When I write my stories, characters, scenes, plots, locations, dialogue, and narratives, there is a video playing in my mind. I can see my characters, hear their voices, feel their emotions, and yes, I can smell them just as plainly as I can feel their hugs. One of the most interesting things I plan on doing during these next few years is to learn to be a scriptwriter and transform my books for film. I dream of sitting in the theater, popcorn and a cold drink in hand, and watch my stories come to life on the big screen. They say if you want something done right, do it yourself – well, I don’t believe that I’m capable of directing and/or producing a film of any quality, but what I believe I can do, I will do, and that is to write it.
Surfing about on YouTube, in search of factual insight on the subject, I came across this nearly two-hour video below …
Scriptwriting for Beginners … a 2-hour lecture.
This instructor re-enforced my previous understanding that both Celtx and FinalDraft were the key software packages of this industry for their use and formatting of a script and to meet the industry’s standards of writing and presentation. Without these standards, no matter how great a story (or rather a script) could be – if it is not formatted properly and laid out according to a film-maker’s preference the script will simply be tossed – hitting File 13 (the trash bin) with a bang, rather than the big screen.
Filmmaking 101: Training for Scriptwriting, Camera, Shooting, Lighting and Video Post Production
This 1 & 1/2 hour seminar is jam packed with tips, tricks, insights, do, don’ts, and much more. From the initial idea, to story structure, to scripting and on to the first stages of filming. These men came from nothing and now look at where they are! You can do it too, if you want it bad enough, and I really do want it bad enough, so here I go.
Reading Scripts for FREE
The instructor in the above video mentioned a few websites where anyone can download the scripts for any movie that the producers and/or directors choose to release to the public. I find this extremely useful in seeing and reading first hand what and how the professionals write scripts and screenplays. Below is a short list of the websites mentioned in the video lecture above.
Simply Scripts was so easy to use. I clicked the Menu button for MOVIE SCRIPTS then clicked “The Room”. This took me to The Room Script Blog page, where I could download the PDF of the full movie script for FREE! Learning how to write scripts to adapt my books for a film is an exciting venture. But, reading the same scripts that all of those famous actors have read, is even more thrilling. I plan on hunting around for several, by different and various famous scriptwriters.
Celtx has both a free and paid versions – allowing 3 scripts in total for the free version. An assortment of monthly fees expand this restriction, depending on the number of users you might have, comes with various subscription packages and is mainly online, not privately on your own personal computer. I am not fond of the idea of my work floating around on the cloud, so I don’t think I will use this software for that fact.
FinalDraft 10 allows a full installation of the software on your personal computer, with options to invite other users to assist in the creation and development of a script, and empowers the ‘owner’ to control who may or may not edit the script. This security measure makes me feel like my work is safe, at home where it should be, and free from any damages of say, theft. With a one time payment, FinalDraft is yours to keep forever. FinalDraft, version 10, is my software of choice.
Scriptwriting – a book for beginners
Another mention from the instructor in the above video was the book “Save the Cat” – referring to the one and only book you’ll ever need to buy in order to understand the industry and its standards as well as learning the art and craft of a screenwriter. Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need can be found on Amazon. I plan on buying this book soon. Look for it in my Book Blog later this year.
Scripts & Movies
The IMDb is the place to go to learn about the latest and greatest movies, the hot and the not so hot, the cast and crew, comments and all things related to the subject of movies. Becoming an IMDb Member is a given if you wish to crawl into this world and explore, and with a few different Membership Types, you can rate, review, critique, and comment – giving you a front row seat to these people and this world of motion picture productions.
Stage32 hosts many awards and a great place for scriptwriters to show their wares, be discovered and work with many others, both newbies and seasoned veterans of the industry. This is exciting! And I will be looking into this further, so watch for future posts on the subject.
Bringing the world together to form a union of scriptwriters and material for movie producers, Page Awards is the number one source and service. Everything from discussions to collaborations, contest entry to winning the movie jackpot, I will not neglect to investigate this avenue thoroughly.
