Last week, I told you all about the distinction between love and money in the context of film making; I believe, I was clear enough in my opinion that loving what you do is the first thing in film making; having said that, I will like to talk to you about “Your Story”.
I get tired when I see script writers come up with stories that are unrealistic and are not plausible. Many aspiring and young film makers usually think that film making is just about aesthetics. One thing we should all know is that we can never make films without a story. So, if the story you write is like a foundation to the building of a great film, why write a story that will not be believable and worthwhile? As a script writer, it is of utmost importance to carry out extensive researches on the subject matter you are writing about, gather enough facts on the subject and ask relevant questions before you commence writing, you should state/ reveal fact in your writing. One might argue that one doesn’t need to be realistic when writing a SciFi script. To an extent yes, but when you decide to separate the characters life from the setting of the story, which can be whatever planet the writer deem fit, we see that nothing changes in the emotional experiences of the characters, the only thing that changes is the setting. Meryl Streep says “I am curious about people, that is the essence of my acting. I’m interested in what it would be like to be you” in her words, we see that acting involves putting on a real life character so that we can easily convince the audience with the story we tell. A good story will have an effect on an audience with similar characterization and experiences easily than a bad story. So one thing to ask yourself as a script writer is if the audience that will see the final output of your writing will be able to relate with whatever idea you have come up with. If no one can relate with your story right from the first to second draft, it is wise for you to start making an adjustment to your writing and the characters roles, actions and reactions.
According to Rita C Onwura, a Nigerian veteran script writer, she stated in an interview that if the first three pages of your script doesn’t thrill your reader/audience, then you have failed as a writer. Even if you are writing a comedy piece, your characters must have elements of realism in them. One question you should always ask yourself when you take a quest to write a script is “how can I make my story believable enough to convince my audience?”
The story you write, should be able to educate, inform, entertain and excite your audience. One thing I do whenever I write is to send to trusted friends that will help me critique it and share their opinion, with that I get to see others perspective about the story and I make necessary adjustment. I know your first story might not be the best, mine wasn’t better than the worst story line i thought I had seen but it was worth trying, when you are done writing then you can start thinking of shooting.
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