The Weekly Screen & Fiction Writers' Tips

Posts Tagged ‘Oscar Wilde’

Film… Movie! Movie… Film! It’s the same difference isn’t it?

In Screenwriting Tips & Advice, The Art of Writing, Writing Tips and Advice on 19/10/2014 at 15:16

moviemaking

OR…

FILMMAKING

Whatever…?

The written word versus the visual one?

Well…

both really

I write with a filmmaker’s eyes…

I film with a writer’s structured mind…

Do you see? Do you see?

I see… already!

Hello fellow scribblers, key strokers, filmmakers, scriptwriters, daily creatives etc., etc.

Please tell me life has been kind to you?

Tell me you have met with success no matter how small.

A lifetime or two hundred suns ago.

Oh please don’t exaggerate. Ok.

Right, some time ago, as you know. I made a conscious decision to tinker with scriptwriting. And in a short space of time, I wrote a radio play, a stage play, a two, two-hour film adaptation of one of my novels, a half-hour television script and a number of other film and television scripts. I felt totally satisfied and believed I found my creative niche at long last. Well, at long last was up to that time.

I still craved. Creative minds do that, they crave. Whatever they are doing their minds are craving, yearning. It’s an intellectual drug. They need new experiences, new subjects to learn, new people to meet, new places to visit, new food to taste and so on. Well, for me I wanted to develop my screenwriting to the next level.

And what for heaven’s sake would that be?

Well, I’m glad you asked me, my dear conscious self. It’s like this. I became frustrated trawling through the internet looking for photos of a look alike protagonist or antagonist or love interest for my next screenwriting saga that I can pin on my board, or impatient by writing a short character description before they enter the scene. I wanted the real thing. I wanted people, because in my head, my characters were alive. Their dramas were vivid. Where they lived was real and their emotions, painfully human. There seemed to be only one avenue open for me.

To film my own scripts. To learn filmmaking and its various facets. To spend my time filming, meeting other filmmakers, to watch films, to join filmmaking groups, read filmmaking books and magazines and so on. The last time I felt this thrilled and occupied was when I began to learn how to write. I had to learn a new skill with all its pains, and its ups and downs. Remember the time when your scripts were rejected time and time again. What did Oscar Wilde say? ‘I’ve received enough reject letters to wallpaper my bedroom.’ Ah, the joy of learning.

 

quiet please filming in progress

So guess what I did with my time over those sunlit days and moonlit nights in the last few months? Yup! I became a film apprentice. As I mentioned in my last blog I have amassed my learning equipment, travelled high and low, met a lot of inspirational people and created at first, some outrageously amateurish footage. But it was fun. I learned a lot and wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I filmed new angles with cheap home-made equipment. I had great fun coming up with new filming perspectives. But I was on the way to making my scripts become real. Currently, films similar to ‘The Blake Witch Project’ are masterpieces compared to what I still consider my mediocre efforts. But do you know what?

What?

They are my mediocre films. I am at that perfectionist stage when anything below that level is puerile, kindergarten output. But hey, I’ll get better. And in a coincidental way it has brought me back in touch with how I started as a writer, by writing short stories. I was quite surprised at that outcome. Now I have written several short scripts to create as my calling card. I have even dug up some of my old short stories – YES, NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY. As I said, I found these old short stories and am currently adapting them into film shorts.

Film festivals, have always got room for short films. And when I pondered some more about filmmaking, or moviemaking, making your own films is little different to a self-published book, although that is a lot cheaper to reproduce than a film. But the market to being noticed as a filmmaker is far broader than the one for books. You have festivals, the internet and television to spread your visual word.

Films, movies, a well-crafted script, short stories, documentaries, these are forms of expression. Of reaching out with a theme, a visual message. But isn’t that what fiction or non-fiction books, short fiction, articles and poetry is doing. I am still voicing my messages, but now I have increased my chances of being heard. It’s not about me wanting to become famous, far from it, it’s about increasing my audience.

 

lights camera action

 

It really is ‘Lights. Camera. Action.’ And do you know what? No matter how old I’ll get, I will always stop, assess and learn new ways to increase my audience, and my skills. I will never be happy with one medium and that has always been the case from the time I was able to hold a pencil and scribble some indecipherable something on a page and glow with pride, shouting ‘I did that. I did that.’

