From Tom Benedek, my colleague and co-founder of Screenwriting Master Class:
Happy Oscars, everyone. Several speeches last night were so inspiring. The show was slow but the talent, the movies they were a part of, glittered for me. 2013 was an interesting year for movies. Some say it was a great year. I think there were too few great movies. So – let’s all write great scripts in 2014. Onward!
I just finished my own first draft of a script and am doing a scene check (and major revision) this week before I hand it in to the producers. As always, there are “issues”. Among other things, I am looking at how I structured each scene. As usual — in a few scenes there is no conflict – heavy on exposition. Occasionally, there is an abrupt shift that is disconcerting. A few times, a montage ought to be replaced. On and on.
Which brings me to Quentin Tarantino and my upcoming scene writing class. Oscar is not a fan of violent films. However, Quentin Tarantino took home his second career best screenplay Oscar last year. Tarantino is a filmmaker of great skill and audacity. He is also one of us – a wonderful screenwriter who beat the odds through his vision and skill as a storyteller, a writer of original screenplays of high caliber.
Next week, I will be running a class worth considering – a study of scene writing, exclusively using Tarantino’s recent scripts to define certain characteristics of scene structure — to celebrate, learn and re-learn a few things about writing scenes.
The one week class starts on Monday, March 10. We will be looking at Tarantino’s use of conflict, expository, flashback, indirection, subtext, all the rest of it. He speaks to the reader a lot. His movies are sometimes violent but they are also highly emotional – romantic in the way that old Hollywood action movies often are. I think it is going to be a fun and instructive class. There will be four lectures. Class members can each post a scene for feedback and a quick revision. I hope class members will also present their favorite Tarantino scenes for discussion – so we can break them down and see how and why they tick so well so often. We all may have a little bit of Tarantino in us to unchain as we write script pages.
Consider joining me for what should be a very interesting class starting next Monday, March 10.
For more information on Writing Scenes — Tarantino Study Models with Tom Benedek, go here.