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    #21
    Senior Member ChrisPrine's Avatar
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    Agree with El Director. I think you'll just learn a lot by going through the process. I haven't made a feature myself, but I've always learned and gotten better when writing and producing any sort of film: shorts, series, etc.
    So go ahead and write a treatment or outline for the idea that you have.
    Latest project: Twenty Million People, a romantic comedy feature film
    Escape Pod Films


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    #22
    Senior Member Jordan Scott Price's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Director View Post
    Dude, I checked out you're youtube. For a 16 year old, I'm impressed man! At 16 I was still playing with VHS and tape to tape editing. You're shooting HD, editing on a computer, and adding effects/grading. You're way ahead of where I was! I say go shoot the movie. Maybe it turns out well, maybe it doesn't. But you will have finished a movie (something many people can't say) and you will have learned so much that your second will be that much better. Keep it up!
    Words of wisdom.



    @OP:

    I say this with all the sincerity I can muster: Kill your babies.

    Take your script/story/summary/collection of notes made in a college ruled journal. List every idea, every cool scene, every character, every fight scene, every cool slug of dialogue on one document. Print out this document.

    Lay it down before you. It is not your work; it is some newbie to the process. Think of yourself now as an editor - any kind of literature editor - in a position where if you do not seriously clean up this literature that has been put in front of you, you will lose your job. Everything is riding on this.

    Now take a pen of your favorite color. Mark a single line through every cliche, every cheap bit of dialogue, and every scene that does not drive the heart of your story. How will you know what qualifies as one of these above? You will defend it. Vociferously. You will find a way to make that cliche work, that bit of dialogue acceptable, or that aimless but cool scene slide into your feature/short.

    Those little pieces you defend are the junk that should be cut. You know why you defend them? Because it's your writing. It's your hard work. Why on earth could something that you poured your time and energy into be a cliche or just plain wrong for cinema? Because you are exposed to cinema and television all the time; so inevitably something from your moviegoing or primetime experiences is going to seep through. Great writers find the means to kick these seemingly tenable cliches to the curb.

    Stephen King, for example, takes his freshly finished manuscripts, locks them in a drawer, and gives his wife the key. He does not open that drawer for at least 3 months. He is tempted, but he keeps busy with the next novel. When 3 months pass, he takes out the manuscript and starts to read it as the first stage of editing. This is a brilliant technique and exercise of discipline: When you put time between you and your written works, you stop defending those scenes, those cliches, because they are out of sight, out of mind. When the time passes and you start to revise, the words sound like your voice, but the junk and the cliches stand out like sore thumbs, making them easy to remove. You will catch yourself wondering, "How did I write something so predictable?"

    What is left is the cream of the crop.

    For some of us, time is a luxury. In order to write great scripts, we have to kill our babies. Those wonderful scenes, those highly quotable, spiffy bits of dialogue or intense yelling matches we feed our characters, those cliches have to meet their makers - us. Sometimes they are great scenes, or even great characters, but they're out of place in your script, so either they go or your film will sink. It is an extremely hard discipline to adopt, but it is the hallmark of great writers. The sooner one can learn to kill his/her babies, the better that writer's work will be.

    I offer you that little piece of advice that is certainly not mine, but it was preached to me years ago, and it still took a long time to sink in.

    Find out what kind of story you really want to tell. Is it a boy-girl drama? Is it a sci-fi suspense thriller? You mentioned you want to make something like Inception. I want to caution you that the ideas you explore should always originate from your head, never from other films. If you find yourself constantly reverting to your favorite scenes in Inception for inspiration, paddle away from that shore by going back to the heart of your story and underlining what makes it unique and entertaining. If you can build off of that, you'll row your own boat instead of riding the wake of your favorite films. (Apparently I'm in a maritime mood.)


    Like others, I do encourage you to shoot, shoot, shoot. The script is immensely important, but having the visual element down makes you that much more capable and versatile a filmmaker.

    Good luck!


