05 07

How to write a song in a screenplay

Trialine.com has the best straight forward industry advice regarding music and/or lyrics formatted into a screenplay. Generally, the advice is that if you DON'T own the copyright to the lyrics, film clip, quote from published material, newscast or television program, DO NOT insert it into the screeenplay. It immediately looks and impresses as unprofessional and ameteurish (because schools of television writing and screenwritng ALL TEACH NOT TO DO IT). There are tricks to using descriptive words for SOUND or MUSIC without quoting a lyric or song title, but instead by "guiding" the director to use it (ie: purchase the rights). I know it sounds unnecessarily troublesome or nat-picky. But if you understand the rule of NOT STEPPING ON THE DIRECTORS TOES and the budgetary issues around purchasing rights to use "SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL" or a Bob Marley hit, you'd be able to avoid the single most glaring error that guarantees you a rejection before the reader gets to the end of Act One. Film school stuff here. You can refer to "an endless montage of Bob Marleys best Reggae hits" without quoting a title, but still effectively forcing the director to consider using the very few alternaties he has... BUY SOME RIGHTS and cut back on catering and extras. Don't get discouraged, just get it right. You won't be sorry. The REWRITE is your best friend. GOOD LUCK

L · 3 years ago

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