Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Last Word

One of the best things I've learned as a screenwriter is to put the most important word at the END of sentence. 

THAT is where the punch is!

For instance:

I had written a line of dialogue where a naughty merc stated:  "I'd kill my mother for that kind of money."

Rewritten it became:  "For that kind of money, I'd kill my mother."

See? It shocks you... the brain works to put the sentence together and the last word is the final piece of the puzzle. 

One of the best examples I have ever seen was written by Louis L'Amour. (My nod to Will Akers for the quote.) Tell me what YOU think about it.

“I just pointed my rifle at him … and let him have the big one right through the third button on his shirt. If he ever figured to sew that particular button on again he was going to have to scrape it off his backbone.”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Make Some Short Films!!!

If you are a screenwriter, then you should be filming some short films.

Will Akers told me to start filming short films after I had completed his exciting and always entertaining screenwriting class. He told me it would make me a better writer to understand what a camera can or can't do, and what a director will have to put up with some of the crazy shots I saw in my head.

I heeded his magnificent wisdom and here I sit. A blogger, screenwriter and director of another short film that we will be filming in one week. I have a full crew, a full cast, and a full plate.  I'm learning more in one semester than I have in my life. Besides writing, of course. :)

Something that will help as well... HELPING out a crew member on someone else's film. That will teach you a lot too.

A while back I blogged on MUSICA CAMPESINA, a movie I worked on with Chilean director Alberto Fuguet. I started off as a P.A. and then got promoted to Line Producer. How?  I just did what everyone else didn't. I got noticed and have gotten street credit that I'm a hard worker.  Not to mention that the film has been submitted to Sundance and should it get in will be AWESOME to have producer credit on my resume!

See the trailer here:

You don't have to stay in one arena if you're a writer. Get out there! Meet folks! Just in my short time on campus, I've met and worked with people who are now in LA.  So, they are CONTACTS that I have now. Contacts that I can send a script to. Contacts that, should I ever move to the coast, could help me get jobs. Contacts who can help me make independent films of scripts that I wrote.

How could I have met them if I stayed inside writing ALL the time and never made a movie?

Are you afraid of what people will think? Don't be. YOU are the artist. The writer. The director.  It's YOUR dream.

Are you going to let someone else determine if you reach it or not???

Not me.