Gerald Hanks Filmography

Friday, July 2, 2021

Screenwriting Advice: How Do You Want To Do This?

“The cobbler's children have no shoes.”

Have you ever been so caught up in helping other people that you've neglected your own needs?

If you have, then you know why I haven't posted anything in the last two months.

If you haven't, then let me tell you how it feels.

In recent months, I have been working with both a major film festival and a leading script service in evaluating screenplays.

For almost the last year, I've read nearly 50 scripts a month.

The educational experience of reading hundreds of scripts over the last year has served me well as a student of the craft.

However, it doesn't leave me much time to perfect my own work in that craft.

It also hasn't left me much time to focus on creating blog posts, building a client base, or helping other writers.

This dilemma brings me to the reason I come to you today, Dearest Reader.

One of main reasons I started this blog was to share my experiences as a screenwriter with other aspiring writers.

I don't claim to be a Hollywood-level writer. Like many of you, I don't have representation, I've never written for a major studio, and I'm not hanging out with movie stars or power players.

However, I've written a few good scripts, been paid for some of them, and I've received some recognition for my work.

I might not have an Oscar on my shelf, but I know enough where I believe that I can help aspiring writers turn their stories into screenplays.

Playing A Critical Role

During the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, I discovered a YouTube show called Critical Role.

The show recently wrapped up its second “season”, a storytelling campaign that lasted for over 140 episodes stretched over 3 years.

The host and “Dungeon Master”, Matthew Mercer, describes the show as “a bunch of nerdy-ass voice actors (who) sit around and play 'Dungeons and Dragons'”.

When one of his players lands the killing blow on a fierce dragon or an evil sorcerer, he asks them a simple question:

“How do you want to do this?”

The player then improvises an account of how they envision their fatal strike landing on their formidable foes.

Mercer then acts out the scenario, much to the delight of the players and the thousands of viewers on the game's Twitch stream.

So what does a bunch of grown adults sitting around a table playing make-believe with crazy-looking dice have to do with screenwriting?

As I mentioned, my mission with this blog was to help writers turn their stories into screenplays.

Since I've read so many scripts and seen so many writers who need help, a burning question arises with the ferocity of a dragon:

“How do I want to do this?”

Here are some options:

  • Blog Posts: Posting about screenwriting tips, dealing with writing issues, and breaking down current movies.
  • Instructional Books: Compiling blog posts and my experiences as both a writer and a script evaluator into a concise and helpful book.
  • Live or Online Workshops: Presenting the VOTE Method to a group of students in a classroom or workshop setting. 
  • Video Courses: Filming, editing, and posting instructional videos. 
  • One-On-One Consultations: Working with writers one-on-one to help them develop strong characters.
  • Script Evaluations: Evaluating screenplays and providing advice on how to improve the writer's chances of getting noticed.

When it comes to slaying the monsters that keep you from writing your best screenplay, the question remains:

“How do you want to do this?”

Please send your answers to storyintoscreenplayblog(at)gmail(dot)com or in a direct message through the Story Into Screenplay Facebook page.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

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