Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru - Tamil movie script

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to write a movie screenplay


The first thing you should know is that writing a Movie Script is tough. Really tough. It is a difficult and laborious task. Even the best writers often have creative blocks and can go for years without writing a single script. So if this is your first time, you are certainly going to go nuts. I read this somewhere - “In a well written screenplay, the journey of the screenwriter will mimic the journey of the protagonist. It will be brutal, difficult, and ultimately, fulfilling”.

The Basics

Remember, making movies is a business. As a filmmaker, you are selling a story to an audience. So, connect with your audience. They are smart and don’t like to be silent observers. If people aren’t invested with the story, if they don’t care about the characters, if they are not intimately involved, anticipating, reaching conclusions, and adding it up, then the movie is no good.

Once you have your basic story, characters, plots and situations developed in your head, you need to write a scene by scene outline before actually getting to the screenplay part. You need to be clear about how your story begins, what the midpoint is and how it ends. In a novel, the writer has complete freedom to explore any point of view, shift between conscious and subconscious mind, explore a character or a story from multiple perspectives, jump to and fro to any situation, place, time etc. You cannot do that in a screenplay. The viewer cannot stop and start, or go back and contemplate what came before. The screenwriter, therefore, must pack as much information and texture into each scene as possible, while keeping the tempo of the piece brisk enough to retain the audience's interest.

Also, FINALIZE THE ENDING or Climax sequences before you start your first scene. A novelist can begin a story without knowing how things are going to turn out or what the ending will be. They may feel that their characters will lead them to the ending or that would discover it as they keep writing. But you cannot do that in a screenplay. Think of a screenplay as a train, with scheduled stops, fixed destination and an estimated arrival time. You don't want to get lost or be late. You should follow a planned track or otherwise the train will get derailed. Also, unlike a novel, a screenplay must be written in present tense and only what the audience can SEE and HEAR. While a novel conveys what the characters are thinking and feeling through an interior monologue, a screenplay must show characters’ external visible behavior expressed through dialogue or physical actions. 

Screenplay Format

The next step is learning the format of a screenplay. There are lots of screenwriting softwares like Final Draft and Celtx available which help you write screenplays in professional Hollywood format. There are also softwares like Scripts Pro for iPad and iPhone. Also there are sites like http://www.script-o-rama.com and http://www.imsdb.com where lots of English movie scripts are available online for download which can be read as references. Pick and read the scripts of movies you have seen and enjoyed. The more you read, the better you will write.

Think of a scene as a unit of action. In each scene, define who (character or characters), what (situation), when (time of day), where (place of action), and why (purpose of the action).

There are SIX basic elements in a Screenplay.

1. Scene Headings: These appear at the beginning of a new scene and tell us the scene's setting. These are made up of, 
  • INT. or EXT. Short for Interior and Exterior, this tells the production crew whether or not they'll be shooting on a sound stage or on location. 
  • Location. Where the scene takes place. Like LIVING ROOM or BASKETBALL COURT or CANTEEN.
  • Time. Usually just DAY or NIGHT but can be MORNING, EVENING or as specific as 5:30 A.M., 9:00 P.M etc.


2. Action: This describes what is happening on the screen, and which characters (if any) are involved. It looks like this.

  • As students go to class, the sound of the cyclotron spills out of the science center onto the grounds of Empire State University. We see PETER PARKER, a pleasant faced senior who's among the top in his class. Sincere and serious, he has yet to develop a way with women.
Here you can also add Camera Directions like POV shot, pan, tilt, push in, pull out, track forward, track back, close up, wide, etc. But keep this to the minimum or avoid it.

3. Character Name: When there is a Dialogue, this tells us which character is speaking. Like CHARLES or RAJ. When you have minor characters whose name is unimportant and they appear in just one or two scenes, you can use their role as the Character Name, such as WAITRESS or TICKET CHECKER or MAILMAN.

4. Dialogue: The words spoken by a Character.

GIBBS
She was singing about pirates. It’s bad luck to sing about pirates. It’s bad luck to have a woman on board too.


5. Parentheticals: These are optional and usually written inside brackets. They come under the Character to describe what a character is simultaneously doing, who they are talking to, or how they is speaking.

