It’s interesting to me that all screenwriters have the same concerns about Covid 19, whether they’re disabled or not. What does this mean? What are the rules? How is this going to change film or television? Are we allowed to write screenplays?
A Small Measure of Success During Covid 19
I’ve also had the same concerns. I’m just getting started as a screenwriter, one small step at a time. So far, my feature length script, The Edge of Infinity, won Prisma Independent Film Awards Finalist and Madras Awards Best Women Writer. You see all the details on my ScriptRevolution profile page.
That doesn’t mean a movie is going to be made right now, but it’s a good start. The idea of being stopped dead cold when I’m just getting started due to a worldwide pandemic is awful. Covid 19, you bastard.
What are the Covid 19 Rules?
So, like always, researched like crazy on the internet and looked for an answer for, what does this mean for screenwriters?
There are, always have been, and continue to be, a lot of articles claiming this is what you have to do. Follow this exact formula and step by step instructions. I’m not going to post links to any of those articles because, frankly, I think they’re all bullshit. I read them anyway. Sometimes there’s a useful, albeit tiny, nugget of information buried somewhere in the articles. I take what I can get, throw out the rest.
Eventually, I came across a website that has PDFs for every country in the world with a filming industry. All the new regulations because of Covid 19. I can only read English and French, so I didn’t read all of them, but from I read, very little will change. It’s all common sense stuff. A check for all employees, if they’re had any symptoms or exposure. Wash your hands. Maintain a distance of two metres. Well, it’s two metres in Canada and the UK, that much I can confirm.
More importantly, these regulations are for everyone behind the camera. I’m not writing for behind the camera. I’m writing for what’s in front of the camera.
Covid 19 regulations for any filming doesn’t affect me or my screenwriting.
Now, having said all of that, I have read many articles that claim a contained script, as in a story that has a max of two location and a small human cast, is compatible with current Covid 19 regulations. I have not, however, seen anything that says contained scripts are mandatory, simply that it can help. Scripts with multiple locations can still be filmed. The crew behind the camera will just have to wash their hands more, that’s all.
But, but, what are the rules?!
Way back in 2006, after experimenting with creative writing for a couple of years, I reached a point where I had all this information in my head about writing. Techniques, grammar styles, types of plots, character development, etc, etc. Information overload! What do I do with all this information? What are the rules? Ironic that same question exists now, fourteen years later, as it did back then.
I took a deep breath and realized the answer to that question is still the same.
What are the rules? Whatever the hell I want them to be.