Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Writers Boot Camp - The battle to write and/or find screenplays

So last night was my first night of Boot Camp. No, I am not in a weird time warp taking me back to my days in the 82nd Airborne Division, but Writer's Boot Camp.

One of the things that can be most difficult for a producer is to find material. There are plenty of wannabe writers out there as screenplays have become to generations X and Y what the great American novel was to the generations before us. And most of the screenplays out there are not exceptional. I know, cause I've written a few of 'em. However, if you've really got a great germ of an idea, where can you go to develop it yourself? Well a friend of mine recommended the Boot Camp.

I was intrigued. Basically, they offer a 6 week course on screenwriting that meets once a week. During those 6 weeks, you are to work at least 10 hours a week with the exercises they give you on your screenplay. These exercises are applicable to any screenplay and are intended to help brainstorm and provide a structure for your screenplay. Once the course ends, you have about 2 weeks to finish writing your draft of a screenplay and then turn it in to your instructor.

Well after my first class last night, I am even more intrigued. What I found most exciting is the exercises themselves. When a writer faces the blank page, it can be very intimidating. After you have sharpened your pencils, made a pot of coffee, cleaned the kitchen, basically everything you can do to procrastinate and avoid writing - but once you finally do show up to the page, what are you supposed to do? These exercises provide that what, and I'm going to dive right in. And best of all, these exercises will hopefully help me to make some of those less than exceptional screenplays in my desk drawer, a bit more shinny and new!

I'll keep you all posted.


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