Season 5 Scriptwriting

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Hey guys, we haven't had too much interest in scriptwriting, but I wanted to make clear that anyone who wants to get involved is welcome. If you're interested in helping out with the actual writing of the Season 5 scripts to any degree, from suggesting some dialogue for a specific scene to writing a full script yourself, please post in this thread or start a conversation with me here on the boards me so we can coordinate.

Keep in mind that there's a bit more of a time crunch this season than usual because of the new way we're doing things, so the goal is to get a full first draft of each script to the hosts every other podcast session. It's not the end of the world if we don't have a finished script and can only share the outline with the hosts, but the preference is definitely for a full script.

If you're interested in writing something for an episode, I highly recommend at least watching and if you can, participating in, the script discussions on the Signum Twitch channel. If you want to participate live in the GoToWebinar sessions, just reach out to me, and I'll make sure you get the link.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Welcome to the Writers' Room!

There is a lot going on this Season, and I wanted to put all the information in one place so that everyone can keep up with where we are on the project.

Season 5 Outline: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zV3Nq48kihrVXYMfNLlPLK6cQZAqjVH1OUrLibTR1bM/edit?usp=sharing

Episode 1
Script Discussion: October 4th On Twitch
Deadline for Script: November 5th​
Podcast Discussion: November 19th Session 5-18 On Twitch & Session 5-19 On Twitch
Episode Outline: Link to Google Doc
Discussion Thread: Link to thread in this forum
Script Writer: Rhiannon​
Episode 2
Script Discussion: October 18th On Twitch
Deadline for Script: December 3rd​
Podcast Discussion: December 17th Session 5-20 On Twitch & Session 5-22 On Twitch
Episode Outline: Link to Google Doc
Discussion Thread: Link to thread in this forum
Script:​
Script Writer:​
Episode 3
Script Discussion: November 1st On Twitch
Deadline for Script: December 31st​
Podcast Discussion: January 14th Session 5-22 On Twitch
Episode Outline: Link to Google Doc
Discussion Thread: Link to thread in this forum
Script:​
Script Writer:​
Episode 4
Script Discussion: December 6th On Twitch
Deadline for Script: January 28th​
Podcast Discussion: February 11th Session 5-24 On Twitch
Episode Outline: Link to Google Doc
Discussion Thread: Link to thread in this forum
Script Writer: Marie​
Episode 5
Script Discussion: December 20th On Twitch
Deadline for Script: February 25th​
Podcast Discussion: March 11th Session 5-26 On Twitch and March 25th Session 5-27 On Twitch
Episode Outline: Link to Google Doc
Discussion Thread: Link to thread in this forum
Script:​
Script Writer:​
Episode 6
Script Discussion: January 10th On Twitch
Deadline for Script: March 25th​
Podcast Discussion: April 8th Session 5-28 On Twitch
Episode Outline: Link to Google Doc
Discussion Thread: Link to thread in this forum
Script:​
Script Writer:​
Episode 7
Script Discussion: January 24th On Twitch
Deadline for Script: April 22nd​
Podcast Discussion: May 6th Session 5-30​
Episode Outline: Link to Google Doc
Discussion Thread: Link to thread in this forum
Script:​
Script Writer:​
Episode 8
Script Discussion: February 7th On Twitch
Deadline for Script: May 6th​
Podcast Discussion: May 20th Session 5-31​
Episode Outline: Link to Google Doc
Discussion Thread: Link to thread in this forum​
Script:​
Script Writer: Marie​
Episode 9
Script Discussion: February 21st On Twitch & 28th On Twitch
Deadline for Script: May 27th​
Podcast Discussion: June 10th Session 5-32​
Episode Outline: Link to Google Doc
Discussion Thread: Link to thread in this forum​
Script:​
Script Writer:​
Episode 10
Script Discussion: March 28th On Twitch & April 4th On Twitch
Deadline for Script: June 24th​
Podcast Discussion: July 8th Session 5-34​
Episode Outline: Link to Google Doc​
Discussion Thread: Link to thread in this forum​
Script:​
Script Writer:​
Episode 11
Script Discussion: April 18th On Twitch
Deadline for Script: August 12th​
Podcast Discussion: August 26th Session 5-36​
Episode Outline: Link to Google Doc
Discussion Thread: Link to thread in this forum​
Script Writer: Brian​
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Here is the procedure for how the scriptwriting works.

