However, I am studying the subject matter from many different resources: books, screenplays, Master Classes, seminars and watching television interviews with award winning screenwriters on shows like Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter.
It seems logical that successful books and screenplays combine the writer's unique voice with their life experience vs their interest. Meaning, I may be interested in rocket science, but I'm not a rocket scientist, so my writing will suffer from an authentic relationship with the subject matter -- if I try to write outside my knowledge.
As they say, "Write only the story that you can tell."
You may admire another writer, but you shouldn't copy or mirror a work that isn't true to your voice or knowledge. Fan fiction may be the exception? However, finding one's voice takes time.
The first thing film school applicants should learn is how to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. It is less about the cinematic vision, than it is about story.
When our daughter Blair toured film schools in her junior year of high school, she had an awakening. We traveled to UCLA, USC and UCF. We didn't make it to tour NYU (a movie in itself). But being a a gifted director, Blair made lots of films in high school with little written. She directed her talent and fed them what they needed to know. Every film school we visited expected her to be a writer.
Film Schools should state, "only writers need apply."
Because a lot of filmmakers are techies and don't realize they need to sharpen their storytelling skills, as well as their technical abilities. It can be quite jarring to discover your dream requires you to take English and Creative Writing seriously.
|Tim Albaugh back row 2nd from right & workshop students.
Tim Albaugh of UCLA Film School says, "the beginning of the film is the promise of the end." Meaning, the opening scene must give us a hint as to what will ultimately be resolved in the final scenes.
How many times have you seen a movie and been disappointed by the ending?
A powerful opening requires a meaningful conclusion. The stuff in between is equally difficult. However, there is hope.
Stay tuned -- Elements of Successful Screenwriting - Part 2 next.
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