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Showing posts with label Hollywood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hollywood. Show all posts

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Screenwriting Inspiration: The Crossroads

When your Hollywood dream hits the crossroads, reflect back to the past to recapture your spark. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Focus on Effort To Live Your Dream


Screenwriting is all about effort. If we invest time and energy into our script, our story will become something special. We must give our dream attention to market our skills and talents. For some unknown reason, human beings focus more time on what attracts attention than on self-care. Focusing on giving effort is the most important action to pursue dreams.

This life is too short to keep complaining and whining about past misfortunes. We are responsible for making our own bed. It is not anyone's fault that we haven't accomplished our dream yet. If we're not doing everything possible to reach our destination, we must perform introspection to understand whether we are allowing our environment to hold us back.

Making people feel sorry for us through self-pity is a form of entitlement. Some people use their problems to win over empaths. If our wants and desires overpower our intuition, we will remain stuck in a fantasy...

This is a true story... I once knew a girl I would do anything for... I admired her amazing creativity. She did this left eye wink that always made me smile. You could not measure her beauty on any scale in this world. I really believed that we could build a better life. When I came along, she revealed to me that she struggled with unhappiness and depression over living in a place that she did not enjoy. Interestingly, I could detect her emotions inside me. She wanted so much to return back to California. Her dream life and her heart remained in the Golden State.

I used to mention that it was sad that a 31 year old girl with so much to offer this world could remain stuck in a dark place that would block her dream. As a writer, I knew how to inject the right words into captions and messages that made people think without having to share the uncomfortable truth with them.

I was proud of this girl for leaving her old life to start something new. She struggled with uncertainty. She assumed she made a mistake leaving her old life. I reminded her that she made the right decision. I recommended that she stay longer because I could feel that what she wanted, would actually happen. She challenged me, saying that she would be alone and experience an even worse life.

It was more than accomplishing a dream; she wanted someone to listen to her, to consider her thoughts and to include her in big decisions. Nevertheless, she wanted her voice heard. She really desired to become a part of an equal relationship where there was mutual respect and true love.

Despite her past decisions, she blamed every person in her life for her low passion and lack of opportunities. She blamed Hollywood producers and directors for failing to recognize her acting talents, even suggesting that she would sacrifice her dignity to increase her chances. Once she opened the door to her real life, her true colors--revealing her messy life: I still stuck around to help support her. I could not deal with her constantly doing silent treatment as a defensive mechanism to hide from her vulnerabilities and insecurities. She always questioned why I helped her. Even though I assured her that I cared about her, she got into these defensive moods with self-doubting and overthinking everything. I gave all of my effort to guide her; however, I put my dream on ice to see that she reached hers.

Our good friendship eventually ended over me telling her that she didn't give her dream enough effort. She feared leaving her dream to rediscover unhappiness once again. She gave a mighty effort to make sure she spoke her mind on my lack of effort. A simple word like "effort" is all I needed to say in an audio and this destroyed all the effort I gave her through her most difficult times.

Two years of focusing my effort on this girl has little meaning now. She said she would never forget me and always remember me. We can't believe everything people say. They say to not be gullible and naive in a dishonest world. I believed that staying true to my core values, such as being nice and sharing/trusting, would bring me closer to her and it did...

Two years later, this former good friend proved the saying right. I should have been reserved and changed the subject after she wanted to discuss her recurring challenges with someone. If we both focused on our dream and didn't get caught up in discussing this big problem, we could still co-exist in this present time. I believe she hasn't applied the right effort to accomplish her dream yet. What she refuses to do is take acting classes, make short films, upload acting scenes on YouTube and listen to people who are not experts in their fields.

It pained me to reflect back to the past with her because we had so many similarities. We established an emotion connection. She embraced my writing dream. Whereas, I believed in her acting dream. Unfortunately, she took comfort in her self-doubts, resorted to overthinking and made excuses to block her production. Doing too much of everything and not giving enough effort for what we really want can doom us.