I am so excited. Cocooning The Butterfly has become a smashing success around the globe. She’s beautiful and loved by the world, and I couldn’t be more pleased as I watch her spread those delicate wings and flutter.
OFFICIAL MEDIA DESCRIPTION …
A Finnish craftsman carved the proverbial text deep into the wood of the Butterfly Bed: “If ye shelter her in treasures of the heart, God shall bless thee with treasures abundant in His truth and prosperity; a truth known only of a Butterfly and her Cocoon”. A tale of love entwined by fate brings this proverb to life; the Knight Riders Princess, they must protect her life, for her destiny is to befall the Demons Den and bring the Keeper of the Monarch to his throne.
Oh, ye Knights, let thy thunder roar, for it is of thy calling, thy strength of vast numbers that guard this Promise, this Blessing, thy Prince, and thy Princess, to keep these swine, these evil Demons at bay.
“Find the man who is worthy of your Butterfly Bed, Sweetheart, for he is the Keeper of the Monarch.”
PAPERBACK’S BACK COVER TEXT …
Finnish words, a man of wisdom carved deep in the wood of the Butterfly Bed. “If ye shelter her in treasures of the heart, God shall bless thee with treasures abundant in His truth and prosperity: a truth known only of a Butterfly and her cocoon.” The scribe he etched, written of pen and ink, rolled tight the scroll and hid it from sight; only the virtuous love of a Buffalo shall spin a Cocoon in shelter of a Caterpillar. It is in their bloodlines, birthright, written and sealed is this providence, a promise of old men from long ago. Forbidding her blessing to fall on any, save one, the Bed did wait in silence for one worthy of her pledge; a girl child, firstborn upon her sanctuary, captured her soul in one quick breath. The Circle B Ranch rests in slumber, awaiting a birth, his soul’s heir; the Buffalo’s heart must be lit, and reach maturity in manhood. His lands fruitful, his drink sweet, his shelter of beauty astounding to view though his loneliness forlorn; yet by an early summer’s moon the cry of the newborn son stirs hope deep within his soil. The girl grows, longing for one man to love her true, not the riches, diamonds, and gold of Demons, these swine have dangled before her. Offerings of those who would slay her should they know her rightful identity, the Knights shield her from certain death while striking down these wicked swine. Yet she knows not of the Demons’ strife to reduce her existence to ash, nor of the sword that keeps these Demons at bay. A sword of justice the Knights guard the Caterpillar, for it was prophesied that she be the chosen one to bring their Prince his rightful throne and befall the Demons to Hell. Oh, ye Knights, let thy thunder roar, for it is thy calling, thy strength of vast numbers that guard a promise, to keep Evil at bay. “Find the man who is worthy of your Bed, Sweetheart, for he is the Keeper of the Monarch.”
Canadian, country, old-fashioned and naturally rustic this prairie view ranch with its back to the Rocky Mountains is definitely a rare and rugged find.
The Circle B Ranch was established in 1895 and is now 116 years old, but living stronger than the day when the old-timers first hung its gates. From the first day of becoming established, the Circle B Ranch has raised beef, pioneering a herd of buffalo some years back, as well as the typical farm animals, but has never left the bloodline of its original owners. Maintaining ownership until young Joseph and Halya were old enough to inherit this land, was a task only men of perseverance and loyalty could master, through the will and grace of a much higher power.
The house is set back on rugged land and nestled deep in the rolling foothills of Alberta. The Circle B stretches far, both north and south, flowing eastward and down into the flatter lands of the prairie, then westward, climbing into the mountains of Kananaskis Country. A spread of 100 sections of land, 64 000 acres, Joseph was born and raised here.
The Ranch’s outbuildings, corrals, barns, silos, sheds, shops, and shelters have been well kept and in good repair. Each additional building added over the years, planned for position and smooth flow of its beasts and critters, eased the workload on the wranglers and farmhands. Bunkhouses, supply barns, riding gear, farming tools and machinery all have their place, just as each man is well versed in his duties. Now, the time has come. Joseph Tanner, the Buffalo, will be master and lord.
