|Image from Powtoon|
Stories have always captured my attention. Fiction has been the sweetest, most precious gift in my childhood. So naturally, I went around making up stories in my head all the time- some of them heavily influenced by what I read, and some of them just plain original born from the grey cells of my brain. But, it has mostly been novels. When I tried writing my own stories, they were also in a novel-type format, with conversations and long drawn detailed descriptions, and I loved it.
Several years back, my dad sent a link to an article on No Film School which talks about (Big Spaceship) Victor Pineiro’s crash course on how to write a screenplay. And, since that day, that one article has constantly been on my bookmarks bar. And, I’ve looked at it every time only to want to try it out.
So, during the December holidays in 2019, I started trying it out, and it’s pretty cool. Here is why the crash course is brilliant.
1. Gives insights. It beautifully gives you a way to structure the idea that wafts around in your head. It gives you a way to tame your wild imagination in order to actually write it out, especially if you are writing a screenplay.
2. Insights are actionable. I hate people who advice in an abstract manner when something needs a concrete solution. So, when giving insights on how to write a screenplay, Pineiro sticks to insights that are actionable, and step-wise follow worthy advice. I loved them.
3. Page-line(like timeline). One of the most important things is to introduce characters at the right time, and bring right events at the right time. You own your story and how you want to say it, but the rough page-line, as I'd like to call it, just gives you an absolutely sensible perspective.
4. Words with meanings. Plot, theme, logline, story, scene, sequence, acts: there are so, so many words that we use when we think of the components of a story. But, do we clearly and exactly know what they are? The crash course gives you that, and personally I really liked that.
5. Examples. It doesn't just explain things, and give you an insight. The slides give examples that we know, and can easily relate to and understand.
Nothing is set in stone. You can bend rules, you can make rules, and you can own your style. I myself experiment a lot with story writing in different styles and perspectives. All said, I still loved the universality of this crash course that fits almost every story.
Do check it out! Also, I hope soon you'll get to read a completed screenplay from me!