • shooting-script • short filmSimon Perkins • story event • storyboard • Terence Smith (Tezza)
09 JUNE 2004

Beatscript for the short film A Little Death

The beatscript (screenplay) for the short film 'A Little Death' was written during late 1993 and early 1994. The project progressed from a earlier screenplay idea involving a motorist being caught in a frozen–moment. The beatscript was written jointly by Simon Perkins and Paul Swadel and was eventually funded as a 16mm film by Creative NZ.The following is an extract from the 10 page beatscript:

black, a click, then fan noise
– a distant airborne squadron hums
a blind flicks up to reveal sky through a lace curtain
lacy shadow–softly plays over JEANNE's torso at the window
she wears a red silk pyjama top
JEANNE turns to see JULES lying on the bed smoking
he's wearing the pj bottoms
he looks up at her
and pinches off the tip of the cigarette with his fingers
burns himself – curses and slams it into a bedside ashtray

Fig.1 Natalie Robertson (1994). Simon Perkins coaches Josephine Davison in preparation for shooting a scene.

Fig.2 Natalie Robertson (1994). Paul Swadel and Peter Bannan prepare for shooting Jo's falling scene.




Simon Perkins

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