In my honest opinion, this girl's unwillingness to accept advice may block her Hollywood dream from coming true. It is her life to live... If she wants her dream, self-love and inner happiness, she will have to focus on giving more effort. Getting too comfortable attending social events, receiving compliments and being recognized as part of a perfect couple are temporary experiences. We should never attach our human identity to someone or something else. If we fail later on, we will meet a dark fate. It is extremely important to understand that we are a human being who chooses to do something.

Luckily, I learned my big life lesson from this girl. I developed into a much stronger person. I give plenty of effort to live my dream. I am being patient to reach my better life. I no longer put anyone or anything on a pedestal. I value, respect and love myself. I still operate a YouTube channel that this former good friend advised me to start and even named. I actually listened to what she told me.

I felt that my honesty helped her reach a better life. I could not sit back and lie to her anymore.

After self-observing, I finally figured out that she took advantage of me for her personal gain. She required so much of my time and energy, eventually leaving me behind knowing very little about my life. She left on bad terms, never once apologizing for the past or thanking me to help her grow better. I held the door open to seek closure and she has let go. 20 months later after our last communication, I have given up on her. She is now a distant memory.


I want to remember her as a dream girl who elevated my effort because of my interest in seeing her succeed with a dream that is similar to mine. She was this dream girl I met in real life on the Santa Monica Pier a few years ago to celebrate her birthday. I was so nervous the night before that I could not sleep. The anticipation to meet her resembled a romantic Hollywood movie.

Just imagine if your dream faced you... You had a chance to tell them I can't believe you are here while you were hugging them. She would remind me not to cry because she had tears. My big mistake was giving her yellow flowers ((( I later learned from hearing someone mention that he was lucky he didn't make that mistake. I always believed in her. We talked about so many things that are relevant now. She felt comfortable sharing her most vulnerable moments with me.

At least I know that the one thing she really wanted did come true. I knew she could find someone who would compliment her creative and love life. I believed she achieved the balance she desired. Everything happens for a reason. We can let true love leave to discover their true love. Unconditional love is loving someone with no restraints--you will do anything to make them happy. Sometimes we are only meant to know someone long enough to give them support and to encourage them until they are brave enough to find their better life...



MOOD: Effort is everything...

Desiring our dream to come true starts with taking serious actions to do what always makes us happy... If we do things for the wrong reasons, we will fall harder after failures. Finding balance to appreciate everything we already have will reward us with self-love and inner happiness in this life...


I can now walk away from the past and move forward with my future... #AlwaysSmile #StarbucksLove #BetterLife #YouDidIt #DreamGirl #IWillAlwaysRememberYou  #InTheNextLife 

                                                                                               
                                                                                                                        The End

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Patience and Perseverance

Thousands of aspiring screenwriters dream of writing the next hot script that is made into a popular movie. There are film industry players and prolific screenwriters who have already taken this journey numerous times. Nevertheless, thousands of writers spend countless hours in screenwriting forums chatting about their current/past stories, popular films they like, creative ideas that excite them, and famous screenwriters they admire. They are motivated to make industry connections, form new friendships and build meaningful relationships. Hundreds of Instagram page owners post content sharing personal script projects, screenwriting contests, potential story ideas and script pages to their personal screenplays. True screenwriters hold passion for creating compelling stories. Patience and perseverance hold the key to making your screenwriting dream a lucrative career.

If we wish our screenplay will eventually be optioned, we are putting our dream on a pedestal. Making Hollywood appear unattainable is giving the film industry way too much credit for our future happiness. It is possible to write a good screenplay capable of winning screenwriting competitions.

Your script can move past gatekeepers to get optioned. Your script can be made into a Netflix movie. Your script can become a blockbuster movie. Visualize what you want and apply yourself to go get it. 

We must believe in our creative adventures. Don't worry about what people think. You are not selfish for desiring to live your dream. If you put forth the effort, you deserve to live a better life.  

Writers have many goals in sight. Looking in the rearview mirror can/will block progress. Discipline, time management and passion will keep your screenwriting dream moving forward. We must keep writing pages, research what studios want/need, listen to podcasts featuring successful screenwriters, study great screenwriters, learn about the business of movies and build our stories into profound movies. When I mention scripts, I mean we must complete several scripts to increase our chances in getting noticed. 

