Answer: When there is no dialogue!
Obviously this answer isn't true. But it can seem that way.
As I mentioned before, I am thinking about doing a silent film, as in no dialogue. I've done these before at the low budget end - for example the Mr Vista films. With Mr Vista scripting doesn't matter, we improv it anyway. And for higher budgets, in my heart of hearts, I honestly believe that it is better to jump straight to a storyboard, if you can. But you don't always have that option.
We all know that description-based scripts, with no dialogue, are frowned upon. My current writing task is getting 'Teddy and the Moon' expanded and ready for the Red Planet comp - and there are some long no-dialogue sequences in there. This is of concern to me. The only thing I have found to really work is to space out the description and action by beats - with plenty of spaces.
John enters the room.
A crash. What's that?
A mouse runs over his foot.
John shrieks. A hand covers his mouth. His eyes bulge.
It almost becomes like dialogue then.
If you yourself fancy dipping your toe in this arena then you could do much worse than checking out the My One Word competition which closes July 6th. As the name suggests, you can only use the one word of dialogue. It is supported by C4 and 4 films will be made. 3 minutes each - so an easy write - or a great way to use up a stray idea. Free to enter too.
So no excuse not to bung in 3 pages and get your film made and a free bit of mentoring too.
I'm running the workshop day for the final 12. As a writer myself I'm really aiming to put together a great day. NOT the same old crap you get elsewhere where you start to think that the development day is a punishment rather than a prize. I know it's radical, an actually useful development day. Will wonders never cease?
MY ONE WORD RULES
» Have a final running time of 3 minutes
» Be of any genre from comedy to horror
» Have locations based within England
» Must not contain any violence, explicit language or include any explicit sexual content