Author Topic: Reading the stuff you wrote at 18  (Read 4153 times)

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ębrad

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« on: January 24, 2003, 09:20:38 AM »
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Painful, isn't it? Makes me agree with the witty advice of Flannery O'Connor who when asked to give advice to new young writers on how to write she replied 'don't.'
I just read my first screenplay I wrote when I was 18, or maybe 17. This was before I took any sort of screenwriting class or workshop. Anyway, it's 130 pages of drivel. I actually got stomach pains from reading it. It doesn't make me too nervous now. I know most filmmakers can't stand to look at their early work. I'm quite happy with the stuff I am doing now, but man, that first one was pretty god damn bad.

Interested in hearing about writing techniques of you guys, how long it takes you to write. (Spike Lee is one of the fastest screenwriters I know, writes one in about 10-12 days) I have learned to do heavy rewriting and workshoping, taking many Dr. Pepper breaks while listening to music really really loud.

My last writing teacher gave us some good advice for novice screenwriters.
1. Write what you know. Hollywood has enough people writing jewel heist movies. If you live in a wooden shack behind an abandoned Pizza Hut, write about that.
2. Try to keep specific camera shots out of the script, even if you sware it is detrimental to the story-line and the only way you can get a specific moment across is through a hyper-speed dolly shot, just make a separate note somewhere else.
3. Don't be too gimicky. Young writers too often fill their scripts with 'cool' camera angles and dialogue, all style and no substance.
4. Ask yourself what you want the audience to get from your work.

There are more, but they are more specific. These are the basic ones he told us. My take on it is that everyone is different. There is no right or wrong way really. I would just try a bunch of different stuff and see what works for you. One good way to get started is to write short scenes, 7 or 8 pages, just to work on dialogue and making sure blatant exposition is no where to be found. Once you do a couple of those you should get in the groove.

Cecil

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2003, 10:48:03 AM »
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well im 20 and a couple of years back i found my first screenplay, which i wrote when i was 15. it was 200 pages of corrupt cop crap. man did it suck.

but its cool that i wrote it, cause if id have written THAT at 18, then i wouldnt be where i am now (experience-wise) until like 25 or something.

so i think its good to write at a young age. you start getting experience. and its fun to laugh at what you thought would make a "cool movie" back then.

Newtron

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2003, 10:51:10 AM »
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Quote from: cecil b. demented
well im 20.


Dear God.

Cecil

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2003, 10:54:01 AM »
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what the hells THAT supposed to mean?

Newtron

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2003, 10:57:45 AM »
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Quote from: cecil b. demented
what the hells THAT supposed to mean?


You express your 15yr-old thoughts like a 15yr-old, dude.

Cecil

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2003, 11:08:23 AM »
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fine. nobody should write until theyre 30.

Ghostboy

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2003, 08:19:17 PM »
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I've been writing scripts since I was about seven, but the first time I ever wrote one that managed to be feature length (i.e. over 90 pages) was when I was seventeen. And I went way over 90 pages...I think it was somewhere around 150.

I looked over it again recently, and was surprised to see that it wasn't THAT bad. Just too long, overly descriptive.

Now, the script I wrote when I was thirteen immediately after seeing 'Pulp Fiction'....now THAT'S bad. It even has a fast food monologue! Argghh. Live and learn. And get original.

Xixax

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2003, 09:06:35 PM »
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My first script was written in Fifth grade. After writing 2 or 3 stage plays (that our "gifted and talented" class actually performed) in 4th grade, I decided I was ready for the big time.

"Cave-In" was everything a movie written by a 5th grader should be. Shitty, unsuspenseful, humorous only in a campy sense, and most of all - incomplete.

My big plan was to finish it, sell it, and take the money I made from the script and run away from home with the hottest girl in 5th grade, Kristin Lewis. None of which ever happened.



You know, I'll bet that my true story above reads better than some of those Lifetime made for TV Movie treatments do.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2003, 11:51:41 AM »
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Quote from: Newtron
Quote from: cecil b. demented
well im 20.


Dear God.


I'm going to defend Cecil. We all know you're under 20, Newtron. Remember the helicopter game? Yes, exactly, that's what I thought.

I wrote a "novel" when I was 13. Worst thing I have read. Worst thing ever.
"Hunger is the purest sin"

Newtron

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2003, 11:00:00 PM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Blackman


I'm going to defend Cecil. We all know you're under 20, Newtron. Remember the helicopter game? Yes, exactly, that's what I thought.

I wrote a "novel" when I was 13. Worst thing I have read. Worst thing ever.


Since when does liking an addictive video game make one less responsible? it's called fun. I stand by my reaction to Cecil's age, the "argument" between him and me was over with his sarcastic overreactionary statement that no one should write till they're 30. If you wanna take this outside, bitch, bring it on.

Cecil

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2003, 11:13:27 PM »
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Quote from: Newtron
I stand by my reaction to Cecil's age,


i still dont understand why my age merits such a reaction from you though

Quote from: Newtron
sarcastic overreactionary statement


heh heh
thats me

Jake_82

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2003, 11:24:31 PM »
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Quote from: cecil b. demented
i still dont understand why my age merits such a reaction from you though


it's probably because he realized once he's that age he'll (still) be a cranky professional fanboy critic with nothing accomplished still working at the local video store.
your reality is at the end of your dream

Cecil

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2003, 11:27:29 PM »
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Quote from: Jake_82

it's probably because he realized once he's that age he'll (still) be a cranky professional fanboy critic with nothing accomplished still working at the local video store.


for your information jake, im a stock boy. not a video store clerk. sometimes i feel you hardly know me.  :roll:

life_boy

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2003, 12:09:50 AM »
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My first screenplay was an ambitious (piece of shit) rip-off of Magnolia without the originality and genius of Magnolia.  I wrote that when I was 16/17 (I'm 19 now, almost 20).  I think it was good for me to actually sit down and write it out, though, even though the only thing I'll probably use from the whole experience is the title.  Since that time I've learned so much more.  I've also learned to aim my sights a little lower at this time.  Now I'm working on a couple of scripts for short films instead of rushing right into a feature-length screenplay.

Cecil

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Reading the stuff you wrote at 18
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2003, 12:12:14 AM »
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Quote from: life_boy
I'm 19 now, almost 20


Dear God

 

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