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Guest Blog – Letting Go

Image by the-english-guy

Image by the-english-guy

I have gleaned the equivalent mass of a power station’s output in the form of advice from people and books about the best way to achieve the perfect film-script.

It is easy to give some pearl of pithy wisdom, which might turn me into a hypocrite by the bottom of the page.

I can’t quite see the point of going to college to understand how to a conceive a commercially successful movie and to enter into discourse about such things as “narrative arcs” or “exposition” for something that most of us can do naturally. Stylistically, if you want to know how to write a film script, buy a film script and absorb how it appears on the page. The majority are quite bland, pared down sets of guidelines for a director to work his magic on.

The key is to let go. To nurture and coerce your work like a small child so that it reaches a level of literary maturity quickly, then to deliver it, forget about it and move on to the next story. Do not hang around clinging to what you think is your life’s final product revering it as an undiscovered masterpiece. Immediately start again, flick your tail like a Great White shark and develop another idea and another and another.

Production and training company, Intermedia, once existed at the back of the Broadway. It was good because it offered up a smorgasbord of short courses related to the film industry. The bloke in the box office told me it’s not there now, but the cinema still has opportunities to learn.  I attended a couple of times. It whet my appetite. I tried another in Leicester after this that was less successful, then visited the National Film School in Beaconsfield for a four-day television research bonanza that was brilliant. The reason why is because the lady taking the course, Edi Smockum, was a real life programme maker, she wasn’t just theorising, she was actively involved in the broadcast industry, her insight was invaluable. Hunt for something similar, ring around, trawl websites, find the professionals willing to say, in a classroom setting, what it takes.

I have to thank Waterstones in Nottingham too. My first plug. They let authors and other famous types talk about their motivation on the fourth floor of the book shop. I took my wife to see Douglas Coupland lecture us about his unique perception of the world around him. It helped me understand myself and the frustrations I often encounter. It might sound misanthropic, but I feel more like an observer than a participant. Hearing someone talk about their ideas was inspirational and is definitely worth doing, it doesn’t matter that he was not some big shot Hollywood mogul, but a gentle man creating something that obviously made him happy.

All these things help.

My inspirations are authors and artists. I lurched across town to the new Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery one lunch time to stand in front of David Hockney’s “A Bigger Splash”. I had five minutes then had to meet someone, but it was worth it to stir my imaginative resolve.

Everyone needs a signpost like this to urge them on. Please, keep going.

A big thank you to Nick for joining us as Guest Blogger, I hope you’ve all enjoyed his fascinating insight into scriptwriting.  If you’re interested in joining us as a guest blogger click here to learn more.