Film Courage: Can you explain why outlining matters to all the screenwriters who are set against it?
Marc Scott Zicree, Screenwriter/Author: You don’t want to outline to such a degree that you have no juice left for the script. It’s not like building a concrete wall around yourself that you can’t break out of. It’s basically to give you the bones of structure so you know where your story is going. Now in television, outlining is much more important because if you’re under the gun, if they’re going to be shooting in three weeks or two weeks or tomorrow, you can’t go off into left field. That’s when outlining really needs to be nailed down. In features…see what this really speaks to is you need to understand how structure works because early in my career I struggled a lot with structure and then there was one period (one summer) where I was writing I think all the episodes of a series for CBS and I was writing so much and so quickly all of a sudden it just clicked in. It was like it went right into the groove and suddenly structure was simple for me, it was just like the bones of a house and the bigger the story, the bigger the house, but it’s like the framework that holds it all together and I understood that and then it became just second nature…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
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Marc also recorded the commentaries of 54 Twilight Zone episodes on a BluRay set. Now, he’s completing the commentaries of all the remaining episodes – 156 episodes in total – and YOU can be a part of it.
Marc Scott Zicree is the author of THE TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION and has written for shows such as STAR TREK – THE NEXT GENERATION, SLIDERS, DEEP SPACE NINE, BABYLON 5, SMURFS, HE-MAN, REAL GHOSTBUSTERS and many more. Marc and his wife Elaine Zicree have worked for virtually all the major studios and networks. In addition to writing, directing and producing great projects for film, TV and books (including the forthcoming GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES), Marc and Elaine mentor thousands of others toward successful careers in the Industry via The Table industry roundtable meetings.
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