By Jemma Burgess
For the writers.
Name a character from the 2009 film Avatar? It’s the most grossing film ever so it shouldn’t be that hard to do… and yet it really is. Anyway, that was completely irrelevant on what I to say so back to the scab.
So during D&AD, I had to write copy for my video. This is slightly terrifying for me as I’m not that confident putting pen to paper. However, it made me think of before SCA where I had this mad idea to apply for NFTS as a scriptwriter. No idea why as it caused me so much anxiety. But before I applied I did a couple of master classes with David Mamet ( Online. You get a free trial for loads of masterclasses and then just cancel on the seventh day. ) and I thought I would share a few little nuggets I learn from them. Might be useful. Might not. You decide.
David Mamet. ( When talking about writing drama)
– The end is going to be surprising and inevitable. This makes me think of
the big idea in advertising. It should be unexpected but true.
– Your job is to tell a story.
– KEEP THE STORY SIMPLE.
– The audience has to be able to follow the story in order to be misled. We listen to a story so we can jump ahead. Each scene is a simple attempt to solve the problem.
– Write the best play you can and anything that isn’t the plot throw it away. If you think that you can cut then cut right now and throw it away.
– When you can write the plot in 15 lines then you can write the story.
– Write dialogue rhythmically because human speech is rhythmic. English is the only language where the main writer is a dramatist because of the rhythm in everyday speech. The heartbeat.
-Why do people speak? To get something from one another. What does each person want? And you know why they speak.
– Draw language from different cultures. Draw language from people who can write dialogue. Education is the worst thing to happen to you.
– If you can’t pitch the movie in 3 minutes and keep their attention then no one will make the movie.
– The thinking, writing and napping are part of the process. Its thinking and worrying and wanting to kill yourselves and napping. Sometimes you just get burnt out.
– Wright with an unconscious mind. If it’s not fun for you then it’s not fun for the audience.
– ‘As you know’ is the death of drama. Don’t talk about what happened off stage. You talk to get something out of someone
– The plot is all that there is. The perfect example is a joke. There is nothing in the joke that does not tend to the punch line. If it doesn’t tend towards the punch line then take it out.
Lastly from the beautiful Ernest Hemingway himself – Writing is easy.
All you have to do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.