09 June, 2007

Syd Field, screenwriting guru, interview

Shooting People Podcasts

Syd Field (mp3):

"I was in Poland giving a talk to about 200 students at the Polish Film School.

I asked "How many of you want to write?" And most of the room raised their hand.

I asked, "How many of you have written two or more screenplays?" Not one person raised their hand.

"How many of you have written one screenplay?" Three people raised their hand.

I said, "You say you wanna be writers but why aren't you writing?".

"Well, nobody is paying me."

A writer writes. If you don't take the time to practice and hone your own skills, it ain't there. You've got to sit down and spend time learning your craft, and believe me it is a craft, that occasionally rises to the level of art - as Bill Goldman says. You've got a story to tell, you tell the story."


MaryAn Batchellor said...

I think that's the point... so many wannabe writers don't have a story to tell. They just wanna say something.

Pillock said...

Something I've noticed--the more you write, the better ideas you come up with. So, it's not just a matter of learning to execute your stories, though that's a big part of it. Writing stimulates the story gland itself. You don't use up your ideas by writing them. You generate more, and better.

Robin Kelly said...

Maryan, I suppose the trick is marrying your passions with a good story

Pillo, I agree. I also think that you can't rest on your laurels having written a lot previously and think you've learnt enough. It's like a muscle that needs to be exercised to be more effective. You never stop learning and improving.