BELA LAMPERT

Yoga Instructor
Optioned Screenwriter

what do you want now

What Do You Want Now

A couple of years ago I started learning Spanish. Just to see if I would like it and keep at it. I didn’t have time for anything back then, so I carved out 10 min somewhere in my day (before I went to work or on my way to work) to do a little everyday. I’d had this fantasy of speaking Spanish fluently for a very long time so one day I got going. First, I just wanted to see if I really did like it as much as I thought I would. Soon, those 10 minutes a day became 20. A little later, those 20 minutes became 30. And I stayed with these 30 minutes a day for quite some time. After a while, I realized I was way past my goal of wanting to find out if I like it. That’s why I dedicated more time to it than originally planned. And a new goal had formed in my mind. Now I had this fantasy of being able to have a conversation with a native speaker in Spanish, not perfect, with pauses and asking for words, but I wanted to be able to speak about everyday topics in a way that wouldn’t be unpleasant for the both of us. Cut to the present. As the time of this writing I’m preparing for my C1 exam, which is the second highest level in the European framework for measuring for how well you speak a language. So, again, I’m way past the point of being able to have a fluent conversation, now my...

What Makes The Pros The Pros

What Makes The Pros The Pros

A tip I remember from Terry Rossio. If you want to learn screenwriting (but this basically applies to everything that you want to learn on a professional level), take one of your screenplays. Read it, and then take a professional level script and compare it to what you’ve written. Try to find out where the difference is. And by that (and that is my personal addition and interpretation of what he wrote) he means try to find the difference at a deep level.  Don’t just look at the words. Look at what happens to you, what you feel when you’re reading the professional level script. Try to find out what they’re doing that makes you feel that way. Try to find out how they were able to find a situation that makes you exactly feel what they wanted you to feel in that moments. What are the components that make it possible? Now go back to your own writing.  What from the things you saw in the professional level script are missing in your writing? Can you tell? Can you put your finger on it? This is not an exercise to feel bad. Try to see your script from a distance, as if it were the script of someone else. If you get emotional about the quality of writing you’re making it harder for you to have creative breakthroughs. (There are times where you can get emotional when you write but this is not it.) The difficulty here lies in seeing what the pros are doing. Why are they introducing that character exactly that way? Why is that...

Today's Step Is Different

Today’s Step Is Different

We’re writers. So, most days, the step towards our goals that we want to accomplish will have something to do with writing. But writing (or any other creative endeavour for that matter) is more than sitting on your butt and pressing keys. Most days are like that, but maybe today is different. Maybe today is a day on which you need something else. A creative walk, time with your family, a change of pace or place...

Final Draft 12 Review

Final Draft 12 Review – Should I Upgrade?

https://youtu.be/qGitsTKcYNw Hi, this is Bela from the Writer’s Territory, and guess what, Final Draft just has come out with a new version, version 12.  Which means, of course, I have to test it and let you know what I think of it. And just glancing over the improvements real quickly, seems like they’ve finally added some great features that I’ve been waiting for a long time. Let’s see if they deliver what they promise. Here are the most important updates from version 11. Beat Board They worked a lot on the beat board and it really has some nice additions that will help you use it more effectively and more flexible than before. Let me show you. Flow Lines Now you can create relationships between beats on the beat board. This helps you to have a better overview of the relationship between the cards. You can connect them with lines or arrows if you drag them on top of each other, or select them and them connect them via the right click menu. You can also change the color of the connections. Realtime Collaboration Version 11 of Final Draft already had live collaboration on the script itself. Now, in version 12 you also can collaborate on ScriptNotes and on the Beat Board. Sadly I can’t show you this in real time collaboration mode right now because at this moment I’ve only one machine at my disposal, but the collaboration works the same way as in version 11, just that now you can collaborate not only on the script, but also on Notes, in Track Changes mode, on...

Why you shouldn't fear confusion

Where Do You Start?

I read a newsletter from Seth Godin the other day. It had a great message that is very important to writers in my opinion.  Instinctively we might know that but if we’re not conscious about it we might shy away from it. And that is, “it starts with confusion”. Confusion is an integral part of the writing process. But often, when we’re confused we think it’s something bad. We made a mistake. Wrong decisions. Or we’re just bad writers. Not so. Most of all - if not all - great things started with confusion. I’ve read a lot of interviews from writers who said when they started on a certain television show (that later became hugely successful), they had no idea what to do. Now, if you’re a writer who is paid to head a TV show of course you know a lot about writing. This is not to say that them saying “I’ve no idea what to do” means the same thing as when a complete newbie who has never written a single page says it. What it shows is no matter how much you learn and already know, the “confusion” part will always be there to a huge extent because finding the diamonds in midst all this confusion, the story and the characters that glues people to their screens, is always going to be a part of the process. Even for pros. So, relax, don’t be hard on yourself and welcome the feeling of being “confused”. It’s okay. Want to learn how to be inspired although you’re confused? [incta][inlink] ...