One script can connect us with the right people who want to view our writing portfolio. It's possible this individual, that studio or those group of people may not have interest in optioning our only script. However, our writing talents may attract the attention of industry-connected people. They may ask us what other projects we have stored in our script arsenal. Don't sell yourself short by investing your entire farm into only one script idea, unless you are confident in this story to sacrifice everything.  

This is where your patience and perseverance come into play. No matter what obstacles and challenges stand in your way, you must be confident in your creation(s). Pet projects usually create intense excitement because these stories hit close to home. These projects hold a deeper meaning-- they fulfill our inner desires. They can go back to our childhood, where we enjoyed watching science fiction movies such as E.T. and Star Wars. Emotional connections can take us down memory lane. 

The most powerful filmmakers in Hollywood had to wait their turn. Christopher Nolan directed Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige and The Dark Knight to earn his chance at making Inception. The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, Dunkirk and Tenet followed Inception. Given Nolan's track record, he is one of most successful directors working in Hollywood.  

Good things happen to those who are patient is a flawed saying. It should be good things happen to those who work hard while being patient for opportunities. Staying confident to continue working on your script project(s) hold(s) immense power over your dreams and goals.    

Most of the time, we must prove our value before we take a stab at prized projects. For the most part, we will likely have to pay our dues working on projects with no creative value. Reality television is a perfect example of aspiring filmmakers going to film school and accepting high paying jobs working on uncreative ventures to climb up that industry ladder. Never judge professional work that rewards you with valuable experience. If you get paid to perform your talents, you are moving in the right direction.

Many writers get stuck listening to what writing books tell them to write. They follow Save The Cat, Kate Wright's sequences, A Hero With A Thousand Faces, Story and other books that instruct writers what must happen at what time with careful attention to the author's thoughts and theories. Following this approach turns a screenplay into a cliched piece of unoriginal work. Even though our scripts are fictional pieces of work, we have no obligation to mimic past screenplays. 

The human condition and emotions connect the audience with characters who may have similar traits that resemble theirs. How do people behave in a pre-apocalyptic world? What will people do to protect a secret? What fears block them? What regrets do they have? What is stopping them from talking to their true love? End of the world movies convey real actions of real life people. 

Truth is, we waste too much time living in the past instead of planning for our future. We don't do enough to live our dream. We need constant attention to feel self-worth. We focus on what other people are doing. We stay on the sidelines, being afraid of looking bad in front of people who we don't know. We postpone making decisions to avoid rejection. We obsess over small things that have no impact on the bigger picture.

We let years pass us by without responding to what we want. We allow true love to slip away. We don't take personal responsibility. We blame other peole for our mistakes. We don't show we care about our dream to be taken seriously. We need people to validate us. We envy others for living the dream we think we are better at doing but do nothing to make it happen. We are to blame for our own life. Nobody is responsible for our failures. The moment we can accept personal responsibility, there will be hope for us to achieve greatness. 

If you don’t give your dream any attention, you are guaranteed to fail what you want most in this life. 


Happy Screenwriting! 
        

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

React to Your Screenwriting Goals

Never allow great opportunities to slip away. Fear plays a major role in delaying progress. Failing to live up to our dreams may bury the perfect life we imagined in our minds. Getting criticized for doing what makes us happy can sink our ego. You'll never know the future unless you try.

Seize control of life to move forward. Truth is, negative distractions can pollute our mind. They can suffocate our creativity. Being comfortable is a curse on the screenwriting process. Setting goals will inspire us to reach milestones. React now to become a working screenwriter later.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Be Committed To Your Screenwriting/Film/Life Dream

"Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than to your comfort zone" -Filmtrepreneur Podcast with Alex Ferrari.

Dreams will not manifest out of thin air. Wanting to accomplish a dream without taking serious actions to move forward is basically living in a fantasy. We should never get rewarded for complaining about successful people. Positive people walking the walk deserve credit for investing their energy, effort and time into advancing their dreams. Instead of envying, we should practice respecting.

Envy is dangerous. If we resent what other people earn, we will believe we are entitled to get what we believe we deserve. Judging people for getting ahead can make us cynical. This is a major problem that resides deep down in our core. Jealously is such a negative emotion that creates so much hatred. Blaming other people for what we're not doing will turn us into negative people. Don't live your life having regrets. It is no one's fault that your dream sits on ice.

