03-03-2007 07:13 AM
Brendan_M_Burns wrotetage plays, I think, are primarily verbal, while screenplays are primarily visual.
Thank you. It is very simple yet I never thought about it in this way. This also explains to me why I have such a hard time to read a Shakespeare play while I can at times 'sort of enjoy' a mediocre book just because it easily evokes images (I can give you a recent exapmle if you absolutely insist).
I can't yet figure out the whole equation, tho'. Writing for me starts often with a character and I am not much for vigorous plotting with small cards or stickers. There are sotware aids that offer mechanic help but I tend to see it as an organic process. However I am not quite sure how the story completes itself. How to determine what can constitute a start and the whole point of the whole script/story. Sometimes it feels like I have to start at the end.
I hope this course will help. (That Daniel was the answer to why I am here. My brain is not always working in a linear way...and I am set up because it is called a story line.)
03-04-2007 07:53 AM
Good to see you here too. You always had something interesting to contribute to other threads I've been involved in. I think your two character studies from the Writing Fiction thread would be perfect for a screenplay.
As for fiction vs. real life, it's easier to get published for nonfiction rather than fiction
Two screenplays I've written have characters that are women over 40. With the possible exception of last year--Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Judi Densch--most films don't have exceptional roles for women once they hit 40. Casting directors seem to be looking for the next Reese Witherspoon or Cate Blanchette--fine actresses both--but give actresses like Diane Keaton ridiculous roles like the one she had last year. Or even worse they are looking for the next Jessica (Lange excepted). I think since there are so many Boomers out there with plenty of money to spend at the movies, there would be more films that reflect what women of that age group can relate to. Unfortunately, that is not the demographic they are going for.
In case anyone's interested, More magazine in partnership with Women in Film is sponsoring a screenplay contest for women over 40. Details are at more.com/filmcontests
Hope your book gets here on time.
03-04-2007 09:54 AM
I bet there are not many intereting enough scripts for these experienced actresses to choose from. Later (6o) they can play some grandmothers here and there.
I am thinking about the film (name escaped me) with Shirley Mc Laine and Jack Nicholson. He is her astronaut neighbour and finally they hit it off. While women IRL want to be emancipated the film industry doesn't quite support that, it's odd when I think of it.
Cassavetes made one movie with his mother acting as a senile senior. But that is also on the upper top age scale. Maybe the women 40yo are so busy IRL so they do not have time to go to movies and films with 40+ actresses wouldn't go home with youngsters.
It is an interesting question because the biz decides what finally gets shot.
03-05-2007 03:49 PM
I have some experience producing live amateur theater, mostly working offstage. I've never even seen a movie camera. My only work with a camera medium has been working with community access television, so my understanding of cameras is limited. We used only three video cameras, and we were shooting interview shows, not stories.
As I understand it, a screenplay says more about things other than dialog than a stage script. I hope to learn from the class how much more the screenplay should say, how to say it, and which things "everyone" knows the screenplay shouldn't say. I want to learn to use language that will communicate effectively with those who read screenplays.
03-05-2007 04:39 PM
I love movies not one particular genre. They must be interesting, that's it. Some of what I like is cheese and some is well thought out. I know the difference and appreciate both.
Some of my favorite films are: Run Lola Run, The NeverEnding Story, Fearless, Hero, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Big Fish etc
03-05-2007 07:34 PM
03-05-2007 07:57 PM
03-07-2007 06:22 PM
Star Wars on the boards.
We start discussing it on this board (as a joke), and someone's actually out there doing it -- for the past five years, apparently.
03-11-2007 03:11 PM - edited 03-11-2007 03:11 PM
Message Edited by danielnoah on 03-11-200707:30 PM
03-11-2007 07:30 PM - edited 03-11-2007 07:30 PM
Brendan_M_Burns wrote: I've only dipped my finger in the screenwriting waters. I have at least two screenplays (definitely not stage plays) burning holes inside me. My main stumbling block is that I lack the motivation (or ability?) to filter the ideas in my head onto the screen, and ultimately onto paper. I can do it with a play, or a story, or a poem, but I haven't been able to do it with a screenplay. (Or is that just a tired excuse?)
