Friday, May 25, 2007

What They Don't Teach You At Film School


I've been carrying around a gift certificate for a few months now... since the beginning of March, for those counting. I finally decided to pick up What They Don't Teach You At Film School by Camille Landau and Tiare White. I like reading certain types of moviemaking and screenwriting books occasionally... not so much because any of the non-technical ones have much to offer me factually, but I find them inspiring. So far, so good in that department.

In fact, quite a bit better than average, I'd say.

That said, I'm glad writing advice wasn't my chief reason to read it, since that section is driving me crazy. First of all, it states, without explanation, the old chestnut that Shakespeare didn't use the famous "three-act structure", because his plays are written in Five Acts. This is actually untrue, he simply breaks up the dramatic second act, nearly always the longest segment, into three sections and all five of these sections are labeled as Acts. It's pretty simple.

The one that really pissed me off, though, was this, "Make a decision to write first thing every morning... Breakfast, sex, and the trip to the dry cleaners can happen after..."

Now, the core idea of "Do your writing before you do other things you'd rather do." is solid, and something I need to put more effort into doing myself. I can tell you exactly what I'd write if I tried to do it first thing in the morning, though:
FADE IN:

INT. THE HELL OF MY MIND - DAY

Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckin' COCK!

I hate the world.

This coffee isn't strong enough.

My body hurts.

I hate everyone.

Cockcockcockcockcock fuckin' ASSMONKEY!

FADE TO BLACK.

Now, I've not gotten the opportunity to sell anything, but most of my readers seem more interested in seeing the screenplays I've written produced. This seems less likely to have the same effect on most... although if it did get, it might inspire a fetish site or two, who knows?

2 comments:

Marty McKee said...

You might like Lloyd Kaufman's MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE, which is not only a pretty smart book about how to finance, make and distribute a low-budget picture, but is also pretty damn funny.

Neil Sarver said...

I love "Make Your Own Damn Movie". It was the first book I gave to my friend Ryan when he started taking a bigger role in the "Lakeside" production. In large part because it's such a fun read that also gets all the basic information in. I did my best to follow his rules and, frankly, where I failed to do so was where I made some of my biggest mistakes.

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