I got a Groupon for screenplayscripts.com's screenwriting course, and so I'm going through that right now. It's self-taught, you're just working your way through their instructions. They have exercises every once in a while, and so I figured I'd post some of my exercises here.
Exercise 1 – Using Loglines to Develop Ideas
Pick a simple core idea – perhaps a father who discovers his wife is missing – and try to create ten loglines with different goals, obstacles and protagonist flaws. Can you come up with ten fundamentally different ideas?
This one obviously resonates with me. I also like the idea of variations of the same logline, and how those can be completely different movies. So, here goes:
The Core Idea:
A girl who discovers she's the heir to the throne. After finding out that she's the heir to a mighty kingdom, a young girl must navigate the complicated politics necessary to claim her throne.When a young farmer accidentally proves her worth to the child…
Honorable Mention: To Live For
I think you could pull a lot of interesting characters out of this. Taylor is fun because she's taking such an efficient and goal-oriented approach to suicide. The idea of wanting to kill yourself but being terrified of the afterlife is, I think, really interesting, and Stella could be a lot of fun.
The other members of the suicide group, while underdeveloped in the treatment, could all be done interestingly, I think. These are all characters just filled with inherent conflict and melodrama, but in a setting that would hopefully keep things from getting too dark or over the top.
The movie opens with this guy offering the protagonist a job. He starts with the good. Sickening amounts of money. Complete healthcare. Company car, with money for gas. Even a house.
Then the bad/interesting: in exchange for all of this, he freaking owns the protagonist. He's looking for a personal assistant on steroids. He can call him at 2am because his…
I just watched the movie Interstate 60 the other day, and it sucked. Like, I don't want to be too harsh - it had a *lot* of redeeming qualities, that I'm about to talk about, but make no mistake - it really did suck. A lot of lazy writing, a lot of cliches (which I guess is lazy writing, but kinda more... rookie writing? But this guy isn't a rookie). You watch the movie, and you're like, "Holy crap, why is Gary Oldman in this? And why is James Marsden?" And you laugh that they were in such a dumb movie.
Then it keeps going, and Kurt Russel shows up. And then Chris Cooper. And you stop laughing, and start wondering what you're missing, because you're clearly missing something. Was the director some big shot or something? No, not really, though he did write the Back to the Future movies (which is why you weren't surprised when Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd were in it).
The answer is actually an interesting story, and an important lesson for w…
So I stopped doing the logline a day thing, in case you didn't notice. I meant to do a big explanation explaining that I'm comfortable with Quantity now, and I really want to focus on making Quality again (and that I really couldn't do Quality while I was doing so much Quantity), but that's old news now so sorry, I'm moving on.
I'll change the title of the blog at some point.
For now, I'm shifting to using this as sort of a writing diary. I'm gonna play around with ideas here, post my treatments here, talk out my thoughts on writing here.