When I retired from my government career, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to write, given the number of story ideas bubbling in my subconscious.
At about the eight-month mark, after clearing “The Backlog of Backlogs”, time and space finally opened up for me to venture boldly into the world of fiction. My first mission was to learn more about the screenwriting process itself.
I had already invested in a few books about screenwriting and was finally able to sit down and devour them, cover to cover. My reading was complemented by Master Class videos presented by renowned screenwriters, describing in glorious detail their creative processes. Next, I took to YouTube to find interviews with other writers to hear their personal stories about the process and the business.
After an intensive crash-course month, I felt that I had enough building blocks to get started. After all, it wasn’t like I was writing for the first time. In my back pocket I had a rich 33-year career of writing a variety of communication products, from different points of view, for different target audiences, under the tutelage of amazing mentors. Continue reading
How DVD Bonus Material Helped my Screenwriting
In my insatiable thirst for knowledge about the world of screenwriting, I recently (and accidentally, I might add) stumbled upon a learning tool that was right under my nose that had completely slipped my mind.
One day, in a moment of nostalgia, I decided to pull out the movie “Grease” and pop it into the Blu-Ray player. When the movie was over, I wandered over to the disc’s “Special Features” menu. The interview with the movie’s choreographer, Patricia (Pat) Birch, sounded like a lot of fun.
During the segment, Ms. Birch explains the complex logistics involved in choreographing the dance scenes for the 200 dancers. I found her explanations fascinating!
Once the veil of the behind-the-scenes magic had been lifted, I wanted to go back and re-watch three of my favourite numbers to see the end result.
I’m not sure how I did it, but I ended up watching those scenes with the “Director’s Commentary” track activated. In the special feature, director Randal Kleiser and Pat Birch discuss several of the technical aspects of the movie shoot, the logistics, the vision, and the collaborative and collective effort that went into the project. At the same time, they share their memories of the filming as well as fun facts and trivia. Continue reading →
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