First, we open a thread in this forum to discuss the content of the episode. Usually, threads will open 1-2 weeks prior to the script discussion of that episode. That is the best time to bring up suggestions for scenes or events that can play out in that particular episode, or bring the storylines together. Everything that we were saying was too much detail to get into in the pre-season? Now it's time for those ideas! Conflicting suggestions are welcome - the more ideas we have available, the better decisions we can make during the script discussion.

Then, we hold a Script Discussion (Sunday nights at 8:30 PM Eastern Time) in which we put together an episode outline. Anyone is welcome to participate, and there are multiple methods of doing so. You can join the discussion on video via GoToWebinar (ask any member of the script team for the link of how to join that). You may be audio only, if that is your preference. Or, you may leave typed comments in either GoToWebinar's question box, or Twitch's chat. The video of the script discussion is available immediately afterwards on SignumU's Twitch channel. We are still working on audio file availability, but hope to have that, as well.

The Episode Outline is posted in the thread after the script discussion. Sometimes these discussions run quite late, so do give me a day to get it posted. The Outline is posted as a Google Doc, and when you click on the link, you can leave comments or suggestions directly on the document if you have any questions about particular items or additions to suggest making. You may also continue to comment in the thread, so we can make any necessary edits to the outline. The expectation is that one week after the script discussion, the outline will be in a finished form.

Within one week of the Script Discussion, we will have a script writer selected. If you are interested in writing a script for a particular episode, you must post in this thread or contact a member of the script team to let us know of your interest within that one week window. The script writer is encouraged to listen to the Script Discussion (participation is better), and begin writing a script based on the episode outline. 'In Progress' scripts can be shared via private message here (we'll have a 'writers room' set up for just such a purpose). When that script is in a state in which the writer is comfortable sharing it with others, the document will be uploaded as a google doc and the link will be posted on the episode thread, with the 'anyone with the link can comment' option. This allows anyone on the boards to view the script, and also to suggest edits or add comments throughout the script, directly on the document. The script writer retains full editing authority, so that suggestions are only incorporated at the script writer's discretion. This allows for collaborative feedback without creating chaos :)

Once the script has been uploaded and gone through initial edits and review, the script team will decide that we are ready to share the script with the hosts on their podcast. I will make a pdf of the document and send it along to the hosts. That means...there is a deadline. Scripts should be posted no later than two weeks before the podcast date, to give everyone time to read them over and suggest any edits they think necessary. Ideally, the script writer will get feedback from everyone who participated in the initial script discussion during this review process. A script that does not really follow the outline or that is incomplete would be unlikely to be shared on the podcast, but we can have discussions about that if necessary.

For the podcast, the hosts will be given a copy of the script outline and the finished script (in pdf form without any comments/suggested edits visible). They will then be able to review the script and discuss that episode, suggesting any changes or improvements. We can then continue to edit the document posted here in light of that podcast discussion to reach a (more or less) final draft version of a Silm Film script!

I know that's a lot, so if you have any questions, please ask! Nick is our Script Editor, so he will be overseeing this process. He will post the episode threads and host and moderate the script discussions, as he has done in previous seasons. We needed a more involved procedure this season, because we are holding the script discussions before the hosts of the podcast discuss the individual episodes.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Are there any points in the script for this season that would involve fight choreography? I'd be happy to pitch in if feedback is okay and I didn’t screw up.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
In the first three episodes, the only 'fight scene' is the cats attacking Aredhel, so you can certainly chime in when Rhiannon posts the Episode 2 script! (which should happen shortly) And there will no doubt be opportunities to discuss fight scenes as the season progresses. Actual choreography is not typically included in the script, but coordinating a scene with a script writer to provide input and feedback sounds like a good plan :).
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
In the first three episodes, the only 'fight scene' is the cats attacking Aredhel, so you can certainly chime in when Rhiannon posts the Episode 2 script! (which should happen shortly) And there will no doubt be opportunities to discuss fight scenes as the season progresses. Actual choreography is not typically included in the script, but coordinating a scene with a script writer to provide input and feedback sounds like a good plan :).
The earliest I could probably start up is Episode 4, don't know much about hand-to-hand outside of possibly boxing (it's been almost 15 years since I did taekwondo).
 
D

Deleted member 207

Guest
Hi guys,

So I am starting a Masters in Screenwriting this month and will be working closely with my course provider (a writer on This Is England, if that impresses anybody here, it did me lol) to complete some scripts and a possible series bible for pitching to production companies at the end of my two years. It's all very exciting.

