“Writing Movies and Documentaries, 101”

The Sand Creek Massacre Movie Poster

Writing of any form requires
study and research. The strength
of any type of writing resides in
the application of what one learns
and research, and then, applies it
by writing, writing, and more writing.
Each time one writes something, they
become a better writer.

It is rare a writer is hired to write a
documentary film. Many documentary films
do not have a script. Those that do, are
usually written by the director/producer
of the film. If a documentary script is written,
then you must write a double column script.

In a double column script you write the
visuals/images in the left column and the
audio/sound in the right column. While
the double-column script can help nail
down the exact shots blended with the
sound, the downside is that it places the
filmmaker in a corner. This corner is
a place that can limit the filmmaker’s
creativity, and virtually eliminate a cinema
verite approach to making documentaries.

As for feature films, short films, etc., one
can learn how to write screenplays through a
variety of ways. No approach to learning how
to write screenplays is inscribed in marble. It
is dependent upon the individual writer. Some take
screenwriting classes. Others study screenwriting
books. Some work with a script consultant until
they have their screenplay market ready. And others
wing it. And still others, utilize a combination of all
of the above.

You can determine what works best for you by knowing
who you are, how you best learn, why you want to write
documentaries, features, etc., and what audience you
want to attract with your work, and why. Answering
these questions will give you insight into what to
write and the approach to take in order how to learn
to write. That is the Zen of Writing.

The fine point of it is if you want to write movies
and/or documentaries, be sure you utilize more
than your passion for the subject matter unless
you are writing, simply, for the joy of writing.
Study and research Hollywood box hits. Study
and research successful documentary films.
Make certain you know, before you begin
writing, what you need to do in order to
write a successful script. Otherwise, you
will enter the world of writer who jumps
in with both feet without being aware of
what the reality of the business. In turn, this
can cause you to go on a journey into
insanity.

Donald L. Vasicek
Writer/Filmmaker/Consultant
Olympus Films+, LLC
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net

A favorite Zen story

Favorite Zen StoryA favorite Zen story in which three men are observing a flag fluttering in the breeze: One man says, The flag is moving. The second man says, The wind is moving. The third man says, You are both wrong, it is your mind that is moving.

If you look inside of yourself, you will see the information you need to be successful. This information contains everything you need to be successful. The secret to tapping into this information is contained in Writing/Filmmaking Whispering.  How so, you ask?

Look inside of yourself and you will see the answer. This is the secret to successful writing and/or film-making. Look inside of yourself and you will see the secret.

Why is it that Steven Spielberg is a successful filmmaker? He has the ability to look inside of himself and see the secret.

Why is Stephen King a successful novelist? He has the ability to look inside of himself and see the secret.

What do you seek when you write a letter, or make a corporate video? Do you look outside or inside of your mind and heart?When you look inside of your mind and heart you enhance your ability to see the secret to being successful in your undertaking.When you look outside of your mind and heart, you have no ability to see the secret to being successful.What rings true in each one of us is our ability to think and feel.

When we tap into those senses to write a screenplay or make a documentary film, we look inside of ourselves. We see the secret to successfully write the screenplay or making the documentary film successful.You might ask, but I do that and I see nothing.

The reason you see nothing is because you allow yourself to avoid seeing the secret. You allow yourself to avoid seeing the secret because you do not know how to see the secret.With Writing/Filmmaking Whispering, you will see the secret. You need simply to contact me.