Welcome back, reader!
Not much has changed since my last post; my script is still 10 pages too long, the dialogue still needs finetuning, and the story’s pacing needs to be sped up. So while I make those edits, I’ve also been working on my final presentation. I want to keep the presentation a bit of a surprise (I’m very proud of it), but in this blog post, I want to talk more about what I’ve learned throughout the senior project process.
1. Screenwriting is absolutely not as easy as I thought it was
When I first started screenwriting over a year ago, I thought screenwriting was just writing whatever Jane Austen wrote but in modern language, but there is so much nuance to screenwriting that I’m still learning. Screenwriters need to have character arcs in mind need to start hinting at that change so the story is well-tied together; need to develop clear characters so their voices shine in the dialogue, not the writer’s; need to consider practical limitations such as time, production costs, and marketability of the story; and more. It’s a serious juggling act. But when things work out, when you accidentally hint at growth, when you write a cute scene, when you foreshadow; IT FEELS GREAT. The writing process is such a tedious one, but when things work out, they work out fantastically.
2. I’ve become more confident in my writing
When I first came up with the idea of “P&P,” I envisioned a modern take on Pride & Prejudice that was a scene-for-scene adaptation, which unfortunately resulted in a rather boring and unoriginal first draft pilot. But with all the work I’ve put into developing my characters, finding each one’s voice, and just writing dialogue for them every day, I can read a real difference in my writing. It feels more precise like I have a better command of what I want to say, and I think working with Roslind to create a unique story has allowed to me to feel like I’m creating my own work rather than just adapting Jane Austen’s. And even though I’m on my 6th or 7th draft, I’m inching more and more towards a story of my own.
3. I want to pursue my interest in film
Working on my own little film project has definitely given me an appreciation for all aspects of filmmaking; from costume design to directing, I’m wholly absorbed by the world of filmmaking. I highly recommend checking out SNL’s webseries Creating Saturday Night Live (link) and prepare to be blown away by the amount of effort it takes to create an hour-long sketch comedy show. But out of all the work that goes into creating a film, I think screenwriting is the most interesting (definitely biased) it’s just pure creation. It’s making a unique story, creating compelling characters, world-building; it’s such an amazing part of the filmmaking process and it’s something I hope to continue even well beyond May. Whether that be taking classes on screenwriting at UCLA or just continuing to work on my pilot, screenwriting is going to be a part of my life.
That’s all for this week, reader! Swing by next week for my final (*gasp*) blog post and a sneak peek of my final product!
This week, I’ve been listening to Leo Kalyan’s new song “the road”. Leo Kalyan, a Muslim, Indian-Briton, writes music about colonialism, being gay in the Asian community, and being an alienated group within an alienated group within an alienated group. His music a mix of Bollywood and Western music and I LOVE IT. “the road,” according to Kalyan, ‘is about it’s about trying to heal after discovering smth you believed in isn’t what u thought it was. [He] wrote the lyrics to conjure up the idea of a relationship where you’ve been let down by your partner, but it’s also about [his] relationship with a society that’s increasingly hateful towards minorities.’ He continues to say, ‘all of us- queer ppl & ppl of colour- we’ve grown up investing in a world that seems to be turning its back on us & “the road” is a song [about] mourning what we lost, but hoping that trust can be rebuilt.’ (via Twitter)