Suffice to say, I'm really not sure what the workload will be, as it largely relies on me just doing the writing, plus balancing it with my fulltime job and family. However, I would love to be involved as I think it's a very useful creative writing exercise to hone skills. And I love the project and Tolkien.

All this said, I've not really engaged with Mythgard or the project since the very early days and so would struggle to go back and listen to all the content so far and consume everything that has been put out regarding it. I'm not sure I could even catch up to begin understanding what has gone before. Plus I've only read The Silmarillion the once and it was some time ago.

All that said, please help me work out where to begin.

Thanks
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Welcome back to Silm Film, Rob! I'm glad you're interested in getting involved again. :) I for one am certainly interested in any gems you'd like to share from your classes, when it gets to that point.

I realize it may seem daunting to simply jump back in, so let me run a few suggestions by you and see if any of them sound good to you?

First - you are welcome to join the Season 5 script discussions! We meet on Sundays at 8:30 PM EST (ie, Signum Time). We will be discussing the plot of each episode of Season 5, and making an episode outline during the session. If you're able to join us, any questions about pertinent prior material can come up organically during the discussion, and hopefully we can get you caught up in that way. As a warning, the script discussions do typically last for about 5 hours; it's okay if you aren't able to stay for the full time. Our next script discussion will be this Sunday, January 10th, and we will be discussing Episode 6.

Alternatively, if you recall a particular episode from an earlier season that really caught your interest, and you'd like to try your hand at tackling writing a script for it, you're welcome to do that as well! If you let me know which episode you're interested in, I will make sure you have the information about which podcasts/script discussions to listen to to get back into that particular part of the story. You can sign up for Season 1-3 episodes here: https://forums.signumuniversity.org/index.php?threads/so-you-want-to-be-a-script-writer.3898

If you're feeling a bit lost in the weeds in the Season 5 storylines, this will likely clear up considerably when we get to Season 6. That is the Beren and Lúthien season, so re-reading a single (memorable) chapter of the Silmarillion should suffice. For Season 5, we are covering chapters 16, 17, and 18 of the published Silmarillion.

Basically, let me know what you're interested in doing, and I'll do my best to point you in the right direction! And welcome back :)
 
D

Deleted member 207

Guest
Sadly that's 1 in the morning for me lol

Are the sessions recorded? Then I could always watch them and ask relevant questions to others involved at a later time?

I will do my best to catch up but you're right, season 6 could be a wonderful jumping on point.

As for the course I'm taking, it is technically a research MA meaning there is no taught element (i.e. classes), it's basically just me squirrelling away on scripts for two years. But my supervisor will work closely with me to perfect them and I can always link up with other students. So hopefully will have some nuggets to spare.

I've written short stories, poetry and the odd stage script in my time and run some writing workshops and classes. Then one thing that I try to cling to now when starting a story is what question the story is asking. Before beginning a project I want to know the big, open-ended question I want to explore. No necessarily answer (it's always more interesting if you don't answer as that is how you tend to end up with a moralising story). Breaking Bad for example I think asks 'What would you give up to become important?'. From there you can ask, 'okay, what kind of character would that be the biggest challenge to?' Okay, so probably somebody who has very little to start with but also dreams of being important. Maybe they very nearly where but lost out. And then you get your Walter White. Sometimes, it's easier to start with the questions or themes first.

Obviously in this case we have a story framework but I know we are wanting to dramatise not just recycle the book. But I think a good adaptation works when it is asking the same questions. So do we know what THE QUESTION of The Silmarillion is? As that can inform the scripts. I suppose it also informs a lot of higher decisions being made, so maybe that is something the Hosts need to explore if they haven't already. As I say, I need to go back and do lots of relistening.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
One of the things I have been working on and will likely complete in the break between seasons five and six is a show bible which will outline the process and give synopses of all of the episodes thus far. Once that is complete, I hope to finish my work on a document which will link each episode to the relevant podcast/video/forum discussions. My sincere hope is to have all of that done by S06 to prepare for new folks who have more interest in the "Great Tales" than the stories we've been telling thus far. Hopefully those resources will help.

The script discussions are indeed recorded. Until recently, those recordings were housed on my YouTube channel, the links to which can be found in the relevant script threads. In this season, we've been able to stream on the SignumU Twitch channel, so this season's discussions can be found there.


