Thursday, 24 July 2014

Dustin Lance Black shares his outlining method

Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar) takes viewers inside his creative process in an explanation of his approach to outlining a script.


1 comment:

Kathy Smart said...

This passionate description of how Black writes screenplays is a must for any writer. I was amazed by his paper-based, concrete methods, but all the same recognised every painful and joyous step.

Black says a film is not a story of what happened, it is an impression of what happened. He believes there are still new stories to tell and new characters to create. The secret of originality is specificity.

Black distils his stories to necessary cinematic moments. He cuts 90% of his prepared, researched scenes to do this. He then reads over his scene cards again and again and fixes scenes that make him bored, stuck, or which cause logical problems or repetition. When he finally sits down to write, the first draft is like regurgitation as he is so familiar with his story.

After the first draft is written, it needs to be shaped and this takes days and weeks and very long writing hours.

Considering what Dustin Black has already achieved, every writer should take note of his method. I found this short absolutely inspiring and an answer to every cynic who knows it all. Watch it if you are having trouble getting into your writing.