We must change the way we think to make progress. Allowing comfort to become a mainstay in our daily lives can sink everything. Placing comfort on a pedestal is a dream buster. Complacency is a confidence killer. The moment we fail, we will fall apart. Given this widespread problem, we have to shift our focus away from comfortability to boost our confidence.

Knowing our true identity can unlock everything. Why do we do what we do? Do we have passion? What makes us wake up in the morning? What do we want to accomplish in this life? What will we do to get there? Are we making progress? Is this dream a good fit for us?

Truth is, time is definitely not on our side. Time does not care to wait for us. The world will move ahead without us. If we empower our time, we can transform this life into something truly amazing.

Waking up every day with a purpose to make a true difference in this world can give us a competitive edge. Our heart must be into our dream. Passion and drive must remain constant. Maintaining discipline, determination, resilience, consistency, integrity, persistence and patience will move us closer to our dream life. Committing our time and energy to fuel our dream will put comfort to rest.

Happy screenwriting!






Friday, July 19, 2019

The End. Closure in Your Script

The end of anything good is never fun. Reaching the end of something bad can give us great relief. Sometimes we are not ready to leave our past just yet. We need extra time to heal our hearts and minds: Closure. If you are a screenwriter, “The End” represents a powerful moment to celebrate.

“The End” of many ends... Draft after draft... Sleepless nights.... Many creative thoughts... Lack of support... Criticism... Eventually, there is an end to your screenplay. Screenwriters ponder on that last moment to finish their screenplays. The ending is so important because it can leave an everlasting impression on viewers.

How will you end your masterpiece? What is a good movie ending? Cliffhanger? Happy ending? Sad ending? Bittersweet ending? Redemption ending? The ending is the resolution that ties your story together.

The Third Act should be impactful. Reward the audience. Make “The End” count. The Green Mile has a tearjerking ending. We remember emotional movies that touch our souls.

Spend extra time on the ending. Think of clever ways to close your script. However you choose to end your screenplay, just know “The End” can make or break your story.

The End.

Happy Screenwriting! 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

I went to these top Film Schools, so I matter more?

Some film school graduates enjoy reliving their glory days. They believe their film degrees earned at prestigious universities give them the right to put people down. Meanwhile, these so-called filmmakers keep reminding people of their brilliance. They never stop short of insulting people just for the fact that they can. Superiority is a cancer. This condescending behavior is unacceptable.

If you experience negative encounters with film school graduates who have yet to accomplish success, just move past these miserable human beings. Truth is, miserable people are energy vampires. They need your attention, your focus, your life-force to exist. Without your good energy, they lose their power to create conflict. 

As aspiring filmmakers, do not accept negativity in your daily life. You have a choice to live life the way you see fit. Other people can hold you back. They can block your dream. Beware of people who want to ride your wave to success.

I rarely mention that I attended film school. I listen to all people. I never make myself out to be bigger. 

Some people will make you believe that they are the only support you have in your life. They assume. They control. They can acknowledge you one minute, but will break you down the next minute.   

Protect your dream. Remove people who give you daily pressure and stress. Once these people are gone, you will restore your freedom. Believe in yourself. 

Happy screenwriting! 



Thursday, July 11, 2019

Write What You Already Know

It is no secret that writing about what you know will increase your excitement to create. Many people assume they have a story to tell, so they try to become that person who will convince writers their lives can make a fortune. When writers ask them to help with the writing process, they say they don't have time. What these people really want is to ride the wave of success without doing any work. Write what you know, not what others want you to do.

We don't have any time to waste. 

Reflect back to all the moments you could have completed screenplays. I'm sure there are many lost opportunities. The past is a common psychological tool that prevents us from living life with peace and happiness. Talking about screenwriting as if we are already working writers in Hollywood will make us appear as faking it until we make it. Don't be one of these people in real life. Writing about someone who is fake in public to protect their true identity in their private life is a good story. Sharing your personal experiences with these fake people, which I have had many in my past, will bring life to your screenwriting to create a compelling screenplay.

Just imagine every situation your dream has created in your life.