As to the question presented by the Silmarillion, I'm not sure you can simplify it down to a single question in the way you can a human story like Breaking Bad. The Silmarillion asks us questions like: Where does evil come from? What do we do about it? What is the right way to think about mortality? Or immortality? And a lot more.

I do think that we should be thinking about a question asked by each season/episode/plotline, and I think we've become better at this as we go along.
 
D

Deleted member 207

Guest
Okay, that's great. So glad they have been recording, really want to go and watch them now. And really love that there will be a series bible and some resources.

I totally get what you mean about exploring the big themes, but I think there are more the thematic trappings you use to explore a story. I think though, especially with something as epic and sprawling as SilmFilm, you need that small, human question. I guess we have to work out what it was Tolkien was asking. Or put in these terms: as a viewer, what is your emotional hook. What is the throughline they tune in for each week? And each time that answer can be presented and then changed.

Is it 'What is a person willing to sacrifice in order to shape their own destiny?' 'What does it take to love others more than we love ourselves?' 'Is there a way for people to truly create a good home?' All of those questions are big questions but also questions a viewer can find themselves identifying with. And they aren't yes or know.

I think these are the examples of a core premise and maybe they sort of relate to aspects of the story, but you need that throughline I think, especially in a series that spans such a length of time. If the framing narratives are also looking at that same question they will also always feel really integral and never at adds. Hopefully.

That's me putting my big picture story writing hat on though. I'm very interested to catch-up and see what people have actually been producing *rubs hands excitedly*
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
As far as themes are concerned, we've mainly been breaking it down into season-wide themes. The theme for Season 3 for example was Rebellion (mainly for the Noldor plot, the Sindar were doing something else), Season 4 was everything coming together, and this season it's Change, since Men have arrived and of course Morgoth will be upending things with the Dagor Bragollach.
 
D

Deleted member 207

Guest
Awesome, love a big season-long theme
 
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D

Deleted member 207

Guest
I’m just reading some chapters summaries to refresh myself of the basics of what will be covered in season 5 before doing a proper reread and I’d totally forgotten how great this whole segment is. I mean Of Maeglin could be it’s own miniseries, right?

Also, lots of capacity to explore some interesting themes of toxic masculinity and entitlement and have some truly strong female protagonists.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I think the question Tolkien asked when sitting down to tell the story of the Silmarillion is....'How would death and deathlessness be viewed by people who are not naturally mortal, but have a seemingly limitless longeval lifespan?' In other words, many human stories focus on dealing with the inevitability of death, or wish-fulfillment attempts to 'cheat' death. I am not just talking about stories with fantastical elements (the 'drink from me and live forever' of vampire stories, or the seeming eternal youth of Dorian Gray, or the 'accelerated time/aging' plot of some episodes of Star Trek), but also regular stories about how death comes in the end for all of us (dunno why Harold and Maud jumped into my mind as my first example here, but, uh, there you go). So, if this is such a fundamental question asked in stories told by a human...what kind of story would be told by an elf? And that is where 'Release from Bondage' as the theme of the Lay of Leithian comes in - Lúthien 'dies indeed' as no other elf does, and leaves the Circles of the World as mortals do. Whereas achieving immortality would be the unique, longed for, possibly forbidden element in a human story, achieving mortality has that same connotation in an elvish story.

But that is the question for Season 6 ;)

For Season 5, we are focusing on the reactions to the changefulness of Middle-earth. The Noldor are used to the timelessness of Valinor. It's an adjustment to deal with years of the Sun and things changing on them. Some react like Turgon - so if I build my own bubble where time is meaningless and nothing changes.... Whereas others, like Finrod, have that impulse, but through interacting with the Men learn that there is, in fact, another way - one can adapt, change plans as circumstances change, etc. So the various facets of response to change is what ties our season stories together - Aredhel may never interact with the Men we've introduced this season, but she does react to Turgon's interpretation of his mission (which is more static and less oriented outward than she would like). And of course the Season will culminate with the Battle of Sudden Flame, which...should be sudden and change a lot of things :p

As for getting caught up on Season 5, the links to the recordings of the script discussions can all be found in the second post in this thread. Hope that helps!
 
D

Deleted member 207

Guest
That’s a really interesting way of framing it. To be a spin on it that focuses on motivation and conflict, I wonder if you could say the book explores, in a myriad of different ways, the question ‘Is the life of another worth dying for?’.