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    #23
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    great advice man. although I find the 3 month period a little lengthy. It'll be something like a week. But yeah it'll work just the same.
    Funny thing is that I just read stephen king's on writing for school. It was great.

    I'll do my best to gather up the strength to kill my precious babies. :'(

    haha, thanks!


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    #24
    Ban Me Please! insanityfw's Avatar
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    Ben. I say go for it.

    Keep it simple. Emotional, but that's not to say it shouldn't be "layered".

    I should be telling you it's a sucky idea, because I've been working on something similar for about two years now...but mine is from a much older person's perspective. And with the way things are going you'll get there before I do, so I say give 'em hell and give it your all.

    Best of luck,

    Jason
    I know how to do it. You just wouldn't know it from the way that I do it.


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    #25
    Senior Member WildTrackDave's Avatar
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    Man, jscottprice. You just blew my mind! I've been toying around this idea for a feature for quite some time, and I've worked and worked at it, letting it sit, changing little things, and haven't been able to make it at all acceptable. And I just realized through reading your post that it may be because I've been holding onto my babies. Throw out the ideas and concepts I had that started the whole thing and let it just become it's own monster. Try to rework it from the ground up from a more "natural" angle, than the original one, and see if that helps.

    Sorry, just a self-realization that I thought I'd share with everyone else.

    Ben. I just checked out your youtube channel too, and I agree, you have a pretty good start for only being 16. I couldn't use AE to create some of those things to save my life. Good work and good luck. Once this whole thing gets moving, make a thread in the user films section and keep us updated on how everything progresses.
    Canon 5D Mark II | Canon XHA1 | Letus Ultimate | Canon FD/EF lenses | Sennheiser ME66

    Next project: Crime of Passion


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    #26
    Senior Member Jordan Scott Price's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenHughesStudios View Post
    Funny thing is that I just read stephen king's on writing for school.
    I got that as a Christmas gift when I was in the 9th grade.

    Kinda changed my life.


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    #27
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    jscottprice, agree with your post.+1.

    A ten minute film may be a good start to learning the skills you need.
    Three months at 16 seems like an eternity, but it really isn't. At 16/17 I did some producing at the cable access channel, adapted a stage play for a directing class in high school theatre, made super 8 films, acted in plays/videos, studied and read. At nineteen /twenty I started to write a new play everyday (might have been three pages or it might have beeen thirty pages). That went on for years. You are looking at thousands of hours of focused study to become a solid writer /director. I don't claim to be either but I have written with one nominated screenwriter I also spent almost a decade writing in house for a pretty big name actor . I didn't get rich, I didn't get famous but I learned a lot and have gotten better from the experience. I mention this not to brag because I don't think of it as an achievement, more of the process. It may take years of dedicated work to do quality work (and I always question whether I'm writing sh** at any given time). If you're having a difficult time coming up with something you think might make a brilliant film everyday you may need to work harder. Once you write a script sit down and have actors read your work out loud and see if it's a quality piece, I hope it is. You'll see most of the flaws quickly. Good luck and sorry for the long winded post.


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    #28
    Senior Member Jordan Scott Price's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenHughesStudios View Post
    although I find the 3 month period a little lengthy. It'll be something like a week. But yeah it'll work just the same.!
    The time you put between yourself and your first revision should be directly proportional to the length of the writing itself. A complete novel (over 144,000 words) should probably be 3 months. A 10-page script? Maybe two weeks.

    I write scholarship essays at the rate of about 2 a week now (I need money, who doesn't). When I finish the first draft for one, I leave it in my desk for 3-5 days (if <1000 words) or 5-10 days (if >1000 words). My scripts tend to idle for about 2 weeks or so.

    This is just to show that any and all writing can be handled with this approach (unless you are a journalist for a newspaper and have already sold your soul to the devil).

    You have to find what's comfortable for you. It can take some time. But if I knew at 16 what I know now...


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    #29
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    I just killed one of my babies. This baby wasn't so hard to kill though.

    It was the abusive father.

    bye bye abusive father.

    The problem is now just Josh's death, not josh's death and the abusive father.


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