Write about the life you lived over the dream you want. Without your dream, you would be living a different life. Maybe this normal life will give you a less stressful lifestyle. However, you would never know what it's like to accomplish a dream. The trap of viewing success as easy instead of understanding the hardship it takes is something to consider in your future scripts.

What events happened along the way? Did you laugh? Get sad? Get angry? Did you lose love? There are so many events in your life that can make good storytelling. We don't have to write these events as is. We all know that true life stories are modified for creative impact.

Get creative with your life stories.

We don't have to write our screenplays as real life experiences. We should use our life as inspiration to create fictional character who maneuver through our life. Teach people important lessons that you learned about your life.

Instead of looking at negative outcomes, focus on what you learned to grow into a better human being.

Tell people about your life. What are you about? Who are you as a screenwriter? What type of stories do you like to tell? What is your message to the world? Write these stories. Share your creative energy. If you learn something new about yourself after writing a script, you did your job perfectly right. Make screenwriting a transformation process. Writing what you already know will light a flame that can help your creativity burn brighter.

Please share your screenwriting experiences in the comment section below. 

Happy screenwriting!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Loss of the Original Idea?

The movie box office generated billions in ticket sales in 2014. Surprisingly, Guardians of the Galaxy, a movie based on a Marvel comic book, finished as the top earning movie of 2014. View a list of the top 2014 box office finishers and you'll notice the top movies are either sequels, remakes, and/or content based on previous material. Where are the original movies? Do movie fans have to wait until The Academy® reveals Oscar® nominations to discover original films?

Original ideas still thrive in Hollywood. The Oscars® will soon get us back into original mode. However, the original story is struggling to perform since the box office is dependent on moviegoers, who are spending their hard-earned money on comic book movies, remakes, sequels, movies based on books, movies based on true stories and other movies based on previous material. It appears that tossing money toward material with a built-in audience, rather than risk it all on original ideas, is a safe bet.  

Do you believe originality is going dormant for a few more years? Until a slew of original scripts arrive at the Hollywood doorstep and entice studios to invest into more great original ideas, don't expect originality to lead the box office. Inception is an exception to this original rule, so are many great classic 80's movies that moviegoers still enjoy watching today. Back to the Future is one of those major classics. E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, Top Gun, and Beverly Hills Cop were huge box office earners. 

Hollywood studios and independent production companies are making original films. Unfortunately, moviegoers dictate whether these movies earn money, lose money and/or flame out. A strong marketing campaign can take lukewarm hits and transform these into blockbusters. Good word-of-mouth builds hype and encourage movie fans to attending showings.

There are many steps involved in making Hollywood movies and independent films. The moviegoing public have a huge hand in whether original movies see light or are buried in the flop archives. Taking risks that translates into huge losses can sink a studio department like a battle ship. Cheaply made original movies can deliver great box office performances. Insidious and Saw are an example of this original paradigm, where the screenwriter and director tandem make good use of small shoestring budgets to deliver huge commercial hits. 

Trust us when we tell you that original scripts are sought after. Screenwriters who write original, thought-provoking scripts with commercial potential, can get optioned. Dust off those original scripts! Keep screenwriting! 


Monday, August 25, 2014

Producer Gavin Polone writer's quote

Producer Gavin Polone has done it all in Hollywood. He is also different from most Hollywood bigwigs; he is the Hollywood worker's choice - the freethinker who is not afraid to speak his mind.

Gavin shared one quote in a tell-all interview about his reasoning and thought-process in the movie world. In this interview on Creative Screenwriting, Gavin doesn't hold back. He suggests that Hollywood needs more originality and that Marvel is leading most current movies (lets say revenue is the driving force).

As a screenwriting now ready to return back to the dream road, I took Gavin's quote about screenwriters to heart and this statement makes many screenwriters out there smile.

Gavin Polone quote: "You have to start with the script, so the writer is inherently the most important person in the process" (CreativeScreenwriting). Read this short, but great article covering Hollywood producer Gavin Polone.

There's actually a voice out there that cares about screenwriters and their uber creations. 5 stars Gavin Polone for representing screenwriters and television writers. You're right, writers convey the essence of movies.

Source: Creative Screenwriting