Production-Now.com Media Production Mentoring

Online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.

6.12.2008

You Know Your Story

...but does anyone else?

I helped one of my mentees work out some story problems with a very ambitious short that he's working on. I also went to Ross to look for a costume for my upcoming shoot.

The difficulty with editing your own scripts, at least from what I've found, is that it is hard to read it as others do. You know your characters, why you like them, and what is compelling about your tale. But often that does not come across in your script.

I wrote a script in college that I really liked. But then a girl told me that she really didn't like my main character. I couldn't figure out why. My character was awesome. But then she pointed out that the guy never did anything. Well, sure, he was part of my storyline, but he didn't do anything awesome.

I realized then that I knew why my main character was awesome because I had created him, but I hadn't shown the audience any of that. So, instead of going into his backstory and all that--a la Phantom of the Opera... which was lame in my opinion--I wrote a new opening scene. It rocked. My character rocked. And it required that I change how my movie ended.

All for the better.

So, when you come up with a story idea, it's good to get feedback. I know it feels like people are just calling you names and "hatin'" on your story, but they are probably just confused and missing something that you have failed to tell them.

It's the same problem with proof-reading your own material: You know what it's supposed to say, and so you don't realize the word is missing.

Or is it just me?

~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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