Test Your Screenwriting I.Q – Part 6

True or False

1. Projects that go into turnaround are often purchased by other studios and have a better chance of being produced.
That’s false. Turnaround projects have heavy costs that have accrued and which the new buyers have to pay before acquiring them. They have no better chance of getting produced.

2. Public domain properties never require the acquisition of rights from the original owner of the material.
That is true.

3. Residuals are checks sent to the writer for TV runs and DVD sales and are tracked by the Writers Guild.
That is true.

4. Dramas are well known for their “set pieces.”
That’s false. Action movies are famous for their “set pieces” which are big action scenes or sequences.

5. An attachment is either a star or director who’s interested in doing a particular project that makes it easier to set up and produce.
True.

6. A “ leave behind” is the writer’s personal contact information that he leaves with the people he’s pitching to.
False. It’s a one-page, treatment or script that’s left for the producers to read after you’ve made your pitch.

7. Subtext is another term for scene description.
False. It’s the hidden meaning of what a character says. The opposite of that is called “on the nose dialogue.”

8. “Tracking systems” follow a film’s box office numbers during its run.
That’s false. It’s a method that’s employed by studios to follow hot scripts that enter the marketplace.

9. A development fee is the money a producer gets upon the sale or option of any material.
True. The fee is generally $25,000.

10. Adaptations come solely from novels.
False. They can also come from short stories or plays.

2 thoughts on “Test Your Screenwriting I.Q – Part 6

  1. Scott Wallace

    (Q1) “Projects that go into turnaround are often purchased by other studios…” Isn’t “purchased by other studios” the definition of turnaround? Then the first part of the question becomes: Is turnaround often what it is?
    (Q7) Subtext is the hidden meaning of what a character says, but it’s not what the character means: it’s what their dialogue means to the audience, and what the things left unsaid mean to the audience.
    (Q9) Someone sells something to somebody else and then the producer gets $25,000 for some reason. The producer gets it, but I don’t get it. Who are these people and why does the producer get $25,000?

  2. Sam Mills

    Subtext is not “hidden meaning” – it’s the real meaning of dialogue that’s “off the point.” For instance, a husband and wife may argue about his not taking out the garbage – when what they’re really arguing about is his coming home late the night before reeking of booze and Suzie Q’s perfume.

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