Long story short, my mentor took forever to look at my second edited video & when she did her advice was inadequate. It was supposed to go online this month (Nov16th) according to my mentor and I texted her numerous times reminding her. It is important to be on the ball regardless. If you don’t respond in time to an email in the freelance world, you will likely lose a job. It’s honestly hard when you have so much on your plate, like N—-e did at times. I got to listen to her on a conference call discussing the future of the the company and its expansion since the beginning of the year. And pawning me off on someone else to help me with Camera settings next week. It’s good to know I’m finally going to be taught something. Camera settings were a personal anxiety for me.
The lesson in the book was similar to Werner Herzog say lesson this week. It was funny that it spoke so much about structure because Werner says to abandon structure. There is the 3 act structure. & The Hero’s Journey. Both are very important to the way stories are told these days and both are barely touched upon in those clickable graphics.But honestly they are just outlines to how things are typically done… After you feel like you’ve mastered the point of them, maybe you can have 5 or 6 acts. Maybe you can have a character who isn’t different upon his ‘resurrection’.
One thing that is for sure is you HAVE to write on the daily, even when you don’t want to. Even if you only write for ten minutes. Even if it is only 1000 words a day. But honeslty if it is your job, you should aim for at least 6 hours a week. WH says my next assignment is write for 2 straight hours, so I think I’ll get on my scripts introduction asap. And then to top it off, my assignment has me watching more WH. I love symmetry. I watched both “Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe” and “Burden of a Dream” by Leslie Blank for the class and it was amazing. I had seen these visuals in my Master Class and never understood the significance of that boat falling down the hill. The man is dedicated. 4 years on one film boils down to he will get it done by any means necessary. It’s truly inspiring and gives me a whole new level of respect for the man.
Reading the book “The Writers Journey” has also been interesting. I don’t particularly want to adhere to a 3 act structure but I like learning about this other format that I didn’t know existed. This has been the best part of the schooling situation yet until I call my screenwriting mentor. After getting the gist and using the crappie outline I sent to Jacob (my tutor), I wrote an outline. A beautiful outline that I am ever so proud of. And happily got connected with the screenwriting mentor as well. The first thing you must know is how to format your writing so it looks like it came from a professional screenwriter. They have programs that help you with this.
We will touch on this a bit later but you should also find a happy medium between writing what you know and using your imagination. Pull from the well of what is your own experiences while also applying ideas that will entice an audience. In the end it all must service the story. Story is the top priority. Start with an outline, then you can move to a 2 page synopsis. This tells the story with very little scene or dialogue detail. It should be double spaced and it has to pop, like your first ten pages.
Extra work would be your pitch. You have to have a pitch for all different situations. You have to be able to sell your screenplay in 10 words. in two sentences, in 10 minutes and in 30 minutes. You can practice them by aiming them at friends, family, strangers on the train… and these will be used if you want t sell your idea to a studio.
Thursday my in person mentor still hasn’t watched the video. 1 week later. I get a new list of edits, some of which are contradictory to the first batch, but it seems doable. Sometimes you have to buckle down and just do what the ‘client’ asks. I’m going to be happy just to get this out of my face. Then another intern come in. Yes that’s right I said ANOTHER because that is all I am is an unpaid intern. Due to edits he’s made on his video when I have finally finished, she requests I change some things to match his video. So that is what I do until the end of the session. When I finish it, I think of doing something dramatic like upload it to the YouTube myself… I contemplate it, but instead just completed the task and sent it to her. It’s admittedly better than it was. You’re not going to get along with everyone you work with… but try not to be petty or you wont get anywhere.
The end of the week I sat for 2 hours, listening to classical music and wrote. Non-stop and with urgency. Werner says he reads poetry before he writes, which is something I admit I didn’t and wouldn’t do.. though I don’t denounce it’s effectiveness. The words of ancient poets are beautiful
“Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is is spread out against the sky like a patient etherized upon a table”
He says you have to push through it and that he doesn’t delete a word (which I also couldn’t cope with.. rewrites are My friend). But he does go on to say re-write aren’t bad on the day of a shoot, if it doesn’t work. Though you should never hold up a shoot for too long for rewrites. There is no need to brood over a screenplay….. He is a crazy foreign guy. In the end, I wrote alot of dialogue and not much interesting action, but it was my first go at the whole process. Unless you’re a literary genius, I don’t think your first time will be that special either.
Aaron Sorkin has tips too:
The Audience likes to guess at what is going to happen and participate. They even like to not see what eventually happens coming at all. We’re enamored by Sherlock Holmes because more often then not when he lays out the answers, we couldn’t have guessed them.
It is okay to do something that wouldn’t happen irl, as long as the audience doesn’t know or couldn’t tell that it wouldn’t happen.
Don’t confuse your audience but also don’t repeat something to the audience that they already know – otherwise it loses its effectiveness.
Watch your favorite movie with your screenplay in your lap.
Even though it is art, there are still rules you must abide by….
PostScript: I ended up abiding by 3 act structure for my very first feature script… I’m not ashamed. I was learning the ropes