Que Serait le Cinéma Sans Histoires? - Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog




Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


American Amazon:

Canadian Amazon:

Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

 

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I went to a SARTEC panel on screenwriting and heard my friends Ken Scott and Joanne Arseneau, among other top Quebecois screenwriters, talk at some length about their process. A few highlights...

Before Ken writes anything else, he writes a single sentence that sums up the movie and contains all its important elements. Something like what I call a hook, but more whatever is, for him, the movie. For LA GRANDE SEDUCTION, for example: "A village that used to make its living fishing must seduce a doctor into staying in order to survive." Interestingly, he said that for MAURICE RICHARD he didn't have a sentence when he wrote it, but he'd gone to the Montreal Forum for the last game ever played there. (It's now a movie theater.) All the captains of the Montreal Canadiens skated out, including Richard. Richard got a fifteen minute standing ovation. (Or as it's called in French, "un standing ovation.") For Ken, the driving question was: how did a guy who could barely talk become such a spokesman for his people that he got a standing ovation fifty years after he stopped playing hockey?

There was some mild producer bashing. (Q. Why don't producers take the Métro? A. Because you have to pay cash.) And a few warnings about making sure you have a good -- and clear -- relationship with your director. ("The moment a director sits down next to a screenwriter, he thinks he's screenwriting.")

They discussed research. Most of the panelists do lots of research. But Joanne admitted that doing too much can be a trap; and Pierre Szalowski said he only does research when he needs to know something specific; otherwise the research can take over the story. In Ken's case writing MAURICE RICHARD, there was a press conference announcing he was starting the project, so when he went to cafes to write on his laptop, he'd often get some friendly advice from random strangers about what historical event he definitely had to include in the script.

(Boy, a press conference announcing that a screenwriter has been hired to write a biopic. Imaginez-vous ça, vous autres canadiens!)

Joanne mentioned that she deals with notes by imagining the audience. If she's getting notes that don't sound right, she tries to figure out what her imaginary audience would think of the movie if she took the note. If the imaginary audience doesn't like the revised movie, she doesn't take the note.

Thanks for the neat seminar, SARTEC!

Labels:

1 Comments:

The idea of writing one line that describes the whole movie (what i call a premise) before writing the film is something very helpful.

I found that ever since I started doing that, my writing went so much smoother because I knew what my movie was about in it's most basic form.

By the way I LOVE La Grande Seduction. It's probably my favorite movie to come out of Quebec!

By Blogger Nick Seguin, at 10:28 AM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.