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Archive for the Category "Career"

The Three Ps Aug 06

The Three PsThe Glee Project

Is anyone else out there watching The Glee Project? For those who don’t know about it, The Glee Project is a pretty cool little talent show on the Oxygen network that gives the winner a seven episode character arc on the upcoming season of Glee.

Now that’s what I call a prize!

The Three Ps

Anyway, there was a recent episode where Max Adler (who plays the closeted bully, Dave Karofsky) was giving some advice to the contestants, and mentioned the three Ps, as the secret to success.

Passion

Persistence

Patience

How excellent is that?! I’d never heard that one before. A great reminder for actors, singers, screenwriters and anyone else pursuing a dream.

Do you have all three?


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Why Screenwriting Is So Difficult Feb 07

The ThinkerIn Temple Grandin’s TED talk, that I watched recently, she discussed her inspirational experiences with autism and how she came to realize that people think in different ways.

According to Grandin, there are 3 different types of thinkers.

1. Photo Realistic Visual Thinkers – poor at algebra

2. Pattern Thinkers – music and math

3. Verbal Mind – poor at drawing

That got me to thinking — no wonder screenwriting is so difficult. You have to be all three!

1. Photo Realistic Visual Thinkers

As a screenwriter you must be able to think in pictures. After all, in each scene, you are literally describing what the motion picture camera will see.

Are you a Photo Realistic Visual Thinker?

Do you have an easy time “picturing” exactly what happens in your scenes? How things look and sound? Do you have to suppress that natural tendency to describe elaborate camera angles, visual effects and micro details? Do  you have a photographic memory for events?

2. Pattern Thinkers

Similar to most successful songs, most successful movies are not free form experiments. They have a necessary underlying structure, pace and rhythm.

Are you a Pattern Thinker?

Does a 3 act structure feel like a natural framework for the way you tell a story? Are you zealous about formatting and consistency? Do you enjoy setting up payoffs in your script? When you watch movies, can you usually predict the plot twists? Do movie clichés or tropes jump out at you?

3. Verbal Minds

In the end, we are writers that rely on words to tell a story. As such we have to both engage the reader with our word choice and provide an authentic experience when choosing the words of our characters.

Are you a Verbal Mind?

Do you have a good ear for dialogue? When you read a great script, do you sometimes slow down or re-read a passage simply to relish the language? In conversations with your friends, are you able to bust out relevant movie lines? Do people ever compliment you on your diction or vocabulary?

How many categories do you naturally fall into? Can the other ways of thinking be learned? Are great screenwriters the ones who excel in all three areas?

Flickr Photo by innoxiuss


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Category: Career, Creativity, Writing  | 8 Comments
The Decision To Become A Screenwriter Nov 12

Michele  Wallerstein

Event Announcement: Michele Wallerstein will be holding a free seminar on Saturday, November 20th, 3PM at the Sherman Oaks Borders store.

The topic is: “Getting Started.” It’s the beginning of a 4 part series that she’ll be doing for Borders Books.

The Decision To Become A Screenwriter

by Michele Wallerstein
Author of:
MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career

OK, so, you’ve decided to write a screenplay. Your motives may be good, bad, strange, silly or desperate. You may not even know what they are. In any event, you’ve made that emotional commitment to become a screenwriter. Here come the important questions you now have to ask and answer. Just like a journalist you need to find out the who, what, where, when and how you will be able to accomplish this feat.

The questions of “who” has to do with looking within yourself to discover if you have the right combination of creative talent, business acumen with a bit of brio thrown in. Yes, you will absolutely need all of these personal qualities to be a successful screenwriter. If any of them are missing, you will be in big trouble. If you aren’t really creative, how will you be able to tell a great story, or provide fascinating characters? If you don’t have some business sense, how will you be able to know if your project is salable, or marketable, or if your representatives are doing a proper job for you? If you don’t have the personal fortitude to push yourself forward on a personal basis, how will you be able to pitch yourself and your work to strangers? How will you be able to attend conferences, workshops, meetings, seminars and countless other social situations with confidence and verbal clarity?

The “what” has to do with your choices of what to write. Are you interested in romance, drama, sci-fi, thrillers or comedies? If there are a couple of areas you are interested in, how will you choose?

The “where” deals with moving to the hub of the motion pictures and television industry. Can you really be a Hollywood screenwriter by living outside of California?

The “when” is now. Writing is primarily thinking so you may begin immediately. If you are serious in this endeavor, don’t put it off. You can even keep your day job and become a screenwriter. I love the Zen saying: “Leap, and the net will appear.” Go ahead, if it feels right, do it. Procrastination is a terrible thing that can haunt your life forever.

The “why” is honestly defining your motivations. Are you someone who has always been a dilettante? Do you simply feel that every time you go to a movie you think; “I could write a better movie than that”? Do you imagine a glamorous life with cocktail parties attended by famous directors and actors? Finally, do you have the calling?

Now, for the really hard one; the “how,” which is the finding of your starting point and moving on from there. This means making more right decisions than wrong ones which, in and of itself, defines success.

Of course you will need more than these things to discover about yourself, but these are jumping off points that are important to having a successful writing career. None of them can be ignored, but some of them can be learned.

You can learn to be braver and more forthcoming in personal interactions. You can practice, get into therapy, get help from seminars on self-confidence and find other avenues to learn to get rid of that terrible shyness.

You can also take steps to learn the craft of writing. It is actually imperative that you read the books, take the classes and most importantly, practice, practice, practice.

Writing takes sweat and tears. It’s a combination of a cruel and immensely rewarding occupation. It takes years to become a good writer. It takes a thick skin to listen to criticism and requests for changes in your work. It takes commitment and tenacity. If you either have the right answers to all of the above questions or you are dedicated to trying to work on the issues that you lack, then take that wonderful leap and see what amazing things can happen.


Michele Wallerstein is a Screenplay & Novel & Career Consultant and author of “MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career“.

Email: novelconsult@yahoo.com
Web site: www.novelconsultant.com

Copyright 2010 Michele Wallerstein. Not be used without written permission from Author.

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