Waves of dark brown fur can be seen in mass as the buffalo move throughout the snow encrusted meadows and fields, muster in the shelter of an ancient oak, cluster of fir trees or against banks that block the chilling winds descending from ice-covered mountain peaks; as are the smooth silky black hides of the Angus steers. Wranglers riding healthy and spirited horses of breeds like those of the Mustang, Belgian, Clydesdale or Percheron, dispersed over the rolling lands, ride in to take their afternoon meal and break next to the chuck-wagon sleighs. The boss speaks briefly to his lead wrangler before he heads to the house to have his lunch with his wife; Halya, Princess of the Knight Riders, her arrival at the Circle B was one that marked an end to the feud and brought life back to the ranch.
This kind of ranch demands the strength and performance of a man who possesses solidity of mind, ruggedness of character, a gentleness of heart, a most honorable deportment and assuredness of power with the steadiness of hand. Joseph is much more than that as he sits tall in his saddle, proud and with good humor, but he will not take shit from anyone. He has worked hard here all his life. It never occurred to him that this land was destined become his own until he met Halya and learned of his rightful heritage. However, their paths to each other, influenced by the existence of the Butterfly Bed, the Circle B Ranch, ancient promises, and a long-standing feud had formed the foundation of a heritage that played the cards of manipulation, perseverance, and faith that would offer them both a Living Hell and a Life of Heaven. If not for a man Joseph met only a few short years ago, all of this would have fallen into the hands of his feuding rival decades ago, given by law to a hellish Demon for drugs, weapons, and damnation. However, as fate should have it, that man and his power to control matters of evil, brought the feud to its end when he brought Halya and the Butterfly Bed to the Circle B.
As Joseph approached closer to the house and yard, Gringo, his prized Belgian horse beneath him trotted through the powdery snow with ease on a path created with this daily routine. Chaps and slickers, woolen clothing and leather riding gear; it is so cold the saddle leather creaks and groans in the frosted air. A trickle of smoke from the chimney, a flicker of light through the windows, the scent of food on the air, he gave Gringo a gentle kick and picked up the pace for home.
Joseph could not help but to pause in his afternoon quest for home and lunch each day, but to halt his homeward trek, and take in the vision of their home. The rugged beauty and stately feel of the Ranch’s main house and yard, was one that captured his breath with a new found awe as each season came upon them; as though a revelation of a great spirit had brought upon the property a new form and apparition of life come any season of the year. The sun and shadows, four seasons of colors draped and drenched in nature’s artistry, each day seemed like the first day that he stopped on this mound to take in this vision; this wondrous land he could soon now call his own.
To Joseph’s back, the east fields span open in space to roll off into the horizon to greet the morning sun. To his right, toward the northern boundary of the Ranch, behind the grand old oak trees sheltering the length of a two-kilometer laneway, the rolling northern section of the western fields host the family cemetery beneath an aged willow tree on a high mound; wrapped in a white picket fence, the snow this year engulfed the cemetery to invisible. To his left, the barns, silos, sheds, bunkhouses and stables stand bright and cheerful with their red paint in contrast to crisp white snow. Farther off to the west, upon much vast and leveler ground, the majestic stance of the house, a log over stone rancher poses as a bison bull, steadfast and strong with its back to the northwest, and its face to the southeast.
Then straight ahead of him, to the northeast side of the house, squared off is a massive log and stone structure that dominates a full acre, sheltered beneath snow-covered glass is the Butterfly’s Eden. Gates constructed as double castle doors of solid knotty pine, a monarch butterfly carved deep into the wood, Joseph’s Butterfly bathes her soul and spirit there in floral and fruitful abundance during the warmer months. Willow branch arbors and lattice window shutters support a variety of flowering clematis ivies or vines of succulent berries and grapes. The surrounding walls of jagged stone conceal a garden of savory vegetables, melons, gourds, and herbs. Everything flourishes abundantly during the summer season, but now the companion orchards and gardens rest under a heavy blanket of snow. Halya’s ten acres of food forest upon rich loamy soil boast a lavish and lush sanctuary, sheltered within the protection of the Circle B Ranch. It was his latest gift for his wife, Halya, the Butterfly’s Eden that is, that signified an end to her sorrows as it brought upon Joseph’s heart those wondrous tears of glee that he strived so hard to achieve and maintain. Halya sought Joseph all her life and found him when she was about ready to give up; just as he too, waited patiently for that one gentle beauty he dreamed of to come into his world and bring him peace.
