February 22, 2009

Screenwriting – A Different Perspective

The Omaha Film Festival started this weekend. Once again I was blessed with the opportunity to drive some of the speakers. I first picked up Daryl Sabara and his mother Sandy. Initially I struggled a little for conversation and the majority of questions I asked were answered by his mother. He was very polite. The conversation became very lively when I brought up the Oscars and it was interesting to hear their thoughts on it. Some of our thoughts were very similar.

Then I picked up Neil Krepela, ASC. I was also driving one of the directors of one of the shorts, Cosmos Kiindarius. While driving Cosmos to pick up some water and fruit, I had a very interesting conversation with him about screenwriting and as a writer, allowing the director to take my script and change the wording. I think I struggle in some several areas when it comes to this form of entertainment. One, it is so different than writing at story and while I am focusing on writing, I wonder – ‘do I want to learn a new format?’ Two, would I allow someone to take my story and convert it to a screenplay just to get a movie made of one of my stories? And three, how much pride in my work do I have that I think someone might not be able to alter it a little?

It’s been interesting because I have a friend who is a screenwriter who has offered to convert my stories in the past, but I wanted to do that so they would be mine. Now I wonder, can I let them go enough to work with him and trust him to stay true to my story? I do, I think and I will be talking with him soon.

A theme that continually seemed to come up this weekend was the importance of allowing the different areas to work together. When talking with Cosmos, I was catching that there is more respect to the story if it is a director who has praticipated in all aspects of a film. He clarified further to say that it is better to have done them all at different times – directing another writer’s screenplay, having a director direct your screenplay. It sounded like then there is more awareness of the integrity of the story.

I have learned and experienced a lot already this weekend, and it is only day two of the film festival. I plan to write more later.


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