Movie Script Markup Language

  • Van Rijsselbergen D
  • Van De Keer B
  • Verwaest M
 et al. 
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This paper introduces the Movie Script Markup Language (MSML), a document specification for the structural representation of screenplay narratives for television and feature film drama production. Its definition was motivated by a lack of available structured and open formats that describe dramatic narrative but also support IT-based production methods of audiovisual drama. The MSML specification fully supports contemporary screenplay templates in a structured fashion, and adds provisions for drama manufacturing methods that allow drama crew to define how narrative can be translated to audiovisual material. A timing model based on timed petri nets is included to enable fine-grained event synchronization. Finally, MSML comprises an animation module through which narrative events can drive production elements like 3-D previsualization, content repurposing or studio automation. MSML is currently serialized into XML documents and is formally described by a complement of an XML Schema and ISO Schematron schema. The specification has been developed in close collaboration with actual drama production crew and has been implemented in a number of proof-of-concept demonstrators.

Author-supplied keywords

  • drama production
  • narratives
  • screenplay
  • xml

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  • Dieter Van Rijsselbergen

  • Barbara Van De Keer

  • Maarten Verwaest

  • Erik Mannens

  • Rik Van De Walle

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