I’ve written a short script that I’m very proud of!! I believe it is my best work yet and it’s a great lead-in to the feature I’m currently writing. It is exciting to work on a project again with DIALOGUE. Both Crush and Bubble were action-based stories with only foley sounds and a musical score (by the badass known as Ted Speaker). It worked well for those projects, but now I want to work with conversations and tone through voice interactions. A valuable lesson however came from working on films with no dialogue: I got to exercise the rule of “show, don’t tell.” Film is a visual medium. It’s more of what the character does, than says, that tells an interesting story. Otherwise you risk insulting the audience, boring them to tears or even worse – losing them entirely. My first short in 2006 suffered from mediocre dialogue. Now with these two “silent” films under my belt, writing in character’s voices is a little bit easier.
Something else that’s helped me in bettering my script writing abilities are technical books. While I have to force myself sometimes to open up my “how-to” literature on screenwriting, I always learn something new by taking a little time to read about other’s mistakes and advice. My current read is Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat… and I love it. Thanks to James for giving it to me for Christmas.
Speaking of “show, don’t tell,” isn’t that good advice on other fronts as well? I sometimes worry that I talk too much about what I’m going to do (aka, things that haven’t happened yet), but I like to think I have a good track record of doing what I say. Plus, it energizes me to share with others. I also equally love hearing about YOUR hopes, ideas and passions. Ultimately though, it’s what you actually do (and to what degree towards your vision) that really counts.
Our good friend Meg shared these ideas/thoughts below with me from a talk she attended recently. Maybe you can use one or two to propel you forward this week:
In the chaos of transformation, the things we don’t need break away and the things we do stay. Don’t try to hold on to things that inhibit positive change.
Be intentional about what you want. Do not settle.
Be the person you want to be ten years from now, right now.
Refine and define what you want.