GIBBS
(frowns as he walks off)
She was singing about pirates. It’s bad luck to sing about pirates. It’s bad luck to have a woman on board too.


6. Transitions: These come in the right-hand corner at the end of each scene to indicate the transition to the next scene. Usually ‘CUT TO’ is used. You can also use FADE OUT, DISSOLVE TO etc.



Screenplay Structure


Movies portray a protagonist or the ‘hero’ who faces overwhelming and insoluble hurdles as he/she pursues a certain goal or objective. Your screenplay structure determines the sequence of events that lead the hero toward this objective. Irrespective of the kind or genre, such as a romantic comedy, suspense thriller, emotional drama, action, horror, science fiction, small or big budget film, all Hollywood movies follow the same basic structure. The exact same structure goes well with our Indian mainstream films too.

Many screenplay gurus have formulated various types of screenplay formats, some with a three-act structure, some four and some with five. I follow Michael Hauge’s ‘Six Stage Plot Structure’ which I personally feel is the best of all. 





Use this technique to write a solid screenplay. But as Michael Hauge quotes “Don't let all these percentages block your creativity. Structure is an effective template for rewriting and strengthening the emotional impact of your story. But you don't want to be imprisoned by it. Come up with characters you love and a story that ignites your passion. Then apply these structural principles, to ensure that your screenplay will powerfully touch the widest possible audience.”

Start Writing

Screenplays are built on what happens next? Therefore, the root of every scene comes through suspense, mystery and revelation. Screenwriting is actually Filmmaking on paper. When writing, you are the director, the cinematographer, the editor, the art director, the character, the everyone. You see it all. You want the audience to feel happiness, sadness, love, anger, courage, determination, heroism, empathy, hope, inspiration and everything else they can vicariously experience through the screen.

"Screenwriting is the toughest craft, and when you write well, when you can create a good story, peopled with good characters that truly relate to each other, that evoke tears or laughter that is human and durable, then you can write your own ticket." — Mel Brooks




  • Remember that if you really want to finish your screenplay, make a schedule & stick to it. Only when you have completed the first draft of your screenplay does your journey begin. Up until that moment, everything is still just a fantasy, but when you print out that first draft, you have done it. It's tangible.
  • You also know that today’s moviegoers expect to be visually engaged with breathtaking visuals, grand music, sound effects, visual effects and dynamic dialogues. And because you have the whole thing in your head, there's a tendency to try and stuff it all in – every single detail. Don’t write too many descriptions. You can get away with that in a novel, but not with a screenplay. A scene can be just one sentence, half a page or even four pages. Try your best to keep the dialogues crisp and descriptions brief. If you are not sure about the importance of a scene in the story, delete it. Even if you love it, even if it’s funny or witty or clever, if it doesn’t move the story forward or reveal some essential information about the character, destroy it. In a properly formatted screenplay, every page counts to one minute of screen time. If your script is 120 pages, the movie will run for approximately 120 minutes. This is certainly not accurate for all screenplays. It is just a scale for good structuring.
  • Now, just because you complete a screenplay, however, doesn't necessarily mean you have executed quality writing. Your first draft will probably be quite bad, embarrassing even, but that's because it takes ten years to have overnight success and a lifetime to become a master craftsman. Writing itself is what teaches writing. Write again. Make another draft, and another, until you are confident.
  • When you are finally confident about a particular draft, you have what it takes to hit the road to success. All the very best.

Read/Download 'Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru' movie script online for free - http://issuu.com/nandhinijs/docs/thiru_thiru_thuru_thuru







70 comments:

Pavithra Srinivasan said...

Great! :)

ushi said...

it helped me at the right time mam.. thanks for posting..

Sathya said...

thanks mam

மோகனன் said...

தமிழில் தரமுடியுமா தோழி...

Nandhini JS said...

Thanks guys :) மோகன் - கொஞ்சம் டைம் ஆகும். நிச்சயமா தரேன்.

கார்க்கி said...

Thanks a lot..

Great one.

Nandhini JS said...

Welcome Karki :)

Kolappan said...

Hi, nice article. Could u suggest some famous screenplay that follows a 4 or 5 ACT screenplay structure?

மதன்ராஜ் மெய்ஞானம் said...

Crisp.. Great.. Thank you :)

Sundhar Rajan said...

