This week, I particularly found the reading from Mukherjee’s Art of Screenplays both interesting and inspiring. Oftentimes I’ll struggle coming up with good ideas for scripts to write; there are some times when I’ll find a gem of an idea and latch on to it for all it’s worth, and unable to let it go, even if I’m struggling to write it. But I have been very aware for some time now of the need to have multiple ideas on the go, even if they’re just festering away in my brain, rather than necessarily being written. As they say, if a producer or agent asks you “what else have you got?” and you haven’t got anything, they’re not going to want to work with you.
Thoughts on the ‘arena’ of a screenplay are very useful – getting out in to the world, looking, listening, observing with all senses, going to somewhere completely different, watching the people and how they interact with the environment. This can all be fodder for idea generation and more than a worthwhile exercise.
I have also found the process of writing a treatment to be a useful one. While this is something I’ve struggled with in the past, because I prefer to just get on with writing the script. But writing a treatment in this way – in the space of just a few hours, potentially – helps to iron out most potential sticking points with the plot without getting weeks or months in to the process of writing the screenplay and perhaps having to rewrite from the ground up.