Posts Tagged ‘Screenwriting’

April 7, 2008

April 8, 2008

Met up with SC for lunch in K-town and we looked over each other’s monologues. He had two from a Mamet play which were good. It inspired me to get off of my butt to learn my own and audition for that acting class I’ve been meaning to take. We also agreed to meet up on Thursday to write.

After lunch I headed to uptown to meet with the graduate screenwriting students. The BEST piece of advice was from Israel and he said that when you’re writing a play or a screenplay and you want to change the beginning, don’t do it. Just make a note of it and move forward. Don’t go backwards because you risk changing the tone of entire piece. I’ve been guilty of starting from the beginning and I have experienced how it can lead to analysis paralysis.

The students had to have 21 pages done. Even though my work isn’t being read in class, they’ve inspired me to keep up with them pace-wise.

As an actress, the class is very good for me. I’m able to read and keep nimble by reading fresh copy. However, as a writer, this class is excellent. I feel like a sponge that greedily soaks up all the information I can get.

April 3, 2008

April 4, 2008

Today I met with the other people who were helping to judge work for the theatre festival here in NYC. I drooled at the woman’s large apartment and adorable pomeranian. We discussed the plays and justified to each other why we scored them the way we did. Afterwards I met my friend for dunch (lunch/dinner) in midtown at this horribly cheesy bar/restaurant with 10 huge t.v. screens. He was on Broadway for many years and it turned out it was one of his favorite places.

I then headed downtown in the West Village to the screenwriters’ workshop where I am participating as an actress. I loved it. The students had written the first seven pages of their screenplay. Unlike some writing groups I’ve been in, the feedback and comments were very helpful and insightful. After reading many screenplays I was able to discern what worked and what didn’t.

What works:

-Simple, direct scenes are better
-Allow the reader/viewer to get settled in their environment before jarring us into another (unless it’s a purposeful device)
-Less dialogue is better in screenplays
-Focus on one character, not five
-Show don’t tell
-Details are important, what a character wants, their relationship to each other and their environment

I respect the teacher, the students and the process. Being in this environment is useful to me as a writer because it helped me ask questions about my own script and character. Also, this class is extremely valuable not because it’s going to make me a famous star but because it’s feeding my soul.

20 pages…100 more to go!

March 28, 2008

I spoke to a buddy of mine out in LA who is writing a script. We talked about the writing process and how easy it is to get distracted from writing. (Distractions like talking about how hard it is to write or blogging…)

Syd Field’s book is great because it talks about common roadblocks that writers come across and how they begin to doubt themselves like crazy. Before I read this book, I had a reading of my screenplay and my script was simply awful. I had no concept of structure or plot or anything. It was a bunch of half baked ideas randomly thrown together. I felt that I definitely could never write a feature because I was not qualified. Field’s sentiment is that everyone goes through that feeling. And that’s usually when people have strong feelings of self doubt (check) and feel they must bring on a writing partner because they are stuck (double check).

His theory is that if you are stuck, don’t continue to plow through the writing without addressing the nagging feeling that something doesn’t work. Rather, examine what doesn’t flow and work with it. Go back and examine what the character wants, why they are there, how they feel, what happened in the past and explore the specific details.

I went to Starbucks, had a tall soy creamer and wrote for two hours straight. I have 20 pages so far, and it’s very exciting. Instead of frantic scenes thrown together, it flows and makes sense.

Also, other story lines and relationships that I hadn’t even thought of are really coming along nicely as well. For the first time in a long time I like what’s going on.


March 18, 2008

12:40 PM

Still not feeling so hot.

I spoke to my manager and she said that casting director thought I was “great” but they didn’t think they needed me and they had someone in mind. She told me that nothing is definite and she’s heard that before and then they booked her client. She also said that I should feel good because the casting director took a big risk in having me meet with the producer and director of the show.

I was bummed because I REALLY wanted it. It would’ve been great for my career and I was eager to be on set for a whole month. At the same time, I have these bad days (like today) where I just want to stay in bed all day. That said, if I booked it, I would do it come hell or high water. 😀

I wrote 5 pages of the feature and it feels a lot better than the hodge podge script I had earlier.