Screenwriting 1 – Youtube and Syd the Sage

A month back in time, I watched Josh Kaufman explain to me how it really doesn’t take that long to learn something. It actually only takes “20 hours“. I also wrote in my blogpost that I would spend forty-five minutes a day for a month on learning how to screenwrite.

Well, I definitely haven’t spent near to forty-five minutes a day for the last month, but I’ve only spent around forty-five minutes a day for a total of about fifteen days. So roughly, I am at eleven and a quarter hours. Half-way to becoming the abecedarian screenwriter.

I watched two more videos on top of Kaufman’s “20 hours”. The first was an interview with Max Landis. This video is entertaining and informing. Landis shares an insight into his personal work ethic and heavily criticizes the Hollywood scene. His qualm is with the unoriginality of Hollywood and their fascination with big-title blockbusters that rake in cash but provide no new ideas. He spouts that the only big names directors we have now are the same ones that were big names back in the 80’s (Ridley Scott, Spielberg, James Cameron).

The other video I watched was a helpful visual breakdown of a screenplay format. It answers all of the basic questions, plus more, that a budding screenwriter would ask about what a screenplay looks like on a page. To help clarify and solidify each explanation, they have actors acting a scene as a subtitle script “types” out what they are doing.

I am also reading Syd Field’s Screenplay. Syd Field is the most sought after scriptwriting instructor. He’s more of a sage full of wisdom than anything else. In his book, he breaks the story down into lessons about the introduction, conflict, and resolution. The cinematic script must carry through with these three parts in some order if the writer wants a film company to buy it. I will write more about this book (I am reading the whole thing) in the next posts.

I will also post my attempts at screenwriting, and hopefully have a draft for a trailer, if not a short film, by the end of this semester.


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