Joseph took this moment to enjoy their wealth. Hearing nothing but the wind eject from Gringo’s lungs, Joseph gave his horse a nudge and they were off toward home with a steady loping step. Gringo rested now and tethered to the hitching post within a rough winter-use shelter near the house, Joseph fetched a portion of hay and a ration bucket of oats from the supplies stacked against the shelters inner rear wall then fed his horse. A heavy blanket tossed over the horse’s back, to prevent the warm animal from cooling down too quickly, Gringo would wait for his master to return. Joseph closed the gate to the shelter then walked toward the house.
A wide deep porch encircles the log over stone two-story rancher; a massive building of old growth knotty pine logs over granite stonework. White painted railing and window frames, armchairs and tables, and brightly painted flowerpots and planters litter the porch in an artistic array of country flavor. They have enjoyed many mornings watching the sunrise or evenings gazing at the moon from the comfort of four swings, one to each side of the house, suspended from the exposed log rafters. The Circle B house has withstood many a cold winter and long hot summers with ease.
Chilling winds drifting the snow, Joseph made a mental note to assign snow removal duties around the house to his farmhands as he strode the length of the porch; his spurs chime with each step. Snow bluffs had nearly covered the porch floor and steps; he would see to it after his lunch. Joseph paused for a moment, took note of Halya’s RAM truck parked in the drive and petite footprints in the snow. Her truck was free of snow and ice; still warm from her drive to town, snowflakes melted as they lit gracefully upon the windshield. She had arrived home within the last hour.
The wide deep porch frames a welcoming double-door entry, constructed of etched glass mounted within ancient arbutus wood. An earthy warm reception presents the foyer; spanning high and airy the loft opens to a grand entry that echoes a past culture of people that fail to die here. Joseph entered the house, slipped his boots off then set them on the mat next to the front door, hung his winter slickers on the peg stand, black Stetson hat on an eight-point rack of deer antlers.
Stone tiles and solid maple floors, a rustic ranchman’s country interior and blessed by the Lady Love in his life. The house was quiet, but for the scent of warm bread, fresh coffee, and chicken soup. Halya had not greeted him at the door as she usually did. As he looked around their home, admiring all that he took in, he knew that life was good and that his Butterfly Wife was here somewhere. Smiling, he set out to locate her.
To the left front of the house, the tall span of glass enclosing the house front disperses natural westerly light and life upon Halya’s dream kitchen; a rustic eat-in country kitchen, emitting the mouth-watering scents and flavors of a buffalo rancher’s wife with her heritage cooking. Hutches, chests, and tables have replaced the kitchen cabinetry. Faucets of antique solid brass sparkle with incoming sunlight. A hanger of cast-iron suspended above the main island from the rafters, the Circle B’s brand supports copper bottom pots and cast-iron pans. Drying flowers and braids of corn, herbs, and spices bunched and tied with twine adorn her space with a loving touch. The ovens have filled their home with the aromatic warmth of fresh baked bread, coffee, and hot chicken soup. With dirty hands, Joseph thought better of tasting from the soup pot and decided to allow himself an appetizing sniff then felt his hunger pangs grow to full force. Where was she? Reluctantly leaving the kitchen, he glanced into the living room from across the foyer, but she was not asleep on her favorite sofa.
Orchestrating steadfast and unwavering valor, the living room boasts oversized and overstuffed studded leather sofas, loveseats and recliners while many fragile antiques display feminine accent as balanced opposition to the vast space of the bold masculine aura of the room. The reconstructed fireplace and chimney of jagged stones and the colossal nineteenth-century arbutus mantel, support framed portraits of family and friends. Dressing tabletops of smooth silky wood rest oil lamps atop doilies of handmade lace. The indoor vegetation of purple and green grapes, a wide range of berry bushes or the various mix of nut and fruit trees, is in serious need of a foliage clipping. Halya has taken over the living room with her gardening in preparation for next year’s growing season; the height of the windows stretching from the main floor to the loft’s ceiling, provide ample lighting.
