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Showing posts with label screenwriting blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label screenwriting blog. Show all posts

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! 
        

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Remind Yourself With Reminders: Dreams And Goals

We need constant reminders of what we want to accomplish in the future. If we want to become a Hollywood screenwriter, wearing shirts, hats, using notebooks, screensavers and other mementos that convey this message can keep us on track. Of course, we must do the work to achieve our dream.

Reminding yourself using visual reminders can empower you to chase harder. Our dream is within reach. Start doing what you love to do and repeat this action daily. Stay proactive and be a go-getter. Sooner than later your dream will come true. See you on the silver screen! 


Happy Screenwriting! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Be specialized in a genre to get Hollywood work

Being that specialized screenwriter is better than being a screenwriter who has written a script for every genre. Jumping around genre-to-genre is unimpressive. Instead of being known as that horror, thriller, comedy and/or science fiction, which your manager can market you as that screenwriter to land you paid jobs, you will fall into the "spread yourself way too thin" category to lose good opportunities.

Becoming specialized in a particular genre or sub-genre can give you a creative edge. Whenever movie studios need a screenwriter for comedy movies, and you are great at writing these type of movies, your manager can pitch your specialized skill to attract these paid assignments.

Keep in mind: Movie studios do need writers to revise other writer's screenplays to make these stories work better. If you are that writer, you may be considered to revise a completed comedy, thriller, horror and/or science fiction screenplay.

Losing focus doing your main passion can happen, especially if you concentrate on being good at everything. Labeling yourself a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none can delay your screenwriting goals. Truth is, we should view screenwriting as a goal. Never allow the fear of living your dream to hold you back.

Discipline yourself to be specialized as a genre writer. Visit FilmSite.org to view a list of genres and sub-genres. Watch my Vlog on spreading yourself too thin to find out more information about spreading yourself too thin. Please like and subscribe to Positive Life.

And remember, write the raw pages to flush out your creativity. Happy writing!




Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Less is More: Screenwriting Tips

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Writing less to express more is always the better option. Screenwriting is a visual art that relies on pictures to tell a story. Some aspiring screenwriters lose focus on the importance of writing strong action. Instead, they would rather flex their screenwriting muscle creating witty dialogue. Rule of thumb: Less is more--focus on a good balance of action and dialogue.  


Writing too much dialogue steals the visual thunder...

Unless we plan to become Quentin Tarantino in the flesh, over-writing dialogue is a trap. Don't get caught up in writing more dialogue to explain what you can do in less words. Nothing is more bothersome in screenwriting than writing scripts driven by just pure dialogue. Be known for your own writing voice. Don't follow James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino because they do something. Be clever creating strong dialogue that stays on track with the main character and plot.

What producers and script readers do not want to see is camera direction. If you write a shooting script, you will not get the praise you expect. It's a big "no-no" to include camera directions. Just tell the story.

Writing strong visuals in the shortest amount of lines is impressive. It is a skill that takes a lot of practice and discipline. If you're already an established screenwriter, you already realize the value of this craft. On the flip side, there are many Hollywood scripts that feature very detailed and descriptive action.

The entire first page can be filled with action, without even a single word of dialogue to introduce characters and the plot. If you can write a strong first page with detailed actions, take this approach to see where your story goes. Master visual writing to build the foundation for your First Act.

A good exercise is to write a short 5-page film with only visuals. No dialogue. Tell this story as you see it, as you imagine it shaping in your mind. Structure this 5-page short film. Hit all the plot points. As a third party, what do you see. If you wanna get creative, build a story with mind-flash, flashbacks and flash forwards.

Go further into the world you want to create.

Things to consider: 
  • Be creative. 
  • Have discipline. 
  • Do the work. 
  • Don't expect anything.
  • Attract attention with your screenwriting. 
  • Develop a writing voice that sets you apart from the rest.
  • Everyone has an idea for a good script.
  • There are far less people willing to carve out a passionate script.
As my mentor reminds me: Talk is cheap.

Please share your experience with the visual writing exercise.

And remember, writing the raw pages matter to flush out your creativity. Let's live this screenwriting dream together! Happy writing!