Moondance November News & Insider Tips: the Craft of Screenwriting!
Selected Moondance winning films have been invited to be screened the annual 2015 Canadian International Film & Television festival (CIFTF), which takes place in Richmond & Vancouver, BC, Canada, November 6-8th. Moondance winning films will be screened as a special Moondance Roadshow part of this important event, from November 8-10th. Many of the event’s attendees & invitees are from China, and include the director of the China Film Group in Beijing, who is responsible for all films produced or screened in China. Please consider attending the festival. This is your best chance to network with the powers-that-be in the lucrative Chinese film & television industry! All events and film screenings are free of charge.
THE CRAFT OF WRITING: EXTERNALIZING THE INTERNAL, PART 1
Award-Winning Screenwriter Jacob Krueger
The extraordinary thing about working in the medium of film is that we get to tell stories with compelling images that capture the imaginations and the emotions of our audiences. And the challenging thing about working in film is that half of the things that exist in the world, we can’t see! We can’t see thoughts and we can’t see feelings.
And that means, as screenwriters, our job is to externalize these internal thoughts and feelings. To take them outside of the mind, and put them into the body and the action of our screenplay. To translate the emotional language of our writing into compelling and visceral action.
As one of my great mentors, Georgi Alexi-Meskhishvili, who is a world-renowned set designer, used to say, “If you want a director to do what you want, you must make him think it is his idea.” And one of the ways we allow directors and producers to do what we want and connect and visualize our movies in the way that we want them to see them is by externalizing the internal: capturing our story in images exactly the way that we are seeing it in our heads.
Similarly, if you want to attract an A-list actor to your film, you need to learn to externalize the internal in a visceral way, so that you can capture their attention from the very first line, stimulate their imaginations, and allow them to see themselves doing all those exciting things that your character is doing, as if they were already playing the role! These are the practical reasons to externalize the internal.
But here is an even deeper artistic reason you want to externalize the internal, which is that often times when you’re not externalizing the internal it’s because you have not actually seen it yet in your own mind’s eye. Which means you are not yet fully serving your own creative vision of the movie, or getting your full talent onto the page. To understand how you can go about externalizing the internal in your own work, in this week’s podcast, we’re going to be looking at one of the best examples of this technique, There Will Be Blood.
International Screenwriters’ Association
MOONDANCERS WRITE US:
“I wanted to thank you for the wonderful opportunity to screen a sneak preview of our film at Moondance. So many wonderful things came out of that screening. It was especially great to have Bill Ury, author of Getting to Yes, and Randy Compton, and Mark Gerzon, Author of American Citizen, Global Citizen: How Expanding Our Identities Makes Us Safer, Stronger, Wiser – And Builds a Better World. They were both very enthusiastic about the film and we look forward to further collaboration with them. We also loved all the great feedback we got on the Audience Comments forms: “I think it’s awesome” “I love his story, mission, tenacity and love for the future!” “The world will be a better place because Garry was in it.” “Needs to get out into the world. It will shift consciousness.” “Like, it’s about time!” In addition to accolades, the audience feedback forms also gave us valuable suggestions for further improving our work-in-progress version. — which we incorporated into later edits of the film. Several funders also loved the film – we received important donations in Boulder – also building excellent prospects for the future. So again, thank you for who you are and all you do for the world.” ~ Arthur Kanegis, director of The World Is My Country
“I find these (Moondance news-blog) articles so helpful. Thank you for caring enough to help us first-time screenwriters!” ~ Kentrell Liddell
“This is a very spiritual and moving newsletter. Congratulations! ~ Chris Nebe, award-winning documentary filmmaker, “Mysterious China” series
“If you hadn’t recognised there was something of merit about my stageplay. “Stitched Up”, the production wouldn’t have happened, so, on behalf of Mr Nibbs, Rags, their wonderful palace colleagues, and, of course, myself, many, many thanks for that.” ~ Celine Gibson, award-winning playwright, New Zealand
DO A DOODLE!
By Lou Hamilton
A blank page and a pen is ripe territory for doodling and if you do it while your brain is apparently attending to something else, your ability to broaden your creative thoughts and ideas, make sense of and retain what you are listening to, is hugely increased. “In decision-making, problem-solving and creative thinking we need to engage with at least two of the four learning processes: auditory, visual, reading/writing and kinetic. So in a lecture or in class or on the phone, where information density is high, doodling, simple shapes, mind-maps, grids, nothing tricky, but the act of doodling allows (one) to explore…thoughts, by placing words into the shapes has the benefit of exploiting…decision-making, problem-solving and creative thinking we need to engage with at least two of the four learning processes: auditory, visual, reading/writing and kinetic. Which is why (doodling) is so effective!
The shapes, along with your hand movements, stimulate parts of the brain that allow you to make connections between things that you otherwise would likely have never come up with. It helps you tap into your memory, your emotions, your desires, your intellect….a way of aiding learning, processing, problem-solving, creative thinking and remembering.