Strolling through the house, in search of his lovely wife, Joseph paused next to the woodstove that dominates the immense open space below the wide arc of the log staircase to the loft, between the kitchen and living room. Placing a hand out to feel for warmth, he took note of its need for wood. The house was warm, and that is how it should be, so stoking the fire within was mandatory. He tossed in four pieces of wood, checked the damper, then closed the doors and listened for the crackle of promised comfort. Halya would not work to heat the house, not in the condition that he suspected she was in; he would see to it that the house maintained its warmth and the wood supply remained plentiful. With snow piling up and more threatening to come, the house must remain warm.
The rooms flow as a whisper down a wide hall beneath the broad expanse of the loft’s upper entry, passing by the quiet mood of the formal dining room, and office/den, and then offering a peaceful approach to the soon-to-be nursery and master suite. Joseph opened the door to their bedroom and peered in to see if he could find Halya in their private rooms, and he did. She lay on their bed, curled in a ball, reminiscent of a child; glistening locks of curly auburn silk draped over the edge of the bed, gently brushing the hard wood of the bed’s frame, arms wrapped around her favorite childhood blanket, she slept like an infant.
The marvel of all archaic monstrosities rests majestically at the center of the room, faced upon an angle to view the beauty of their land through the lengthy panes of glass framing the stone fireplace that sits at the center of the east wall. An heirloom of old-growth European mahogany handcrafted in Helsinki, Finland, 1912. The story goes that an ancestor of remarkable wisdom, a legendary artisan, had built then sent this heirloom to his own Butterfly Bride. A bed made of true love, Halya inherited the blessing of this gift. Built for his bride with honored and cherished love, this stately piece of furniture, passed through the generations, and then gifted to Halya on her twenty-fifth birthday, 2007. An open-winged and fairy-like butterfly carved deep into the wood of the headboard, tiny butterflies swirl from the floor to seven feet high, reaching a butterfly-fairy atop the peak of each corner post; cherubims guarded a fortress of love. The Finnish words of the ancestor’s virtuous heart and balanced mind span the width of the footboard and read in his native tongue …
“Jos vaalit häntä sydämesi aarteena, Jumala siunaa sinua ylitsevuotavin aartein Hänen totuudessaan ja yltäkylläisyydessään; totuudessa, jonka tietää vain perhonen ja hänen kotelonsa.”
Translated into English the words have deep, metaphorical meaning.
“If ye shelter her in treasures of the heart, God shall bless thee with treasures abundant in His truth and prosperity; a truth known only of a Butterfly and her Cocoon”.
Nestled at the rear corner of the master bedroom, stand several wicker baskets filled with pillows or blankets, knitting or crochet projects, photos, or treasured mementos, as are the stacks of baskets next to the antique dressers and entertainment center. The heavily padded back-roll of the bed matches the embossed crisp white tapestry of the drapes. His & Her’s armchairs and footstools also dressed in white tapestry, arranged in a compact cluster next to the windows and fireplace, create a cozy reading nook with stunning views of the Canadian Prairie at Kananaskis Country from their Rocky Mountain Foothills Ranch at sunrise. A masculine solidity yet a graceful air of delicate femininity … if their home could speak, it would say …
“I am an honorable Ranchman’s home, and a sanctuary for his Butterfly to nest in.”
Quietly, as not to wake her from her slumber, Joseph lay a blanket over her then kissed her forehead, paused to admire her fragile splendor and peacefulness, stoked the fireplace then closed the door and returned to the kitchen for his lunch. Soon, he would enjoy his meals in the company of his offspring, passing on his knowledge of a rancher’s life, but for now, he would have to wait until their children were born.
Quoted Published Excerpt – Copyright 2017 by Laila Doncaster