In the course of a year NMG analyses 30-40 screenplays ranging from multi-million dollar productions such as Prometheus, Carnage and Ridley & Tony Scott’s new miniseries Labyrinth, to TV series such as Vera, Him & Her & Trollied.
Screenplays follow a fixed industry format created in the States and dating back to typewriter days. They use Courier 12 font and US letter size paper which means that as a rule of thumb each page represents a minute of action.
Screenplays also follow set layouts and formats:
Sluglines: the location, time of day
Action blocks: What the characters are doing right now
Character Names: Character names in CAPITALS who are about to speak
Dialogue: Centred underneath the character speaking
Other standardised layout is used for scene transitions, character introductions, and unusual actions.
The end result is a lengthy document that at first glance can be difficult to follow and visualise the final on-screen action.
That is where NMG’s skills come in to play. Our job is two fold: to identify early opportunities for our clients’ brands to positively appear; secondly to protect our clients’ brands from negative appearances which might otherwise result.
So NMG overlays another level of expertise to our screenplay analysis using the skills and knowledge acquired by being in the heart of the entertainment industry.
Using our experience of say, the director’s past productions, the stars’ personas, even competitive productions being made elsewhere we can begin to visualise the final production as it will appear on screen.
For instance, Diageo’s Johnnie Walker Black Label fits perfectly with Gary Oldman’s character George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but not well in the hands of James Buckley and Blake Harrison’s characters, Jay & Neil in The Inbetweeners: The Movie.
Likewise, the BlackBerry Torch 9800, as ‘brand of choice’ for Kelly Adam’s charming and intelligent character Emma Kennedy in Hustle works, but not for Tina Malone’s character Mimi Maguire in Shameless.