Very simple and effective explanation for the starters mam............thanks a lot for sharing the knowledge

Bharath Balakrishnan said...

Very inspiring...Especially your line, "Writing is what that teaches Writing", very true and very inspiring.

Bala Ganesan said...

gud article...tis first time am reading article abt making cinema ....rather than review.thank u madem...

ராம்குமார் - அமுதன் said...

Amazing Post Nandhini. Ufff... Made me understood clearly the fact, "No one can just board the train these days to take cinemas just dreaming/thinking that they can direct a cinema".

You have dealt almost all the technical aspects of screenwriting... Quite an informative post. Just thought how we bloggers are writing reviews like "Story is good, but screenplay is slow" Craaaazy :)

Sarveshsenthilkumars said...

Thank you very much for the article about screen play writing. it is helping me a lot .once again thanks mam...,

sankar sekaran said...

thank u very much mam.... it is very helpful to me...

sankar sekaran said...

thank u very much mam.... it is very helpful to me...

Raghavendar Ambarish said...

madam if u can tell about how the tamil screenplay writing differs from the english ones .. it would be helpful and also some links to tamil scripts for references would be helpful

Saravana Kumar said...

mam, i saravana completed in BE(ECE).but i am very interested to enter cinema industry . do i have joined to ur director team.my email id saran.gsk.1991@gmail.com

bob said...

thnx sis.....

mayavarathan said...

ma'm, i can download full tamil movie screen play from any website?

rsreethar8 said...

very useful for me

Nandhini JS said...

Thanks to everyone for leaving your comments. I appreciate it. To those who are asking for a tamil version of this, sorry I am not finding time. Also, there are no websites which have tamil movie scripts yet. Thanks again guys.

Sivaraman Balaji said...

Thanks a lot mam, i have one idea,
நீங்க எழுதன ஏற்கனவே திரை இடப்பட்ட கதையின் மாதிரியை நீங்கள் scan செய்து update பண்ணலாம்.It will be very useful for us.

gutskabi said...

thank you very much for ur help mam.I hav one doubt if we are remakin hollywood movie we can use the same script n screen play.is ter any problem...?

Monisha Anandraj said...

mam how can i prepare a script or a screenplay in tamil using english script writting software? should my script for tamil films must be fully in tamil? how can write the dialogs?
pls help me mam.

Andal Enterprises said...

enaku direct pannumnu asai muttum irruku but athai eppadi velli konduvararuthu thareyala mam... any way thanks mam........

Andal Enterprises said...

enaku direct pannumnu asai muttum irruku but athai eppadi velli konduvararuthu thareyala mam... any way thanks mam........

Mani said...

Thank you mam. Just today i thought of writing a story. But there is no clue to how to get it done. its my luck i just searched web and got it. i have bookmarked your blog. Will update my work mam. Soon i will meet you with a good story and script.

Mani said...

thank you again

Andyrocks2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andyrocks2 said...

This is an old post but I have a basic question, When you write the screenplay for a Tamil movie, do you write your dialogues in Tamil or English? Thank you for the wonderful post. Also, while writing a screenplay, do you already have some actor/actress in your mind portraying your protagonist? Thanks again.

Nandhini JS said...

Monisha Anandraj - Yes you can use tamil softwares like 'ekalappai' to write in Final Draft. If you have a problem, you can open another window of Microsoft Word and write the lines in tamil and then copy/paste in Final Draft.

I wrote Thiru Thiru script in English fully because I was pitching to Tamil, Telugu and Hindi producers. When the film started, I changed the dialogues to Tamil.

But I've written my 2nd film fully in Tamil because the story happens in a village and I wanted to give it the ethnic feel.

It is up to you to choose the language you feel comfortable with but keep in mind that the producer/actor you are pitching to should be able to read them.

Nandhini JS said...

Sivaraman Balaji - Lots of changes happened at the last stage of finishing Thiru Thiru. I have an early version of the full script and then individual scenes separately that were modified. Will try to update them soon and upload. This script will be having English descriptions and Tamil dialogues.

Nandhini JS said...

