So I've been writing my next project for quite a while now. It is a web series pilot. The current draft is 27pgs long. It is a sci-fi/drama named Transmission. So while I'm struggling to stay confident in this massive undertaking I thought I should write about it.
My writing process
To start off let's talk about my writing process. My process begins with me thinking outside, pacing endlessly around the yard, and ripping apart leaves. This is what the Coen Brothers call, couch time. This is where I play the entire movie in my head. Every shot, every emotional beat goes through my mind. I fix plot holes I notice, and sometimes linger off on what gear I would like to use for a specific shot.
Next, I come in and start writing. I usually get through a draft pretty easily. It's usually the next couple of drafts that kill me. That's when I start noticing plot holes and start telling myself that I'm not talented and that this idea sucks. I usually write about six half finished drafts.
Finally give up and go to some friends for help on ideas. They usually can't help me and I go into a state of writer's block. After sometime an idea sparks, and I do yet another draft.
Around two more drafts later... I finish and we begin planning.
Now I also can't just write off of my own thoughts.... While I'm writing sometimes I pull up music (for this project it was usually INTERSTELLAR's incredible soundtrack) and watch movies and shows for inspiration. I got a lot of inspiration from The X Files, U.F.Oh Yeah, Real Gone, Interstellar, and True Detective.
I also read some screenplays before I started: True Detective Ep 1: The Long Red Dark & Lost Ep 1: Pilot
Now don't be mislead, I didn't read these all the way through... I usually read scripts for formating and storytelling methods. I would suggest checking out simplyscripts.com for looking up your favorite movies in screenplay form.
Methods I would like to try
There are some writing tricks I haven't tried yet that I most likely will try on my next project.
I would love to try to use Evernote (or some other note taking app) to build myself a reference board. Now my idea of a reference board is that it's aboard cluttered with inspiration. I'm talking stills from movies with the same mood that you're going for and specific music tracks to help you stay connected to the script.
What's awesome about reference boards is that you can share with your crew... So every body is on the same page, making the same movie. They know exactly what you're going for because they can see it and hear it.
CO - WRITING
I would also like to try writing with somebody else, and collaborating with them. I already do collaborate with people on the story... But to have some actually writing the script with you would be awesome.
WRITING NOLAN STYLE
Now let's be honest. I love Christopher Nolan... He definitely competes with being my favorite director... I love his movies but what I most admire about him is his ambition and how he works.
For his latest work (and my favorite of his) INTERSTELLAR, he had Hans Zimmer (who happens to be my favorite composer) start writing the music for the film before he even finished the SCRIPT!!! Tell me that's not innovative. The music was ingrained in the story every step of the way. It sure paid off too!
Everyone has their own method of writing and they are all (usually) unique and good. As a writer I steal a lot of my techniques from film GODs I look up too (such as Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams, and David O. Russel, just to name a few). That is my goal with this post. I just want to share with you how I write so maybe you can steal a little something from me.
Either way, there is something to be learned from all writing methods.