Or to really put it in relatable terms, ‘is the happiness of another worth giving up your own.’

Certainly from his experiences and faith, that is a topic Tolkien would likely imbue his works with, and, to avoid just doing crit-fic, it certainly feels very present in his texts.

Often in the book it’s whether you’d give up personal desires for the chance of another people to thrive. Selfish desires instead lead to ruin. It plays out in the macro cosmic sense, but also in families and marriages.

All that said, maybe there is also an issue of showing that, essentially, one of the founding tribes of humanity are identifiably, only for them to be the group we use to specifically show oppression, reaffirming that that is the only storyline worth telling with black characters.

It’s also a question that we all weigh up
 
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D

Deleted member 207

Guest
Okay, so I am slowly catching up through episodes. Listening to some on Elves and Villains now. Though realising there are many parts to that.

As it'll take me a good few days to get to the end of that series, I am really intrigued by some early chats about where we find Sauron at the start of this season and where we leave him.

My understanding is that he is somewhat embittered and perhaps spurred on to move toward independence from Morgoth. We start the season with him once more relegated to underling and through the season we see him further in his own machinations, to then be blindsided by the Dagor Bragollach and realising that he and Morgoth are not aligned in intent, and in fact, Sauron believes himself the superior strategist.

Am I getting that right? Is this season the development of Sauron as his own Dark Lord? Or at least, letting those seeds explicitly flourish? Oh, and I can see lots of discussion in the board of where he ends up. Is he still in Angdband, does he leave Angband? Where does he go? Was this decided?

While I'm talking of the Elf/Villains episodes, I have questions about Galadriel which maybe are answered in later episodes but I've not got to yet. There was some talk in an early episode of where her and Celebron move to and whether then end up in Doriath or any other kingdom. Where are they by the end of the series? I just listened to a segment talking about them possibly establishing themselves as guides, if not rulers, but benevolent advisors if I call correctly. I don't recall where this was.

It struck me maybe there are parallels there of people growing into new roles who will later have their own kingdoms. Maybe not something we will explore, but in my mind they are linked thematically at the moment which is why they are in the same question. And also because they are in the same set of episodes, I suppose.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Okay, so I am slowly catching up through episodes. Listening to some on Elves and Villains now. Though realising there are many parts to that.

As it'll take me a good few days to get to the end of that series, I am really intrigued by some early chats about where we find Sauron at the start of this season and where we leave him.

My understanding is that he is somewhat embittered and perhaps spurred on to move toward independence from Morgoth. We start the season with him once more relegated to underling and through the season we see him further in his own machinations, to then be blindsided by the Dagor Bragollach and realising that he and Morgoth are not aligned in intent, and in fact, Sauron believes himself the superior strategist.

Am I getting that right? Is this season the development of Sauron as his own Dark Lord? Or at least, letting those seeds explicitly flourish? Oh, and I can see lots of discussion in the board of where he ends up. Is he still in Angdband, does he leave Angband? Where does he go? Was this decided?

While I'm talking of the Elf/Villains episodes, I have questions about Galadriel which maybe are answered in later episodes but I've not got to yet. There was some talk in an early episode of where her and Celebron move to and whether then end up in Doriath or any other kingdom. Where are they by the end of the series? I just listened to a segment talking about them possibly establishing themselves as guides, if not rulers, but benevolent advisors if I call correctly. I don't recall where this was.

It struck me maybe there are parallels there of people growing into new roles who will later have their own kingdoms. Maybe not something we will explore, but in my mind they are linked thematically at the moment which is why they are in the same question. And also because they are in the same set of episodes, I suppose.
Yes, you are right about the development of Sauron's views of himself and Morgoth over the course of the season. Next season will involve him setting himself up at Minas Tirith, somewhat apart from Morgoth.

There was a lot of talk about Galadriel and Celeborn, but ultimately they ended up not doing much at all this season. Galadriel kind of takes a leadership role as she helps with the relationship between the Green-elves and the House of Hador, but that's pretty much her only appearance in Season 5. I believe she and Celeborn will remain in Ossiriand at the end of this season and not go east until after the second deaths of Beren and Luthien.

Thematically, the stories of Galadriel and Sauron are somewhat connected, but I don't think either of them ended up being large enough this season to try to make major connections or show them doing anything in parallel.
 
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