By Zak Forsman, November 15th, 2009

KEVIN K. SHAH >>

<ul

  • Write with actors in mind that you can approach with the finished screenplay.
  • Write with marketing in mind : i.e. scenes for a trailer at least.
  • Don’t marry your words, they can be thrown out for what your actors bring to the moment.
  • Re-write your screenplay / scenes for the cast that you’ve settled on, using ideas from the casting session.
  • Don’t qualify your screenplay, or ask others to read it before it is completely finished.
  • Minimize the number of people you ask to read your script if they can’t directly help you get it made. Everyone hates reading scripts.
  • MARK HARRIS >>

    • Well, the number one thing I learned in writing my feature, was not to take any one opinion of it too much to heart. I sent it out for feedback from a wide range of people, some just normal folks, all the way up to professional story analysts, to award-winning playwrights. And I was astounded at the variety of feedback. Some things that seemed like fluff to certain people, came across as critical to the film to others. There was a lot of good feedback, to be sure, but in the end, I came out with the confidence, that I can take it all in, digest it and take from it what I will, but in the end, I am the ultimate judge of when the script is right.

    MIKE HEDGE >>

    • Write something that you are passionate about. Get feedback. Don’t let others tell you that your work sucks. Keep working on it.

    GARY KING >>

    DO

    • share your script for feedback with people whose opinion you trust
    • accept criticism
    • expect to rewrite
    • conduct a table read with actors if possible
    • register your final draft with the US Copyrights office and the WGA

    DON’T

    • expect your first draft to be good…if it is then you’re ahead of the game and should be very proud
    • make excuses on why you didn’t have time to write
    • get paranoid that others will steal your ideas. Share it with those you trust and if Hollywood ends up stealing it you should be very flattered
    • always follow the rules

    ZEKE ZELKER >>

    DO:

    • Take the time to write, be disciplined. Write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite and rewrite again
    • Share your script with people you trust and respect, listen to their comments, let them rip your script apart
    • A dramatic reading with local actors at a local theater (make this into a fundraising endeavor)
    • Copyright and register with the WGA upon the first draft
    • Write a log line, synopsis and summary
    • Write something that can be easily produced and visualized

    DON’T:

    • Publish/share too early
    • Take offense if people do not like your script, listen to them and rewrite
    • Watch other films when you are writing, let your ideas be your own
    • Hound people to read your script, if they don’t respond to you move on
    • Write a script over 120 pages
    • Share/Bookmark

    Posted in HOW TO BLANK A MOVIE

    Zak Forsman is an artist-entrepreneur whose emotionally-charged motion pictures are known for highly authentic performances and beautiful compositions. They have been praised by Ain’t It Cool News as “Brilliant” and “Absolutely Gorgeous” and by Filmmaker Magazine as “Very Accomplished, Amazing.”

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    COMMENTS

    • Any thoughts on narration? Is it generally frowned upon or embraced by film-makers?

    • Interesting read. The writing process, I think in any medium is such a personal endeavor so it seems difficult to pin-point a method that could, for lack of better terminology, be a 'one size fits all' (I understand that is not the point here).

      For anyone truly interested in writing screenplays or becoming better at it I highly recommend http://www.wordplayer.com/ from screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio. Inspiring site for all filmmakers.

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