Andyrocks2 - Please read my comments above too. Answering your 2nd question... I usually don't imagine any actor while writing because it limits my imagination. I'll be wondering if the scene or dialogue will be 'suitable' for the actor, instead of writing what is BEST for the character and the story. But sometimes if you have trouble imagining a 'faceless' character, you can try thinking of an actor and use his unique charm/personality/style. It's not wrong. Just note that the same actor may or may not do the role.

rocksjk said...

Dear Madam,

Hai Mam....How are you ? I hope you doing great!!!!

I am Jagan.k Age (25) frm Chennai...i have completed MBA Finance....I'm more interest to direct/make the movie...past 5 years i'm trying to work as Ass.Director...But no one giving the change to work as Ass.Director...But every one asking the experience without giving the change to work then how i'll get/learn the Experience....Pls Mam just give me the appointment's to Meet...I am just awaiting your positive reply for the same....This is my personal E-mail ID - rocksjk@gmail.com.

Thanks & regards,

Jagan.k
0091 9940 5555 19

Neo said...

A very informative blog. I really enjoyed your THIRU THIRU THURU THURU a very entertaining script and a simple story line. Would like to see more such movies from you

Shareef Hasan said...

Thank you very much Nandhini JS madam for sharing your knowledge and experiences. Its really help full for a beginner but If we could have a tamil version it would be great.. Thnak you again

San Surya said...

mam plz plz,, help me in getting any of our tamil film scripts mam,, \


if u can plz mail it to
sansurya92@gmail.com

jesus said...

director aaganumnungradhu en vaalkai latchiyam..
kandippa oru script ready pannitu ungala meet panra madam....thagavalukku nandri

jesus said...

director aaganumnungradhu en vaalkai latchiyam..
kandippa oru script ready pannitu ungala meet panra madam....thagavalukku nandri

jesus said...

kandipa oru script ready pannitu ungala vandhu meet panran madam

thagavalukku nandri

-naalaya iyakunar

Stlin.R said...

தமிழில் தரமுடியுமா Director?

Gnana Thesigan said...

Hi mam,

Can u please translate the same in tamil and e mail me or some related examples, so that it will be very useful.

Name : P.M.GNANATHESIGAN
Email id : gnanathesigan@gmail.com

Thanks
P.M.Gnanathesigan

jagan ramalingam said...

Hi Nandhini Mam,
Thanks for the professional way to explain the script writing.
But still feel there is lots of creativity lagging in the current movies to the potential of Rich Tamil heritage.

I'm a textile engineer who is been working in a leading apparel export company in Bangalore as a senior manager.I have made some scripts in my own way which may suits for the current trend.Could you pls give me a chance to meet you enable to discuss them & to get your further opinions. Thanks & Regards, Jagan Ramalingam mob: 9900730312 ;9901311029 ;jahan.ramalingam@gmail.com

sai said...

mam pls tell how to get the copyright for the movie i hav written.....

sai said...

mam pls tell how to get the copyright for my movie that i hav written

தமிழ்ஹாசன் said...

Hai mam.. i m dinesh from M.G.R Film Institute hope im your junior of direction dept.. Now i am reading lot of screenplay writing books but you are very short and neat details from basics of screenplay. Thank you so much for your valid and very useful points given to us mam and im very proud of u from our institute. I wish u all the best for your all success..

Geoffry deonis said...

madam for eg ethavathu movie oda format kidacha upload panna mudiyuma

Naseer razak said...

Thanks mam !!!! Its helps me a lot to know about movie screenplay writing which am searching for a long time...Pls upload one movie script in Tamil which i couldn't able to found in internet..

F Jay Ant said...

you can also know more about screenplay following my blog

http://dmyscreenplay.blogspot.com

F Jay Ant said...

you can also know more about screenplay and possible interaction with me by following the blog

http://dmyscreenplay.blogspot.com

Jeyalakshmi Venkatesh said...

Dear madam,

useful information, I am having some stories script. where do I post?

Sathyan said...

This is really helpful for budding's . thanks a Lot !

suchee said...

very crispy and motivating... inspiring.. i have experience in writing but this is the best i have ever seen

ramesh babu said...

dear Madam,

i really respect you your guidance is very helpful to new comers i am script writer i have no experience as a asst director still there is a success people jeyamohan (naan kadavaul,angaditheru ramakrishnan avan ivan christoper--karate kid all the best madam for your upcoming project

shiv karthik Subramanian said...

very useful
with this my journey starts
one day i will happily say my first step was by director nandini
thank you

coolboiiakram said...

