I recently finished yet another viewing of “The Office” in its entirety and I will admit it doesn’t get easier to leave these characters, this world and that writing behind. But as luck would have it, I stumbled across this article form NoFilmSchool with 10 lessons we can learn as writers from rewatching the groundbreaking show.
10 Lessons “The Office” Can Teach Us About Screenwriting
With a lot of competition deadlines looming and another summer at Hollins to look forward to, it’s nice to be reminded that watching well-written movies and shows, and learning from them, isn’t laziness. It’s research!
Disappointment is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. As creatives, we put our hearts on the line everytime we show someone our work. Then the risk and vulnerability increases with each person who sees it, level it gets to in a competition, or progress it makes towards production or accolade. I’ve posted about disappointment and rejection before, but its like the cat that keeps coming back. And the closer you get to success, the harder the fall becomes. It can be easy to give up, especially when it feels like years of hard work is now completely useless.
I have a handful of links that I could put here with advice for screenwriters, actors, artists, singers, or any creative dealing with rejection. But they all say more or less the same thing:
Don’t take it personally, learn from your mistakes, keep trying, don’t give up.
Solid, legit advice. But how do you not take something so personal, personally? How do you know the RIGHT lessons to learn from your mistakes? How do you decide to move onto another idea instead of rewriting the same one for the 20th time? I certainly don’t have the answers, and I’m afraid that there isn’t a one size fits all solution. But I do know rejection and disappointment suck. But what sucks more is never knowing how far you could get.
So even though it’s crushing, even though it feels like the end of the world, don’t let that “Unfortunately…” or “I’m sorry but…” define you. Don’t let it stop you. Get back on the horse. Allow yourself to grieve, or mourn, or wallow, but then stop it. And then get back up faster every time until it’s no longer a fall, it’s a cool jump move. We’re in this together, right?
Please share any tips or tricks you’ve found to help when things don’t go your way, I’m sure we’d all appreciate it.
This video popped up on my suggested articles the other day. My first thought was, “great, another listicle. I’m so sick of these.” My second thought was, “An hour?! Are you kidding? I’m a millennial, I don’t watch anything longer than 3 minutes.” But it kept popping up, no matter how many times I ignored it. And I’m so glad it did. I listened to the first couple minutes, intending to turn it off. The first two minutes were so good that I listened to the whole thing.
This is an hour of help, motivation, advice, butt-kicking, reality checks, and inspiration that I do not regret. Take a look and you might find a nugget of help for you in here too.
Parks and Recreation is my favorite show of all time. Although, the new(ish) The Good Place is threatening to knock it out of first place, if they would just make more episodes! Needless to say, I think Michael Schur is amazing. But do I think he’s worth $25,000,000? That’s 6 zeros, people. I’ve been suggested a lot of articles recently about the deal NBC has struck to keep The Office writer/producer around. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon are really changing the way media is being produced, distributed, and consumed. And some people are really benefiting from it.
Take a look at this (and this, and this) article talking about the deal. What do you think? Are these good changes? Does the deal make sense? How will this affect your future as a content creator? Will this deal get them to make longer seasons of The Good Place, PLEASE?!
Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz, perhaps you haven’t, but things are changing in Hollywood and not everyone is on board. Steven Spielberg (maybe you’ve heard of him?) has some strong opinions about streaming services and awards eligibility. And Netflix has some strong opinions about his opinions.
Check out this article for the latest on the saga.
And leave a note in the comments about YOUR opinions. How has streaming changed things for us aspiring filmmakers? How should eligibility be determined for awards? Who is right, who is wrong? Also, what are you binging right now (I’m looking for some new recommendations)?
It’s no secret that the Academy has hit a few road bumps this year. The absolute disaster of the “Popular film” category; accusations of bigotry, racism, and sexism; and the inability to procure a host made for a tense and awkward lead up to the Oscars. So awkward and tense, in fact, that I didn’t even watch. But even if I claim to be above the noise of awards, I can’t help but be a little invested… so I looked up the winners first thing this morning.
Best picture winner, “Green Book” was a most welcome surprise for me. I saw the film and loved it. The acting, the writing, the story. They were wonderful and I was pleased to see it get some recognition. So even though I didn’t personally watch the Oscars this year, I recognize the clout that comes with one of those little gold statues and concede that I will continue to watch Oscar nominated and Oscar winning films. And you probably should too.
Here’s a list of this year’s winners.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you love or hate this day, the fact remains: it exists. So why not use it as an excuse to eat a bunch of chocolate, buy yourself something nice, and veg out in front of the TV?
Here’s a fun list of the best romantic movies to watch today.
Or if you’re a Valentine’s Day hater:
Here’s a list of anti-romantic movies to watch today.
No matter what your preference is, make sure you take every opportunity you can to watch more movies.
“Screencraft,” that well of interesting topics and almost countless screenwriting competitions, has released an end of the year report. And it’s a pretty good read. As part of their competitions, writers are always able to purchase feedback. They’ve collected overall information from that feedback and have produced some of the most apropos tips you’re going to find for free anywhere on the net.
Take a look Here and write on in confidence!
Are you an aspiring screenwriter? Do you want to hone your craft? Are you super cheap and want free help? Then today is your lucky day. Over the past 10 weeks, NoFilmSchool.com has been posting free seminars to help you write your script page by page.
Take a look HERE for 10 weeks (or 100 pages) worth of free help and advice from some people who know what they’re talking about.
If you’re anything like me, you have found yourself in the middle of binge watching the new Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” staring at your overflowing closet, and wishing that you could live a simpler life. But you like your stuff!
That same cramped, crowded mindset often spills over into our writing. We’ve all heard it a billion times, but writing really is rewriting. Whether you are of the mindset of “killing your darlings,” or adhere to Marie’s “keep only your joy” philosophy, we have to find a way to tidy up these vomit drafts.
Here’s another way to look at rewriting. Hopefully you’ll find some tips that help you clean out and organize your overflowing script. Meanwhile, I’ll be over here looking at every line and asking myself, “does this bring me joy?”