Writing 101

What’s the one piece of advice I would give someone who wants to be a screenwriter?

Write.

It really is that simple. The more you write the better your writing will become. Screenwriters don’t think about being a screenwriter, they don’t dream of writing that great script someday… They Write!
In the last year I have written 18 screenplays:

  • 1 feature-length script for Dead Hunt
  • 7 episodes for The Amygdala Project
  • 4 screenplays that I have already filmed
  • 4 that are ready to be filmed
  • 1 that I am working on with another writer
  • 1 new screenplay that I started writing last night

I was also asked to write the pilot episode for a TV series. We still have to hammer out the details and sign some paperwork, but I consider it a win just to be asked to write the pilot.

If there’s such a thing as a downside to filmmaking it would be that between writing, producing, filming and editing I don’t have any time left to write new short stories or work on Dead Hunt 2. I barely have time to work on the courses I am creating. But considering how much I love filmmaking I don’t really consider that a downside.

When I am not writing I am watching how-to videos on directing, lighting, blocking and every facet of filmmaking that I can find. Like most things, if you want to learn how to do something you have to immerse yourself in it as much as you can, but keep in mind that you can only learn so much from reading and watching videos, at some point you have to put aside the manuals and just start doing it, because no one ever got wet from hearing the word water. You have to jump in.

Writers write… so start writing.

When I decided to take action and fulfill my life-long dream of being a filmmaker, one of the first books I read was “Rebel Without a Crew” by Robert Rodriquez. It’s not a how-to manual per se, but it does tell the story of how he made his feature-length movie “El Mariachi” on a shoestring budget. Whenever I am writing a new screenplay I always start with his advice of “Use what you have.”
I take stock of what I have (or can borrow) for props and locations and then I start writing.


Recommended by Kenn:

When I decided to take action and fulfill my life-long dream of being a filmmaker, one of the first books I read was “Rebel Without a Crew” by Robert Rodriquez. It’s not a how-to manual per se, but it does tell the story of how he made his feature-length movie “El Mariachi” on a shoestring budget. Whenever I am writing a new screenplay I always start with his advice of “Use what you have”  – I take stock of what I have (or can borrow) for props and locations and then I start writing.

About the book:

In Rebel Without a Crew, famed independent screenwriter and director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Spy Kids) discloses all the unique strategies and original techniques he used to make his remarkable debut film, El Mariachi, on a shoestring budget.
This is both one man’s remarkable story and an essential guide for anyone who has a celluloid story to tell and the dreams and determination to see it through.
Part production diary, part how-to manual, Rodriguez unveils how he was able to make his influential first film on only a $7,000 budget. Also included in the appendix: “The Ten Minute Film Course” a tell-all on how to save thousands of dollars on film school and teach yourself the ropes of film production, directing, and screenwriting.

Click here to order Rebel Without a Crew

 


About the Author:photo of Author, and Filmmaker Kenn Crawford

Kenn Crawford is a published songwriter, author and filmmaker from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.
Click HERE to watch his YouTube Videos