Hi Madam, Whats the format for Tamil Scripts? You were basically telling about hollywood formats..
Please tell us the format for Tamil films that when we refering to a producer.

sathish kumar said...

Hi Mam,
This is sathish. I have completed one Tamil movie script, which is based on Neuro degenerative disease.
I made it on 2008. It was appreciated by bit of the peoples from cini environment.. its such a simple pain of 3 people around their lives.. but I won't be a director.. am having such a wonderful imaginative and pretending writing skills. So I want be script writer only Mam.. please, guide me, how to promote my "pannagadam" script to Tamil industry or hindhi... Where and what I should need to do for some approach for this.. please, guide me...Mam..

Thanks,
Sathish.

Mail: bioleopard@gmail.com

sathish kumar said...

Hi Mam,
This is sathish. I have completed one Tamil movie script, which is based on Neuro degenerative disease.
I made it on 2008. It was appreciated by bit of the peoples from cini environment.. its such a simple pain of 3 people around their lives.. but I won't be a director.. am having such a wonderful imaginative and pretending writing skills. So I want be script writer only Mam.. please, guide me, how to promote my "pannagadam" script to Tamil industry or hindhi... Where and what I should need to do for some approach for this.. please, guide me...Mam..

Thanks,
Sathish.

Mail: bioleopard@gmail.com

sathish kumar said...

Hi Mam,
This is sathish. I have completed one Tamil movie script, which is based on Neuro degenerative disease.
I made it on 2008. It was appreciated by bit of the peoples from cini environment.. its such a simple pain of 3 people around their lives.. but I won't be a director.. am having such a wonderful imaginative and pretending writing skills. So I want be script writer only Mam.. please, guide me, how to promote my "pannagadam" script to Tamil industry or hindhi... Where and what I should need to do for some approach for this.. please, guide me...Mam..

Thanks,
Sathish.

Mail: bioleopard@gmail.com

sathish kumar said...

Hi Mam,
This is sathish. I have completed one Tamil movie script, which is based on Neuro degenerative disease.
I made it on 2008. It was appreciated by bit of the peoples from cini environment.. its such a simple pain of 3 people around their lives.. but I won't be a director.. am having such a wonderful imaginative and pretending writing skills. So I want be script writer only Mam.. please, guide me, how to promote my "pannagadam" script to Tamil industry or hindhi... Where and what I should need to do for some approach for this.. please, guide me...Mam..

Thanks,
Sathish.

Mail: bioleopard@gmail.com

Senthil Kumar said...

very simple and good english in explaining how to write screenplay.
short and sweet.thank you.

Nandhini JS said...

Hi all... Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru movie script can be downloaded from here. http://www.scribd.com/doc/200069233/Thiru-Thiru-Thuru-Thuru-movie-script

Neo said...

Wow Thank you So much Nandhiniji for sharing the script

Asmath S said...

For a new comer it will be very useful - Thanks a lot

Also Self having a doubt - Pls clarify.............

Hops this Website :http://www.scribd.com/doc/200069233/Thiru-Thiru-Thuru-Thuru-tamil-movie-script includes

1) Story
2) Screenpaly
3) Dialogue

Regards,

Asmath S//9952171287

Asmath S said...

Hi Mam,

Waiting for your reply..............

Also in my leisure time i write stories - In which one of my original story to be converted to a good flim

As i doesn't know to direct a flim - Can u Pls direct this flim.

Expecting your positive reply

Regards,

Asmath S
9952171287

jinesh narayanan said...

Hi nandhini, whats ur next project? Im waiting to watch it.

jacob joel said...

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9543664644. musicdirector2013@gmail.com

jacob joel said...

HI , I AM J.J.KING JOSEPH MUSIC DIRECTOR, I CAN COMPOSE ANY TYPE OF TUNE TO ANY TYPE OF SITUATION. AND I CAN ASSURE U 100% HIT AND THE WORLD WILL ROCK IN MY MUSIC. KINDLY GIVE A CHANCE TO PROVE MY SKILLS AND TALENT.
9543664644. musicdirector2013@gmail.com

kouisk vasanthan said...

thank u mam for the things that your shared, i finished a horror movie script ....