Day 8 & 9 - Writing a screenplay with Mozzie.
The next two days, you are finally going to be outlining. You know have a scene at the beginning, a scene at the end, and a bridge scene somewhere in the middle. For the next 48 hours you are going to outline what happens from The Beginning of the movie to the middle, and then from the middle of the movie to the end.
This should give you less anxiety about having to outline the entire movie in one sit in, no, you are doing it by halves. Now there's a lot of ways to outline a film, and they're all gonna be individual to the writer. And this is should be as free associative as possible, though you are going to type it out, so that we can take a look at it and lay out the cards over the next few days.
My favorite way to outline is using this story telling advice by the creators of South Park. It's called "The But and Therefore" rule and It's a lot of fun for me to use, and it works.
Now Get to Outlining!
Day 7 - Step Seven
Today will be it, the last easy day before you dive into outlining, carding and writing. Today will be the last day you will have the day to yourself.
By this point, you have gone from title to beginnings and endings, and it's taking you longer than 7 days, because you had an entire week of world building.
By this point, you are either still writing and excited, or you have tested out the concept of your film by doing the early parts and reazlized that you don't have enough story and just stopped.
It could also be because 1. The concept is not turning you on enough to do the work. 2. If it's not making you run to the page with excitement and anticipation, why write it? (I may add that you want to attack all of life this wake, if it's not making you run to it with excitement and anticipation, why are you still doing it? living it? being about it?)
TODAY YOU WILL BE WRITING what I call a Bridge Scene. A scene in the middle. Either 12 words or the entire scene, sketch it out, write it as an outline, whatever makes you happy. But you know this scene exists cause you've already fantasized it.
I like to call this one my "Oscar Scene!" or my Pivot Scene, the scene in the middle of a film where the story pivots in the direction of the ending you think you are going to have.
Do it. Tomorrow the hard work starts.
Writing a screenplay with Mozzie. DAY OFF:
I will write on Sundays. No doubt, I will either take notes from a draft that needs loving and do about two hours of work from 5am to 7am.
But the rest of the day, I give it over to GOD. (Or Good Orderly Direction if you do the Artist Way, or Alistair as I like to call him on him days, or Adisa on her days, Adisa in African means. I am grave, or I speak gravely. Bryn on they days. God is everything, but sometimes I like to address them depending on the particular dilemma I'm facing. as in, Damn it Alistair! sounds much better when I have a boy issue! When things are tough , Adisa and I, we have some compasionate words. etc. etc. )
Anyhow! wow, completely off topic today. One of the things I will do however, is read a script in bed tonight. that I admire and mine it for educational purposes. (Alistair, Adisa and Bryn know I'm single I so I won't be having sex, but we'll have a talk about that in private between the four of us.)
For this purpose. I have put two scripts on my blog, you can go and download or read on screen. BLACKKKLANSMAN - which is a gorgeous read. Really a revolution on the page. But also 146 pages, long, which you will be told. Don't do. It must be 110 pages, and I will always say. The story needs to be the length it needs to be. I am about to send out the production draft of a script that came out way too long, so I am using this as an example of why my script should be too long too.
And one of my favorite tv pilots of all times - ALIAS - Truth Be Told. If you wanna read a script by JJ ABRAMS that feels like you're right in it. This has been one of the most instructive scripts of my lifetime.
Have a beautiful Sunday!
Alistair be with you, and also Adisa, and also Bryn!
Day 6 - Step Six
Writing a screenplay with Mozzie.
Today is going to be another easy day. Because the process of structuring your story takes time, it will make the actual writing of it go by in a flash.
Today, you are going to write the very last scene in your movie, or pilot. The last image, the last scene, it can be 12 words, or it can be a fully sketched out scene.
It will be the last movie of the scene.
Why do I do this?
1. Because if you don't know where your race ends, then you don't know where you are going.
2. Everytime I have set a writing ending goal, I have overshot it, It means that i will know where i am going, but around page 27 of my screenplay the characters, if you'd done the work of getting to know them, will start making their own choices, and it will be the exciting fight you will have with them, you will want to take them to this ending, they will want to do things their way. (Yes, I'm serious, characters do that!) and somehow, you will get a better ending to your film than you've ever imagined.
But first you have got to know where it is that you want to go.
As in life, if you don't know where you want to end up, you are just letting the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune decide your life for you. The same with a story, and if you are the god of your story, then decide early how you want things to end.
Believe me, the ending you will get to will be magical. And It will look nothing like the ending you will come up today. But making that decision, will give you a roadmap, a goal, and allow you to fight to get there, changing your characters along the way, and getting to the ending they were meant to have.
DAY 5 - STEP FIVE
writing a screenplay with Mozzie.
So you have had a week to build your world.
You have characters with bios.
They have objectives.
You know the world of your film/pilot.
You have spent the week filling out those details. (As I have)
Or you can just totally say, SHIT, I forgot I got homework due Today.
Anyway, whichever camp you are in. You should be able to catch up, because Today's assignment is super simple.
Today you are going to write your opening image/scene. Don't go into the next scene. There's something that comes before to the next step.
But I find that writers at some point want to write. So I am giving you permission to write, with as much detail or it can be just 12 words. The opening moment/image even sequence of your film, and fill it in with as much detail as you wish. Stop if it takes you to a second page.
So you see, today is super simple.
Do not write the next scene though.
I just want to get you writing something after a week of just planning out your world.
Given the times we are in. I feel as though we have sufferred a loss of leadership skills. Particularly when we speak to each other in social media. As a writer who someday hopes to run my own tv show, I am always studying leadership skills and took a course on conflict resolution and negotiations. Because I believe in being prepared. Not only to lead a writers room, but to lead in general.
On my blog, I will share some things I have learned. This is a good place to put it, cause I can always pull up my own advice when I need it.
No one is a born leader—everyone can develop leadership skills and everyone can benefit from using them.
First, take time to honestly analyze yourself.
Learn to understand yourself. It’s the first step to understanding others.
Consider these important questions:
1. What kind of leader am you? One who helps solve problems? A leader who helps people get along? How do others see you as a leader?
2. What are your goals, purposes, and expectations in working with any group?
Identify areas for improvement. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Do you try to be aware of how others think and feel?
2. Do you try to help others perform to the best of their abilities?
3. Are you willing to accept responsibility?
4. Are you willing to try new ideas and new ways of doing things?
5. Are you able to communicate with others effectively?
6. Are you a good problem solver?
7. Do you accept and appreciate other perspectives and opinions?
8. Are you aware of current issues and concerns on campus or in my community?
Then--after analyzing your strengths and weaknesses--take action. Devise a strategy for upgrading your skills. Here are a few strategies to consider:
1) Communicate effectively. Effective communication is dialogue. Barriers are created by speaking down to people, asking closed questions that elicit yes or no answers, using excessive authority, and promoting a culture that depends on unanimity. If your focus is winning the argument or if you react defensively to criticism, you’ll create fear of openness and hinder the organization’s growth.
Try these steps to effective communication:
2) Encourage enthusiasm and a sense of belonging. Show:
3) Keep everyone working toward agreed upon goals:
4) Get to know the people around you
5) Treat others as individuals
6) Accept responsibility for getting things done
7) Problem solve in a step-by-step way
Whether you are faced with a decision to make or a conflict to resolve, following a logical approach will help.
Ultimately, leading is both about the group. But it's also about the person you want to be. You cannot lead others unless you lead yourself first. And you lead yourself by asking questions that focus your vision, mission, your values and who you are mind, body and soul.
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