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- 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.
- December 11, 2016December 11, 2016Read more
Our language, and the metaphors of our films, have the power to change us.
They change us as writers and they change us as audience members. They shape the conversation and the way we see our world. They shape our trust in our institutions or our distrust of them. They shape the way that we see heroism and the way that we see cowardice. They shape the way we see inclusion or exclusion, the way we deal with our fears and open our curiosity.
The language that we use as screenwriters changes our audience. And the wider the audience for your movie, the more people you have the ability to affect. That’s why we as screenwriters, particularly if we are writing movies with mass appeal. If we are writing action movies, horror movies, thrillers, sci-fi’s, fantasies, romantic comedies, and of course television, we have such a responsibility, because the language that we use as we write changes us. And the language that we present to our audience changes them.
Our movies teach people how to live and how to interact with the unknowns of their lives.
In this way every movie is a political movie.
- November 17, 2016November 17, 2016Read more
This week we’re going to be talking about the series, Transparent.
This is a series I’ve been wanting to talk about for a very long time. And we’re going to do so from a different perspective than we usually do when we talk about TV series.
Oftentimes on this podcast, when we’ve spoken about series we’ve talked about big picture stuff. We’ve talked about theme and engine and structure. But today, what we’re going to do is zoom in really close on one particular episode.
We’re going to look at Season 3 Episode 5, and we’re going to break it down to its fundamental craft elements: the way that the scenes are actually constructed.
- October 27, 2016October 27, 2016Read more
This week we’re going to be looking at Doctor Strange. And one thing that is inarguable, whether you loved Doctor Strange or hated Doctor Strange, is that this film is succeeding in a huge way not just at the box office but also critically.
This is pretty amazing when you consider all the incredibly silly things about Doctor Strange!
After all, this is a movie in which the country of Nepal seems to be populated almost entirely with American action heroes, and as far as we can tell only one Tibetan of consequence.