Writing for ACTORS

I am watching Tom Hank’s movies for a while now. Needless to say that he is an extraordinary Actor. The range of emotions he shows is outstanding. Every Character he portrays has an uniqueness to it. Always, he appears fresh and brilliant in every single Film, that you can watch his films again and again…

Just watched ‘The Terminal‘ again after a long time and still I got fascinated with his, Mr. Narvoski. He sneaks into the skin of the character so smoothly that you get attracted towards him and start feeling for him.

Now, I believe that he must have some thoughts behind choosing a Film. He needs to feel the connection with the character before he signs the dotted lines I guess. He has a taste of his own. I think, before zeroing on any particular Script, he must be going through the emotional journey of the given character. And for that Tom Hanks must have his own philosophy… for Films, for Life, for everything..!

Not all but a few successful Actors/Actresses do choose the films on such basis I believe. And I guess that’s the trick for a Writer to learn and understand before approaching any Actor/Actress.

Many Writers write the Scripts keeping some Actor in mind. That pays off some times, but only if you can make that Actor connect with your Story, with your Character. Convincing an Actor or Actress becomes easy when you know what they think and how they think and why they think so… If you study the Actor you desire to play the specific role, you will find they searching for something. They always want particular things from a Character written for them. That Character could be anybody, a Joker, a Villain, a Hero, a Murderer, a Policeman, a Politician, a Teacher, a Rapist, a Lawyer, a Soldier or even a Janitor. You must give them exactly what they want from a character.

And I guess that’s the trick. I urge all my Writer-Friends to go through this process if they are willing to write a Script or a Character keeping a particular Actor or Actress in mind.

Give them a GOAL, raise the Stakes for them and then give them a time limit to fulfill the task, create the Urgency for the character. Such gripping flow will catch their imagination and they will agree with your Character and sign the Script…Trust me they will..!

It all started with, ‘WHAT IS STORY?’

This is something I came up with when I actually started thinking about the Film Script Writing. And it all started with the basic question – “What is Story?”

Trust me, I am running Script Writing Courses and have faced many students with this basic question asking on the very first day. I had to find out simplest way of telling them…in their own simple words. Here what I came up with…

 

Keep Writing...

Keep Writing…

So what is a Story?

Story is ‘WHAT’.

And then what is Screenplay?

Screenplay is ‘HOW’…described in Audio-Video Medium and told or written in a visual format.

Then what about Book Writing? How do you define it? What is the difference between Book and Cinema?

Book is an ‘Individual Impression’ of ‘Personal Relations’. The Story happens in the mind of the Protagonist, mostly.

And

Cinema is an ‘Expression’ of ‘Collective Assumptions’. The Story happens around the Protagonist, which he is a part of.

 

Now, the LOGLINE:

Logline is the Story told in 3 to 5 lines. Generally, the Story told in 3 lines qualifies to be called a ‘STORY’.

Line 1: Who is this Story about?

Line 2: What happened to him/her/them?

Line 3: What is the result of the Situation or Crisis he/she/they went through?

Once you write these 3 Lines or LOGLINE, you are ready to start writing the Screenplay in a proper Structure.

We will talk about it later………

Keep Smiling..! Keep Writing..!

People are Stories!

 

Saturday was a travel day for me. In some respects, it was quite unusual, beginning with the news of sad demise of my friend, ending with my small accident in Pune. In one other way, however, it was utterly typical: I was surrounded by people every step along the way. Almost every time I travel by bus — meaning the auto-rickshaw / Taxi or city bus from home, standing in line at the Bus Stand, the bus travel to another city, and again the auto-rickshaw / Taxi or city bus to the place of visit or residence — I am reminded of this fact: People are Stories!

You meet a lot of people with different backgrounds and stories, especially in a Bus Travel, every time. Yesterday I heard stories about lost airplane tickets, a family reunion, an illicit affair, getting fired from a job, the birth of a baby, the death of a family dog and the impact on the owners, my friend’s chaotic trip to Japan. And those are just the ones I can dredge up from my memories, plenty more I heard in passing.

As writers, we search for stories…or at least should be doing so. I plead with my college students, “Please, when you are out in public, at least once a day, turn off all your social media, and pay attention to the people around you. Every single person who passes your way could be the story you were meant to write, the story that could become the basis of a Script or a Novel that could Change Your Life.”

So the next time you’re travelling or standing in the line at the grocery store…riding the bus or local train…attending a concert or sporting event…going for a walk in the park… anything that causes you to intersect with people, instead of seeking refuge in iTunes or flipping through tweets or liking & commenting on Facebook on your cellphone…

Stop. Look. Listen.

Because People Are Stories..!

[P.S.: They are also dialogue.]

Our TIME is Our LIFE!

On his deathbed Alexander the Great summoned his generals and told them his three ultimate wishes:

1. The best doctors should carry his coffin.
2. The wealth he had accumulated (money, gold, precious stones) should be scattered along the way to his burial.
3. His hands should be left hanging outside the coffin for all to see.

Surprised by these unusual requests, one of his generals asked Alexander to explain. Here is what he said: “I want the best doctors to carry my coffin to demonstrate that in the face of death, even the best doctors in the world have no power to heal. I want the road to be covered with my treasure so that everybody sees that the wealth acquired on earth, stays on earth. I want my hands to swing in the wind so that people understand that we come to this world empty-handed and we leave empty-handed after the most precious treasure of all is exhausted — TIME.”

Time is our most precious treasure because it is limited. We can produce more wealth, but we cannot produce more time. The ultimate mystery: None of us knows how much time we really have.

When we give someone our time, we actually give a portion of our life that we will never get back.

Our TIME is Our LIFE!

Our TIME is our LIFE!

Our TIME is our LIFE!