Hi, Brendan. Take comfort in the knowledge that every time I've tried to write a play - and that number is high - I've drawn a complete blank and barely made it past the first five pages. Playwrighting and screenwriting are very diffierent disciplines. Just as I need to learn playwrighting technique in order to conquer my first play, you need to learn screenwriting technique in order to conquer your first screenplay. And that's why we're here.
Message Edited by danielnoah on 03-11-200707:30 PM
03-12-2007 06:01 PM
Take comfort in the knowledge that every time I've tried to write a play - and that number is high - I've drawn a complete blank and barely made it past the first five pages. Playwrighting and screenwriting are very diffierent disciplines. Just as I need to learn playwrighting technique in order to conquer my first play, you need to learn screenwriting technique in order to conquer your first screenplay. And that's why we're here.
You're absolutely correct about the reason I'm here. I'm comfortable developing characters through dialogue and verbal exposition -- the blessing and the curse of the English major -- but uncomfortable trying to translate the pictures in my mind into words. I want to be able to take those ideas that are clearly not suitable for the stage and get them out of my head. Whether they are of any quality whatsoever is moot as long as they are still floating in the ether of my mind. If I'm able to derive from this course the motivation to get just one draft screenplay onto paper, I'll be overjoyed.
03-14-2007 01:03 AM
so, I write, not getting paid to write though, so what else to do?!
strangle my Muse and pimp myself out, I suppose
03-14-2007 03:05 PM
03-15-2007 11:19 AM
I’m Ian from Ontario, Canada. I’ve been a writer for most of my life – started out in advertising as a copywriter and now I’m a freelancer for newspaper and magazine and pretty much anything anyone needs written (speeches, newsletters, flyers, reports…). But, screenwriting is what I love most. I’ve got one novel under my belt, (Afterlife, on Amazon.com and .ca) and I’ve been pitching scripts for a while now – got four in circulation but alas, no joy as yet.
I’m here because writing, in any form, is a craft never mastered. I swore to myself many years ago that I would be a sponge and learn all I could. Everyone has something to offer and I hope you’ll honour me with your crits.
Though I can’t draw like my artist wife and daughter, I still think in pictures. I see a scene or a character or a situation so, screenwriting felt like a perfect fit for that. I love it and whether I sell or option something or not, I’ll always be a screenwriter.
Oh, and Paul Haggis is my new hero.
03-23-2007 09:35 PM
03-24-2007 03:23 PM
Reply to this message and introduce yourself to the group! Have you tried writing a screenplay before? What do you like about it? If you haven't tried screenwriting before, let us know why you're interested. What are some of your favorite movies and screenwriters?
Hope it's not too late, to join.
I'm John, live just south of Los Angeles, enjoy movies with great dialogue, superficial special effects leave me cold.
I've got a couple of Films/books in my head that I need to get out. I tend to "think" stories visually, of course this might be purely because I don't write them down.
I'm a hopeless case when it comes to typing (which I understand might be considered a problem in a quest to become a writer). Here's hoping this group can serve as a catalyst to get me going, thanks in advance.
Saw DEPARTED last night, great stuff!!
04-20-2007 08:20 AM
Movies have always been special to me. Some movies really just draw you in so close that you almost forget whats going on in your everyday life while the movie is playing.
Excitement and anticipation of a good movie release can sometimes get you through some really mundane days! Lol!
Some of my favorites are "Unbreakable", "Schindlers List", "Blackhawk Down", "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy", "Superman"(The original Richard Donner version), and "Final Fantasy: Advent Children" to name a few.
Looking forward to some good conversation with all you film lovers out there!