So until I meet with you again, just sit back and assess yourself and your skills and ask if you can go off into a new direction. And if you want to, then ask yourself what is stopping you and get rid of that hurdle, work your way around it, through it, underneath it, anything. JUST DO IT. Don’t just sit there and wish.

Well… until the next time we cross paths, love you and those around you. Listen, encourage and be patient with you and them. Remember, they will be the first ones there when you want your ass kicked, hand stroked and your cheek kissed.

Keep well. Remove your creative blocks. And be at peace.

Believe in you.

Nev

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WANTED! Screenwriter needed urgently for Hollywood!

In Screenwriting Tips & Advice on 08/02/2014 at 17:46

hollywood 1

OR…

Hollywood wants you…

Hollywood always wants you…

Hollywood always has vacancies for screenwriters…

That’s convenient. What a stroke of luck!

I’m a screenwriter!

And a LARGE shouty hello to you all dear fellow writers, screenwriters and scribes.

So… what’s the verdict? Are you going to apply? Have you got a suitcase packed already? Are you up and moving to LA LA Land? Have you given notice to leave your job? Well… DON’T! Not yet.

Ok, you’ve heard Hollywood cannot exist without writers and there are producers out there ready to dine and entertain you as if you were the ‘bitch of the night‘. You’ve realised that not all new films are written by established screenwriters. You’ve written your ‘Gone With The Wind’, spent a fortune having your script bound and now… what? You think that’s it. Ha! If only. It doesn’t work like that.

Yes, Hollywood is always looking for screenwriters because new films are always being made and there aren’t enough new ideas, and new scripts to meet demand. Producers have to rehash, remake, reinterpret old films, old ideas, old books and so on. So Hollywood is hungry for scripts.

Is that so? Then tell me why was the script for the ‘Dallas Buyers Club‘ which started its rounds about 20 years ago got turned down by 86 Production companies before it got recently taken up and turned into a critically acclaimed Oscar nominated film? Yes, questions, questions?

And how about ‘The Wolf of Wall Street‘? Leonard De Caprio took the script, written by Terence Winter, one of the writers of the multi-award winning television programme ‘The Sopranos‘ around the production companies for the last six years, got into a bidding war with Brad Pitt before someone said ‘Hey let’s turn that into a film!’hollywood 2

I remember the comments made on Facebook for the ‘Dallas Buyers Club‘, and they all came under the heading ‘Inspired/Depressed‘. And that’s about right. Inspired that no matter how long a script takes to be noticed AND believed in it still got made AND depressed because it did take that long for it to be noticed AND believed in. Those comments also applied to the Leonard De Caprio vehicle ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’. Here is a film touted by an internationally acclaimed film star, written by an award-winning screenwriter and even that took six years too long before it drew the crowds in. They are not the first nor will they be the last films to be ignored by the might of the Hollywood Machine.

So what side of the fence are you on, the inspired or the depressed? Half-full? Half-empty? I’ll let you know which side I’m on by the end.

The point I’m trying to make. I’ve been a writer since the late 1960s, had a rich and varied writing background, am an award-winning writer, a published poet, is a busy screenwriter, with a Literature BA and do you think for one minute Hollywood is queuing up to take my work? Wrong! But here’s my answer to that question. Which side am I on? Still inspired. Just because two scripts received that treatment, do you think for one finger-numbing, sweat-soaked head, aching shoulders, sore midnight-pounding eyes am I going to give up. NO!

Hollywood 3

We hear stories of authors (JK Rowling), musical artists (The Beatles), artists (Picasso, many, many others) and what I’ve mentioned today being ignored, had doors slammed, rejected time and time again (Oscar Wilde anyone?). Do you think that deters me? NO! So yes, I fall into the inspired side of the fence and proud of it. I am that long distance runner. You may move my winning post but to me it provides more of a challenge. I will try harder, become more resilient, more believing and see that moving winning post as adding fuel to my fire. WHY?┬áBecause I believe in myself. There is only one me, I’m a unique writer and I’m waiting my turn in the queue.

So, until next week, just carry on believing, You will hear stories like these every week. There will always be stories like these, it’s just the way creativity has to exist. Don’t forget, Hollywood, like any other creativity medium is run by humans and we all know how humans are with all their whims, wishes and flavours of the day. Creativity is such a whim. But one day your style will be the flavour everyone wants a slice of.

Next week… dearly beloved, keep well, loving, believing and full of peace.

Believe. Believe. Believe.

All my loving – always

Nev

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