Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 2 - A Life of Crime

The Hungry Screenwriter has to keep writing on the weekend and I left yesterday, promising to reveal what my favourite film Genre and what I'll be writing over the next six months: it's a life of Crime for me. Since I first read the Agatha Christie murdre mystery Ten Little Niggers (that's what it was called then - the 1960's, now re-badged And Then There Were None) I've been hooked on the film super-genre of Crime. I'll have plenty more to tell you about the sub-genres ofthis super-genre in future blogs over the next few weeks, but what I want to say today is this; Crime is the most optimistic of the film genres.


At the beginning of any crime story, one way or another, a crime is committed...a body falls out of a wardrobe. Very quickly, an investigative force appears on the crime scene - detective, journalist, attorney - and acts as our surrogate, asking the questions we would ask, chasing down clues, poking their nose in places we want them to, always with the objective of restoring justice to this unjust world. Ironically, crime is an optimistic genre beacuse of this. Always, always, always, the objective of a crime film is to restore justice to the ubjust world. It started with Oedipus, but more of that another day.

Day #2 Tip - Plan Your Time

I was watching Channel 9's coverage of the Rugby League final series last September, it was a game between St.George and the Eels from Kogarah Oval. The Dragons appeared to be biding their time, stalking , lying in wait, carefully playing out their sets of six and there was a palpable sense of frustration as to when Wayne Bennet's team would strike. In the commentary box
Gus Gould said this: "Give me three days to chop down a tree and I'll spend two of those days sharpening the axe." So it is for me when I'm planning my next screenplay. The first thing I do is work out how much time I have- in this case six months - and work out my "axe sharpening time": the first 50% (3 months) I'll devote to creating a Step Outline, the next two months I'll spend turning that Step Outline into a Treatment and then I'll spend the last month actually writing the screenplay. I'll tell you more about the differences between Step Outlines and Treatments in the coming week, but for now, work out what time you have - six months, twelve months - and divide it up in the same way. The good news is this: you don't really have to sit down and start writing your screenplay for five months.

By the way, Parramatta beat St. George that day because the Dragons spent too long sharpeing that axe of theirs. But Phil "Gus" Gould was right....maybe he should write a script?

Until tomorrow, I remain...The Hungry Screenwriter

1 comment:

  1. Excellent tip - and nicely segwayed from sports to script writing! PS Rugby League??? I would not have picked you for a league follower...