Author: Magda Olchawska

Scriptwriting In A Nutshell: Make Your Characters Different

  To Learn more about Scriptwriting check out my Indie Filmmaking School    When creating characters, a common mistake many new writers make is to create characters that are too similar to one another. I made that mistake countless times myself. If the characters we have created are too similar to one another, they will act in the same way, will wear identical clothes, or will order the same place in the same place. Your reader will quickly get confused, often too confused to carry on reading your screenplay. In your, the writer’s, mind you might be seeing your characters very differently than you describe them on paper. However, your reader will not see what is in your mind. For the reader to know what you see, you need to include the differences between your characters in your script. It can be anything from the way they wear their hair to the type of tea they drink in the morning. If your characters are too similar, you will lose your reader pretty quickly, and your screenplay …

Learning How to Read in a Year

Nearly a year ago Little M. went to a dyslexia assessment centre in London to do the dyslexia test. The results were overwhelmingly negative and a huge blow for him, even though he never said anything about the sadness he felt. The stress of that day left his body and spirit on the train back home when he started crying out of the blue. He was diagnosed with profound dyslexia, and according to the assessor, he should be in a special dyslexia school. Of course, she didn’t put any of that in the official report since the councils in the UK have no money for kids with educational difficulties and schools in the UK minimalize their resources to accommodate our kids. Before homeschooling, the Little M. was in an alternative school that took very little notice of his learning hardships and difficulties even though we flagged that up to his class teacher on several occasions for over a year. In fact, it took the class teacher a year to get SENCO involved in our discussion. …

Scriptwriting in a Nutshell: Character’s Goals and Stakes

  To Learn more about Scriptwriting check out my Indie Filmmaking School    Most stories begin with the main character/s wanting something, something the character cares for genuinely, has a lot invested in but for some reason can’t get. The character’s goal/s or want/s should be something the audience will also care about deeply and will be able to identify with. If you give your character/s what they want on the next page of your screenplay, your film will not only be concise but also will lack dramatic tension. That’s why, as a writer, you need to get comfortable introducing obstacles in your story. As writers, we throw obstacles at our protagonists to make our story more interesting and more dramatic by adding layers. We aim to keep our character/s as far away from reaching or achieving their goals as we can, at least until we decide to finish the story. The obstacles (I will cover them in more depth in another post) we create for our characters can be: –   external –   internal –   …

The Bad and The Ugly of Learning From The Grown-Ups

A lot of the scientists, teachers and influential voices in the education sector tell us that children learn from observing and imitating the grown-ups in their lives. I believe this to be true and have often seen Little M. doing stupid stuff, which his dad or I have done. I know that our family is not an exception for teaching the younger generation the bad and ugly habits, which we, the grown-ups, cherish with such a devotion. Children are smart and very observant, and whatever we do, they will imitate. For instance, if you spend a lot of time on your phone or tablet, your child will want to do that too and if you decide to limit your child’s access to electric devices they will ask tons of questions and will want to know why you can be on your phone all the time and they can’t (by default kids are very much justice and equality driven). If you work all the time and never have any quality time for your children and your …

Ask Yourself If You Need a Sales Agent

You worked incredibly hard to complete your film; you spent years editing and begging people for favours, especially when your project had no budget for anything; the years of hard work have finally paid off and now your film is finished. You believe in your project and your talent, and deep down in your heart, you know that your film is going to be the toast of countless film festivals, which will make finding a sales agent to represent your film much easier. Well, in the old days of gatekeepers and pre-Internet days that was surely the way to “make it” in our industry and to be noticed as a talented filmmaker. But since the Internet revolution, a lot has changed for everyone in the industry. And having an agent to represent your film is not a must any longer. However, some filmmakers still would like to find a sales agent to represent their perfect work. Before you embark on your research, read my short text below: Patience. It takes a long time to find …