All posts filed under: Visual Content

Aaron Sorkin’s Recommended Writing Exercises

Aaron Sorkin is an American screenwriter, director, producer and playwright. His writing credits include: “Steve Jobs”, “Moneyball”, “The Social Network” and “West Wing”. If you haven’t seen any of his films or shows, I strongly recommend you do. 1. Find a short story you like and adapt it to a screenplay. Adapting a story, which already has an intention, obstacle/s and conflict defined will let you practice writing characters, scenes and dialogue. 2. Use a short story, a fairy tale, a fable or a book to adapt the first ten pages of your screenplay. Map out what the intention, obstacle/s and conflict in the story are scene by scene. 3. Write a scene in which one character is asking another character for money. The other character is not going to give them the money. Try to determine each character’s intention and obstacles. 4. Keep a journal and make notes about what works in your favourite films and what doesn’t in the ones you didn’t like. 5. While watching your favourite films, note when the inciting …

Film Festivals Do’s and Don’ts

Film festivals submission process requires determination, high level of resistance to rejection, deep pockets and patience when waiting to hear back from the programmers. I’ve been actively submitting films, not only mine, to festivals since 2006. Within that time a lot has changed: the submission process got easier, festival fees are higher than they used to be, the competition is fiercer, and film festivals aren’t anymore the only way to launch your filmmaking career. Luckily, the physical submissions are no longer in operation, which is a great time saver. You don’t need to waste your time at the post office, lining up and posting up to thirty submissions a month.  Thanks to the online submission process, it’s never been easier to find the right film festivals for your project. While considering taking the film festival route with your project, take into consideration the following do’s and don’ts of the submission process: Do’s  You need to be organized to keep on the top of the submission process, which can take up to a year. I usually …

Margaret Atwood Tips For Writers

1. According to Margaret, a novel is a long story that ought to inspire the reader or listener to hear more of what is happening to the characters and how life turns out for them at the end. 2. Don’t be afraid to try out different voices, styles and techniques, and always keep only what works for you. 3. Fear keeps many people from writing. Identifying that fear and dealing with it will open lots of doors for you as a writer. 4. Structure = order of the story. You may decide to tell your story chronologically (from the beginning to end), or from some point in the future and jump back in time. Underneath all these structure choices, a plot (what happens) will always remind the same. 5. Your story will guide you what structure it requires so be open to trying various structures before settling on one; it’s a hands-on process, according to Margaret. She advises to start with the simplest structure and then work your way to more complex ones. 6. While …

Ron Howard’s Filmmaking Tips

As a filmmaker, you ought to feel emotionally, not intellectually, connected to the story. You should live, breath and dream the story. If you ask your audience to invest their time and money in your film, you need to be certain that the story has something different and exciting to show. Always look for powerful moments in the story.  Once you find them, you can build scenes based on those moments. It’s easy to fall in love with the story, but part of your job as a filmmaker is to step back, evaluate the story objectively, and find its strong and weak points before you commit to that story. Ron advises his fellow filmmakers to learn how their collaborators work. That helps to create an environment, which allows everyone on the team excels at their craft while giving their best. If anyone Ron works with (it means that he respects that person enough to hire them) has an intuitive suggestion regarding the scene, he will test that suggestion. He believes that this rule allows people …

7 Filmmaking Tips From Martin Scorsese

1. You should always think carefully about your camera choices. 2. There are no manuals, no shortcuts and no secrets to finding your own way. You learn everything by doing the work. 3. As a director, you will always have to make some hard decisions, and in the process, kill some of your darlings while editing. 4. As a director, you are the core decision-maker, which is your most important responsibility on the set. Always be truthful to your vision. Sometimes you will have to remind yourself of that vision and block everything and everyone from entering your inner space. 5. Go and spend time in the location you will be shooting. Don’t just trust stills and images; it’s important that you know how your location looks like during the different times of the day. 6. As a director, you should try acting too to see how it is like to hit your mark, interact with another actor or get a sense of how it feels like to be filmed. 7. Casting is 85-90% of …