Sunday 13 November 2011

Twelve screenwriting principles

Here is some excellent advice from Daniel Martin Eckhart, whose screenplay Blood Eagle has just started shooting in Hamburg.  

These wise words have been reposted in many places, but, for obvious reasons, are well worth repeating here.  


There's more to screenwriting than a few broad strokes. But if you're just starting out, then these 12 principles should give you something to hold on to, something to live by and something to grow with. Now go write!

1. Thou shalt write daily.
(You need a strong writing muscle to succeed - so exercise it.)

2. Thou shalt enjoy procrastination.
(Procrastination is life - never feel guilty about it.)

3. Thou shalt trust thy instincts.
(Learn from others but never depend on them.)

4. Thou shalt believe in thyself.
(If you don't, no one ever will.)

5. Thou shalt suck it up.
(Learn from rejection - it'll make you stronger.)

6. Thou shalt know thy world.
(Make movie history, films and scripts part of your essence.)

7. Thou shalt network.
(You'll never have a career if you don't get out there.)

8. Thou shalt be happy.
(If writing doesn't make you happy, stop.)

9. Thou shalt be generous.
(Spread your ideas, don't hide them.)

10. Thou shalt be a craftsman/woman.
(It may become art in time.)

11. Thou shalt deliver on time.
(Never miss a deadline, not even one you gave yourself.)

12. Thou shalt collaborate.
(You'll never make a film happen on your own)


Kathy said...

These are excellent. Number 6. "Thou shalt know thy world.
(Make movie history, films and scripts part of your essence)" is not always seen but I like the way it says it is not enough to act like an artist. One has to study one's art, too. This blog demonstrates how eclectic the study can be.

Daniel said...

Hey Henry - thanks for posting them, sure, go ahead - may they float across the planet. I'm not surprised that these principles appear in similar form in other places, too. After all, it's common sense stuff.

One thing I've been meaning to do (and never took the time for yet), is to link each principle to a corresponding blog post. I bet I have one on each topic - wouldn't be surprised if I didn't :-)

Thanks for the Blood Eagle wishes. So far, so good. Shoot's going great, last I heard.