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- February 2, 2017February 2, 2017Read more
…I had planned this week to talk about La La Land. But with the new Executive Order barring refugees, immigrants and green card holders from our country, I want to use this podcast for something much more important.
As filmmakers, writers, actors, directors, producers, executives, we have a sacred responsibility to our audience. Our films and TV shows shape the narrative of this country, and the belief systems of the hundreds of millions of people who see them.
In many ways, the most powerful political movies and TV shows are often the ones that are not overtly political. Because it’s these shows that shape our worldview from the inside, sneaking past our defenses of what we think we believe, and slowly changing the way we view the world.
Which is why I want to implore you, as writers, as directors, as producers, as actors, as artists, as filmmakers, to recognize the power of mainstream Hollywood movies and TV shows.
These movies are not just popcorn movies. These TV shows are not just mind numbing entertainment. These movies and shows are the mythologies that shape our world. Working on us, through subtle repetition, to shape our view of the world. Powerful because…
- January 19, 2017January 19, 2017Read more
…Great writing begins with getting your vulnerabilities out on the page– the parts of you that you don’t normally express, the truths that you don’t normally look at, the characters that exist inside you: both the beautiful ones that you want to share with the world, and also the ones that scare or disgust you, who often represent parts of you that you don’t want to believe are possible, or that you’d never express in the outside world.
That doesn’t mean that you are your characters. It means that you contain them. Some, in a form that is already integrated into your personality, and others in a form that is not integrated, or not expressed.
Meditation experts talk about breath as a waveform, a symbol of the polarity of life– the inhale and the exhale, the positive and the negative, the good and the bad, the yin and the yang, the dark and the light.
And I’d like to suggest to you to think of writing as a waveform as well…
- January 12, 2017January 12, 2017Read more
If you’ve been doing the challenge, you’ve probably noticed that there is often fear attached when going inside like this—even if it’s just for one page.
You may experience this fear as inertia, a feeling of sluggishness, or just not wanting to. You may experience this fear as disconnected writing—feeling that the stuff you’re putting on the page doesn’t capture or reflect what’s really going on inside of you. You may feel like a part of you is locked up, and you don’t seem to have the key. Or you may be enjoying the heck out of the writing, but finding yourself fearing afterwards that the pieces aren’t going to come together.
If you’re experiencing that fear, it’s a good sign. It means you need to keep writing. It means that you are digging in places that actually matter to you. Places that you don’t usually go, or parts of you that you don’t normally show.
- January 5, 2017January 5, 2017Read more
When your judgment of your writing is based on fear, it has very little connection to reality. You may dismiss really brilliant writing as terrible, simply because you’re afraid that other people aren’t going to like it. Or you may fall in love with scenes that are not working simply because they feel safe to you.
There are a ton of ways to overcome these kinds of fears.
It starts with remembering that many of these fears you have about your writing may not actually be real.
Oftentimes we have expectations of ourselves as writers that are not fair. If you were taking your first violin lesson, you wouldn’t expect to play Carnegie Hall. Yet for a lot of writers there’s so much pressure on making that first script– that first scribbling, that first page– something you can sell or something that can lead you to somewhere very specific.
The result is that you never actually give yourself the chance to learn.
- December 31, 2016December 31, 2016Read more
We all do our best as writers when we get into a rhythm, but during the holiday season that rhythm can be really hard to maintain. Your schedule gets jammed up, you’ve got parties, you’ve got gifts to buy, you’ve got family visits, you’ve got stress, and you’ve got a little too much vacation time. The next thing you know you haven’t written.
Of course that’s not even the real problem. The real problem is getting started up again. Ideally you want writing to be part of your daily routine. You want it to be as natural for you as brushing your teeth, getting dressed for work, drinking your morning coffee.