Sunni Brown, named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” and one of the “10 Most Creative People on Twitter” by Fast Company, is the leader of “The Doodle Revolution” the purpose of which is to “disrupt social norms about visual language and visual thinking, and educate people around the world about doodling’s power and potential.” Using deliberate pen strokes and a vocabulary of abstract patterns, artists and non-artists alike are equally able to focus on their marks with no pre-determined end result, while their attention shifts “to a state that allows fresh thoughts, new perspectives, and creative insights to flow unhindered by anxiety or effort.” Zentangle… is a form of combined doodling and meditation, devised by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts in 2004 as an elegant system of structured patterns for zoning out. READ MORE
MOONDANCE SUPPORTS & RECOMMENDS:
The Yellow River is called “the cradle of Chinese civilization”, because its basin was the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilization, and is the third-longest river in Asia. Water is the source of ten thousand species, of rich and varied topography and biological species, and the feeding, nourishing, and our civilization. The river is the mother, nurturing the luxuriant creatures & is a natural parent. Human economic and social development has entered a new historical period, and river and water are faced with unprecedented crises and challenges. The Yellow River is one of several rivers that are essential for China’s very existence.
We have a responsibility to have an obligation to action, with reason, courage and strong faith, to maintain the health of the Chinese mother river of life… maintaining river health, life, and river ethics. The CYRF makes the most of the advantages of this non-governmental organization, to promote Chinese civilization, inherit the Yellow River culture, take actions to protect the Mother River, and to involve more people in devoting their time and resources to the protection and maintenance of the endless life of the vital Yellow River. Our mission is: Carrying out regular activities toward the Yellow River protection, and to promote long-term maintenance of the healthy life of the Yellow River. The Yellow River is 5,464 kilometers long, with a total elevation drop of 4480 meters. READ MORE
A World Without Florida Panthers?
They’re the last of their kind! A mere 180 Florida panthers are all we have left. When we allow places like the Florida Everglades to be torn apart, whittled down and chopped up for commercial purposes, we all lose more than just our beloved landscapes. We lose the migratory pathways the Florida panther and many other animals depend on for survival. Without intact migration corridors, these great cats can’t reach the additional habitat they need in order to survive as a species. They’re trapped and isolated…with nowhere to go to establish healthy populations and thrive. These lands are critical to the recovery of this iconic species and a cornerstone in the plan to support their survival.
Your donation today will help The Nature Conservancy’s vital work to protect and create habitats for threatened animals like the Florida panther — among too many others — who are simply running out of time. You’ll know that your dollars will be hard at work in endangered places like the Everglades. The Nature Conservancy is working to protect 18,529 acres of prime panther habitat that could help make a difference in securing their future. Thank you for helping to protect the lands and waters on which great migrations depend! http://www.nature.org
A World Without Sea Turtles?
Imagine travelling more than 1,000 miles, through danger and hunger and hardship…only to find your destination washed away. Too often, that’s the fate waiting for hawksbill sea turtles at the end of their long migrations. They risk their lives only to find that their habitats have been destroyed and they’re left with nowhere to go. It’s a tragic end to an incredible journey. Today the Pacific nesting beaches hawksbills rely on are in grave danger. Development and sea level rise are shrinking them fast. And as the hawksbill populations are now a mere 20% of what they were 100 years ago, we have to fight for them to make sure that number doesn’t get any lower.
The truth is sad and simple: if more nesting beaches continue to disappear…so will hawksbills. If you’ve ever seen a sea turtle swim, you know it’s like flying under water. They coast along with so much grace, it would make anyone feel peaceful and calm. But their effortlessness hides one of the toughest survival stories on our planet. They’re up against predators, poachers, developers, climate change, and so much more. These animals do everything they can to survive in such desperate conditions, and right now, they need our help. Your gift will help with hands-on conservation like: helping expand the network of protected beaches for hawksbills, bringing together communities to safeguard their beaches & creating more turtle conservation sites so they can finish their migrations in peace. http://www.nature.org
SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
“You do not make sculpture because you like wood. You make sculpture because the wood allows you to express something that another material does not allow you to do.” ~ Louise Bourgeois, French-American artist (This quote can be extrapolated to include creative writing, filmmaking, music, dance, theater, & other arts)
“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard
THE CATCH-22 OF ORIGINALITY:
“Film audiences crave originality – or at least a fresh take – and so it seems do movie distributors. And yet film financiers tend toward the tried and tested. They want to back name actors, proven concepts and known quantities.” Hear from two leading film sales agents how they go about resolving that eternal contradiction: http://info.slated.com/the-catch-22-of-originality/
STUDIO-TYPE COVERAGE OF YOUR SCRIPT OR FILM!
Ready to get your screenplay or film on the right track? 7seas Productions now offers script reading services, critiques, coverage and edits to all screenwriters, playwrights & filmmakers, and to production companies and agencies, at special discount prices!
Focusing on the elements crucial to creating a compelling and readable script, and/or a winning, marketable film, our helpful comments will allow you to concentrate on solving the problems that will make your material move toward receiving a CONSIDER or a RECOMMENDED from a studio or production company reader, and will assist in advancing your script or film up toward WINNER in screenwriting competitions & film festivals.
An advantage of this low-cost critique service is that we will help you prepare your screenplay before sending it to screenwriting competitions, film producers, agents, managers and others who may have requested it. READ MORE
Please forward this news-blog to your creative artist colleagues!
QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS?
No trees or natural habitats were harmed in the creation of this news-blog!