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  • Entitlement


    ADDENDUM: I found the letter that prompted this entry. Thank you, Eddie in Van Nuys! Eddie is a Friend of the Blog. He adds this helpful tip: Fortunately, it’s an easy mistake to fix. In Final Draft all one has to do is open the “Document” tab and hit “Title Page.” That brings up the script’s title page and it can be formatted from there. Problem solved.” Got that? Thanks!

    Original Post:

    I’m back in Los Angeles again, gentle readers. And I’m awfully glad to be home. I’m hoping that I’ll have more time to blog with you than I’ve had in recent weeks. Production is fun and exciting, but it is all-consuming.

    Now, as I’ve mentioned before, my blog-mail has been tossed like a salad as a result all the moving around. So while today’s entry was inspired by a letter, I can’t quite put my hands on the letter. One of you wrote in a while back with an excellent point that I’ve never seen before and I’ve decided it’s worth mentioning even with a shameful lack of attribution. When the original letter emerges from the chaos, I’ll let you know!

    Sometimes you convert your script to PDF format for emailing, right? At least I do. Well, when a Final Draft script is converted to PDF, a generic title page is generated. Be aware of it, because when the recipient prints out the file, that generic page is going to be on top. Apparently, some operations around town literally have stacks of these indistinguishable-from-the-top scripts. Don’t let yours be one of them! You want your title — and more importantly your name — visible, front-and-center.

    But, and here I go off-road to make an unrelated point, in my opinion you don’t want that name to be too big. I’ve been organizing my script files here at home, and I’ve realized that one of the ways I can instantly distinguish a script from a working colleague from a script by an aspiring writer is that the aspiring writer uses a big font on their title page. Now, others may disagree with me here, but I would advocate an all twelve-point title page. I think it looks more professional.

    This is a classic battle, actually — professionalism vs. self-promotion. Aspiring writers have to do a lot of things that professionals don’t have to — introducing themselves to working writers without a name to drop to ease the intro, and writing self-puffing essays about their qualifications and dreams, for example. It can be very hard to balance aggression and grace. The art of humble self-promotion can be as important in the early stages of career-exploration as writing skill, and I’ve seen it misplayed in both directions. You’ll have to find the tone that’s right for you. But on title pages, I recommend a soft and steady voice.

    Lunch: the “studio plate” from Poquito Mas. Do you have Poquito Mas? It’s a chain, but they make their own tortillas right there — mmm.

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