Final Draft Find and Replace

“Find and Replace” in Final Draft 11

Apart from the “Search Tool”, which is discussed in another article, Final Draft has another tool for when you just want to search for a certain word and character name. And this tool is the "Find and Replace". If you've used a find and replace tool in another text editor, you'll quickly become familiar with this one. It works pretty much the same way, except that it adds the possibility to include certain screenplay related elements. Let's see what it does. Go to “Edit - Find...

Final Draft SmartType List Example

Speed Up Your Writing With Final Draft’s “SmartType”

In this article we’re going to have a look at SmartType lists and how they can speed up your writing by automatically filling in elements that you’re using on a regular basis in your script. As you might know, Final Draft 11 gives you suggestions when typing certain standard script elements that are used often. To see for which types of elements Final Draft 11 can create with SmartType lists, go to Document - SmartType. Here in the “lists” tab you see which elements have automatically been added by Final Draft: CharactersExtensionsScene IntrosLocationsTimesTransitions In each of those categories you can manually add new SmartType entries by clicking the “New” button. “Rebuild” scans the whole script for entries that only appear in that script. It rebuilds the whole SmartType list for you based on the information in your script. Final Draft 11 gives you many SmartType entries from the start that are common, for example “EXT.”, “INT.”, “DAY, “NIGHT”, and others. Then, while you’re writing, Final Draft 10 automatically fills these lists with the information you type. “Alphabetize” sorts your elements in alphabetical order. It does not delete or add any information. To delete an entry, for example if you find typos in your SmartType lists, hit the “Delete” button. Options There are a couple of options that help you adjust SmartType list behaviour to your preferences. Matching Characters, Scene Headings, or Transitions:  If you deactivate this function, Final Draft 10 will not show you the SmartType selection window in your script when typing one of these elements. So if the SmartType popup box...

pirate movies are dead

Pirate Movies Are Dead

And then “Pirates of the Caribbean” came along and created a billion-dollar franchise. We often think in terms of limits that others pose. And for years, and maybe even decades everyone said, pirate movies are dead. But in reality that was not what they meant. What they mean was, “nobody wants to see pirate movies anymore the way we’ve been doing them until now”. Which is a completely different conversation. Because if “Pirates of the Caribbean” proved something then that people indeed like watching pirate movies if they are done in a fresh and entertaining way. The same applies to your writing. Yes, there are years of decades of experience in the market on what works and what doesn’t. I’m not saying that these experiences are worth nothing. They are an important foundation for creating successful projects in the motion picture industry. What I mean is that you as a writer shouldn’t limit yourself just because you heard someone else say that something doesn’t work. As in the pirate example, what people often are really saying is, “the way it has been done before doesn’t work anymore”. So, try to find a new way! Don’t let self-imposed limits shut down your inspiration. Because the limits are only there when you’re convinced they are. More ways to break down self-imposed limits: [incta][inlink] ...

Using Macros In Final Draft 11 To Speed Up Your Writing

In this article we’re going to have a look at Macros. This is another method to speed up your writing process because Macros can create script elements more quickly than having to type them every time you need them. Macros are essentially shortcuts that create commonly used text elements for you. To open the macro window go to “Document - Macros”. What you find is a list of pre-defined macros with the related keyboard shortcut. The name of the Macro is defined in the bar up top. The name of the Macro is shown in the list below with the corresponding shortcut. The Macro Text defines the text that is inserted when this Macro is triggered. The Macro Element dropdown menu defines which element a certain Macro belongs to. For example, if you use a Macro that fills in “INT.” For you, you will want that to be a scene heading element. “Transition to” defines what element is being created after having activated this macro. This can be “none” if you want to continue typing in the current element after having used that Macros, or you can define another script element that Final Draft 11 will jump to after having inserted the Macro text. Let’s see how that works. If you use a macro in the middle of a text block the macro will not trigger where your cursor is right now but rather insert the macro at the end of the text block. So if you want to enter another script element you don’t even have to place...