Rewriting Collective Insights: Phil Lord

Phil Lord speaking about his encounters with “square one” during the writing process.

"The Writers Guild of America consumes more mental health visits than any other health care collective in America. The reason is rewriting." Phil Lord, TED talk
I mean, artistic processes are all about making choices all the time, and the very act of making a choice is the distilling down and the getting to the core of what it is that you care about and what you want to say, really.Mike Leigh
I mean, artistic processes are all about making choices all the time, and the very act of making a choice is the distilling down and the getting to the core of what it is that you care about and what you want to say, really.
Mike Leigh
filmfestivallife
It’s quite simple. There is nothing more important than purpose. Clear storytelling. Good character development. You see so many beautiful films nowadays, but you ask yourself – why did you actually make this film? I can forgive a film if it cuts corners on scenery or the colour/sound isn’t perfect, but if the film doesn’t have a point – that’s unforgivable.
Dennis Cieri, Executive Director, NYC Independent Film Festival.
thisoldbitch

Brian Koppelman: 101 Practical Writing Tips

thisoldbitch:

101 Practical Writing Tips From Hollywood Screenwriter Brian Koppelman - Comfort Pit

Every writer/filmmaker should print these and hang them somewhere where you can casually read them and absorb them. The bathroom wall maybe.

Every. Damn. Word. Of. This.

The subject of character questionnaires arose in one of my recent online classes. I posted some I have sourced and/or generated myself over the years, but it got me thinking: Why not ask the Go Into The Story community to see what questionnaires you may use to develop your characters.

I like to figure out what qualities they have that will help the plot and what will hinder it.


Screenplays require irony, juxtaposition, complex goals, and limitations for both character and plot. Instead of the chicken/egg dilemma — this question allows you to develop both elements in a deeply integrated way.

Once you design how a character interacts with the plot you can decide if your goal in any scene is to enhance or inhibit the character — then figure out how you want to do that — which in turn fuels the plot.

It works for both internal and external goals and it’s a completely different question than what are their wants and needs. I’ve found the wants/needs question alone leads to a flat, singular character arc and doesn’t directly motivate the plot.

For me, this advance work keeps the characters consistent, well rounded, avoids a clichés, and helps create more dynamic scenes — from outline to final draft.