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Author: Mike Boas

Outlining or Writing by the Seat-of-your-pants?

Outlining or Writing by the Seat-of-your-pants?

From the Bluecat blog: writing notecards and outlines comes from ” a different part of your heart and mind” than writing scenes. So, perhaps there’s something to be said for writing without a plan? Certainly it makes the rewrite more important — that’s where you shape your ideas into a cohesive whole.

Read more here: https://www.bluecatscreenplay.com/the-bluecat-screenplay-competition-blog/how-to-write-a-script-without-a-plan/

The topic also came up on the Write Along podcast. C. Robert Cargill refers to the non-planners as pantsers (as in writing by the seat of their pants). Ultimately, he says, both kinds of writers spend the same amount of time on the work. Without outlining, the burden on pantsers is they must exert more effort to fix what they write.

Listen here: https://writealongpodcast.com/2018/11/09/ep-2-planners-and-pantsers/

Meanwhile, over on the Scriptnotes podcast, last week’s episode touched on this, too. Craig and John have a different sense of when to stop planning and when to jump in. Craig plans it all out, John leaves more space for improvisation.

Listen here: https://johnaugust.com/2019/ready-to-write

Dots, Dashes, and Parentheticals

Dots, Dashes, and Parentheticals

Screenwriter John August made a short video to explain when and how to use elipses, dashes, and parentheticals for interrupting characters’ speech. If you’ve ever been confused, check this out!

Black List writers on the craft

Black List writers on the craft

The “Go Into the Story” blog is doing a series on writing characters, including advice from numerous Black List writers. There’s plenty of good ideas to be mined here.

For example, from Brian Duffield“I find that by starting with theme, you instantly gravitate towards a character who is almost at an opposite place to deal with that theme, and then throw them into the movie and see what happens. Just by doing that, you have an interesting character who has a big obstacle to overcome, and it becomes really fun fleshing them out and figuring out the nuts and bolts of why they’d be the way they are. Lately I’ve been really drawn towards pushing character as far as it can go, to the point where they’re barely recognizable as human, and figuring out how to relate and understand that character. I think I’m just hungrier as a writer to see what I can do, especially with character.”

Follow the links below: 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The Chernobyl Podcast

The Chernobyl Podcast

If you have HBO and haven’t watched Chernobyl yet, what are you waiting for? It’s astoundingly good.

Meanwhile, if you have seen it, and want to delve into the making of the show, Peter Sagal of NPR hosts a five episode podcast with writer/producer Craig Mazin. Yes, I’ve been listening to Mazin for years as co-host of Scriptnotes, so it’s rewarding to see him have creative and critical success with Chernobyl.

The podcast is available in a variety of places. Here’s an article about how it came to be and where to find it:

https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/23/18714335/the-chernobyl-podcast-hbo-peter-sagal-craig-mazin-wait-wait-dont-tell-me-interview

Talking Bladerunner 2049 with screenwriter Michael Green

Talking Bladerunner 2049 with screenwriter Michael Green

One of my favorite internet shows is STILL UNTITLED: THE ADAM SAVAGE PODCAST, which is available as a podcast and also Youtube video. Last week’s episode featured Michael Green, the co-writer of Blade Runner 2049. Adam’s love for Blade Runner goes deep, so it was a good interview. Michael talked about meetings with Ridley Scott and Hampton Fancher (who wrote the first Blade Runner), as well as how to address some aspects of the story which remain mysterious on purpose.

Check it out here: 

Scriptitude 2019 Wrap-Up

Scriptitude 2019 Wrap-Up

Thanks to everyone who attended our 2019 Scriptitude table read event at RIT! We had great performances and some valuable Q&A time with our winning screenwriters.

Photos by Noel Bastien

The short screenplays read were the following:

“The Frame-Up”by Patrick Harney
A wizened, young detective gets herself pulled into a dangerous squeeze-play while trying to locate her client’s lover.

“Homefulness”by Dan LaTourette
A father takes his ailing mother and spitfire son for a drive down memory lane… in a 1963 Studebaker.

“Someone”by Brian VanDenBergh (co-written by Nick Pasquarella)
After his appendix bursts, a young man is held hostage by the software technology employed to run his home.

Congratulations to Patrick, Dan, Brian, and Nick for their amazing scripts!