I always figured I’d be some kind of writer. I remember (way, way back) in elementary school writing stories — I think I was trying to write a biography once, as if so much had happened in my 8 short years…maybe it was meant to be some sort of diary — I still have some of them. In fifth grade we had this great project to create a hardcover book, artwork and all. I wrote a story about running away after my bike was stolen. Oh, yeah. Not a true story by the way. I kept writing, but always struggled. I rarely finished anything. It wasn’t until many years later that I found my calling. I had taken some time off from college, not finding a degree that I wanted to spend money on and then brag about later. That is, until I found screenwriting. I graduated with a film degree and loved pretty much every moment of it. That is a satisfying feeling.
So for those of you interested in becoming a screenwriter, I just discovered an opportunity for you. Sponsored by Stage 32, The Write Start Contest will give you a chance to study screenwriting for an intensive 8 weeks at the New York Film Academy. You don’t need to have written a screenplay, just an idea (remember I just said something about how everyone has an idea?!). Anyway…screenplays take a different approach then novels do. You leave so much description, dialogue, and “fluff” by the wayside. It may not be for everyone, but I find it liberating. One can get so bogged down in the details, and with screenplays, those details are left to the hands of all those creative departments.
So if you’re thinking about trying your hand at screenwriting, this may be a quick, intensive lesson in whether or not it’s right for you.
When I set out to maintain a blog, it was part of a professional to do list I had created for myself (1 of 25 items, of which approaching my career more professionally was also on the list, hence the list). Another item was to find and research useful sites that offered either information, sound advice, networking opportunities, or all of the above. So yesterday I shared Stage 32. Today, American Zoetrope. The site was developed by Francis Ford Coppola and is open not just to screenwriters, but all writers, artists, musicians, actors, directors, etc.
The site offers you the opportunity to have your work read by a wide audience and receive feedback, in return you must do the same for others, but a little heads up, there are deadlines and rules. In the screenwriting “room” you must read 3 scripts and offer feedback before being allowed to submit your own work, and there is a time limit for how long your work will be available (30 days) on the site and how long you have to read and review others (you receive an additional 10 days to write the review). I think this is a great service as it allows you to be more objective which in turn might help you in your own writing. Plus, it’s free! Also, there’s an annual contest (deadline was in September, I missed it by 2 days…).
Happy Saturday! I thought I’d share this great networking site, Stage 32. I joined it recently and it’s a great way to meet people in different capacities (mostly film related) all over the world, share ideas, ask questions, and find work.
Give it a look! Have a wonderful and productive weekend!