So last time I was here I was talking about the current business of screenwriting, and how my attempts to self promote to circumvent the new model had backfired, and people had…varied reactions to it.
This time I thought I’d give you advice that might actually help you, without bumming you out.
I’m forever asked “how do you write so much,” “how do you make yourself sit down to write,” “what is your writing schedule,” all the basic questions screenwriters ask because they want to see how it lines up against what they’re already doing. I never really have good answers; I don’t have a writing schedule, I procrastinate as much as you do, I just write when I want to write.
But something that occurred to me yesterday, that I haven’t really seen in any study guides or “screenwriting advice” books or blogs, and I think it could actually help you.
And that is: make stuff.
Super Mario World
By Max Landis
The “Mario Brothers” Franchise from Nintendo
Click To Download The Script
The most difficult part about having a mood disorder is acknowledging that, no matter how vehemently you feel something, it could be wrong. I’ve met many people who aren’t able to recognize this aspect, and get swept in their tides, constantly sad or overjoyed or angry. It’s the annoying waiting game that tricks people; the emotions are so strong that they feel they have to act RIGHT NOW or all is lost, but the truth is, those emotions are rarely appropriate in scale, and the longer you wait, and refuse to indulge them, the more they shrink. It’s hard not to stew. It’s hard not to go around and around. It’s hard to not to blame everyone but yourself. It’s hard to see clearly.
That’s the fucker of having any form of bipolar, losing your subjectivity. Being convinced. That’s the part you have to beat.
Originally Tweeted From @uptomyknees
I said that I’m a ride for my motherfucking parents,
Most likely I’m a die with my finger on the trigger
I’ve been grinding outside, all day with my parents
And I ain’t going in, unless I’m with my parents
My parents, my parents
My parents, my parents (My motherfucking parents!)
My parents, my parents (My parents, my parents)
My parents, my parents Continue Reading →
This short post is made up of a collection of thoughts originally posted on Max’s Twitter account.
People endlessly talk about “tone” and “internal logic” in script development, and for good reason. You see, suspension of disbelief, ie, the audiences’ willingness to sit down and engage with your story, relies on “immersion.” Anything that reminds the audience too sharply that they’re sitting and watching a movie is bad; even fourth wall stuff is dangerous.
Your story needs to have internal logic strong enough that it isn’t questioned by most viewers. Questions break disbelief suspension. Granted, every movie has different thresholds of disbelief. You can’t compare Toy Story to Die Hard, or Die Hard to Saving Private Ryan. But once you establish a premise, you have to back it up. Some scenes can’t just randomly be surreal, you can’t “do whatever you want.” Almost every note you get as a writer, the good ones, are about tightening the logic of your movie. Believe me, tone is hard. The second your audience is asking WHY the moon makes the man turn into a werewolf, you done fucked up.