Been learning a lot as I trudge along in my screenwriting career. I say “trudge” because it’s a slow climb. I’m not writing the big blockbusters, nor am I cashing those fat checks. I’m not even stacking that coin. What I am doing is writing smaller shows for colleagues and developing my voice as a screenwriter. I’m trying things out to see what works and what doesn’t work. In screenwriting terms: total n00b. One of the major things this n00b has discovered is that specificity is important. No, seriously. I mean it. IMPORTANT in all-caps, bolded, and underlined. May seem like this is a no-brainer, and it kind of is a no-brainer except for the fact that the “generic stuff” still makes its way out into the hands of readers, execs, and even two prolific screenwriting podcasters. A recent episode of theirs made me think about specificity and how to get back into the mindset of putting things on the page boldly and with purpose.
I don’t really remember when I began challenging myself to watch more films each year. It may have started when I was going to school in Chicago, or it might have been during my earlier days back in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Each year I would keep a general idea of the films I had seen and try to best it, whether by a few or by a wide margin. One year I decided to see all the Oscar contenders alongside of the films I was currently watching, something that took my movie-watching goals to the next level. The next year I added films that weren’t in my genres of interest. The year after that films during a certain decade….
I think you kind of get the idea.
Fast forward to 2011, the year I decided to keep a running tally of all the films I had seen. I had been watching my wife populate her movie list for quite some time and had wanted to do something similar, if a little less strict. What I came up with was my 2011 in Film page, where I put the posters up for all the films I had seen in 2011, dividing them by New Releases or New to Me. I also divided them up by Loves, Likes and Dislikes to give anyone who perused the page a basic idea of where I stood on the film.
Fast forward even further to the present and we’ve got this post: My 2011 in Film. I saw A LOT of movies last year and there were a few that REALLY stood out to me.
I’d like to take full credit for this idea, but I can’t. All the credit goes to my girlfriend Jandy, who thought this up quite some time ago. The premise is simple: we make each other watch films that have impacted us in some way and then post our thoughts on them in a joint blog series. Since we’ve been making each other watch films already, adding the blogging element was an easy next step. We’re still working out the format some in terms of who posts when or who goes first, but the general idea will be to have these posts on both of our sites.
Movie: Wayne’s World
Info: 1992 USA. Director: Penelope Sheeris. Starring: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Tia Carrere, Rob Lowe.
Date and Method Watched: December 3rd, at home via Zune rental on Xbox Live
The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here to see all 50 questions in a nice and organized list. It’s such a pretty list.