As screenwriters, we get rejected a lot. If you haven’t, you’re either very lucky, or very new at this. Submitting your work and having it ignored (if you’re lucky) or ripped apart (if you’re not), doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Learning from rejection is a time-honored rite of passage for all aspiring creators. Harry Potter was rejected by publishers a solid twelve times, sometimes with harsh words, before our favorite boy wizard inspired seven books, eight films, and three theme parks.
If your pitch, story, or screenplay is turned down, congratulations! You thought of something, made it, and showed it to someone else. That is something to be commended and celebrated. Use this time to pat yourself on the back for being brave, but also use it as a time to see where you went wrong. Improve your structure, take another look at the dialogue, tweak and tighten, so that when you submit it again (which you definitely will), it’ll be that much harder to turn down.
And while you may be discouraged, take heart in the fact that some of our favorite movies of all time were passed over before finding their way to the big screen. See some shocking examples here, watch Brian Grazer’s words of encouragement here, and share in the comments something you’ve learned from rejection.
This summer, the students in the Hollins University Graduate Screenwriting & Film Studies video production class will release a seven-episode web series, called Failure to Adult, that was written, directed, and edited by Hollins University students. The writing took place during the spring semester prior and the filming of all seven episodes took place during the six-week summer session. It really is impressive what was accomplished in that time frame.
As a member of this class, I was incredibly excited to learn the filmmaking process from start to finish and script to screen as a new writer and filmmaker (I can say that now!). It was wonderful to learn each phase of the filmmaking process and how each phase brings its own set of challenges. We had six weeks to cast, shoot, edit, and premiere the web series. In order to do this successfully, we really had to work together and take on our own unique roles outside of rotating between the crew positions of Director, 1st Assistant Director (1st AD, the person who manages the set), Sound, Gaffer (the person in charge of the lights), props master/craft services (free food!), Director of Photography (DP), and Script Supervisor (scripty). While some of us hunted locations another corresponded with actors while somebody else organized all of our necessary information so we could all stay on the same page. It was a whirlwind of a process, but we are happy about the outcome. The coolest (and most terrifying) feeling was sitting in a room with peers and friends as we watched and laughed at the show we created. We got some strong feedback and are hopeful about how it will be received.
Feel free to check out the series and share it with people you know. It will officially launch in September on Vimeo and YouTube. Stay tuned!
Click here to see more details: Failure to Adult: Official Facebook Page
Press from NPR: Hollins Program Cranks Out Hopeful Filmmakers
The folks at Film Courage sat down with Markus Redmond to discuss his professional journey how he broke into Hollywood as both an actor and as a writer. For those incredibly ambitious folks, pin this and watch it. Enjoy 🙂
Have additional insight? Feel free to comment, discuss, and share.
See the full interview here: How I Broke Into Acting and Screenwriting in Hollywood – Markus Redmond [FULL INTERVIEW]
Paula Schwartz with MovieMaker magazine sat down with Linus Sandgren to discuss the behind the scenes details about how he and director Damien Chazelle directed and filmed everything in La La Land.
Read the full article here: The Camera is a Dancer: DP Linus Sandgren Walks Us Through How He and Damien Chazelle Shot La La Land
Music plays such a vital role in the film and storytelling process. Alfred Hitchcock considered this role to be so important, he often listed his music directors directly after his name in the opening credits of his films. The folks at Film Courage sat down with music producer Harvey Mason, Jr to discuss everything from how to create a film soundtrack, what a music producer actually does to moving to Los Angeles to what happens after saying “YES” to a project.
Harvey Mason’s work includes SING, DreamGirls, Pitch Perfect, Sparkle, and The Wiz Live!
See the full video, article, and Harvey’s bio here: First Steps In Making A Movie Soundtrack by Harvey Mason, Jr.
Casting Associate Michael Duni sits down with acting coach Richard Warner to discuss how to get started as an actor, whether it’s early or later in life.
See the full video here: arvold. CONVERSATION: Getting Started in Acting
The folks at ScreenCraft discuss the location of a screenplay and how it works as a character to a story. Films such as Fatal Attraction, The Fugitive, In the War of the Roses, and The Woodsman are used as examples to explain just how location plays a role in bringing your story to life and how it completes your story onscreen.
Read the full article here: Do Your Locations Have Character?
Some of the Hollins University Summer Graduate Screenwriting and Film Studies students made their way to Richmond, Virginia in April to attend the 2018 Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF). One student even got to see the legendary Danny Glover at the Historic Byrd Theater. And, yes, that is, in fact, Danny Glover sitting under the Hollins University logo 🙂
Hollins graduate student Colleen Hahn (right) shared some of her thoughts on the festival:
“One of the great things that happened at RIFF was meeting Tamika Lamison. She is the founder of Make a Film Foundation but also had a feature in the festival called Last Life, an amazing film/allegory on forgiveness and choice related to enslaved people. In addition, her Make A Film Foundation recently funded The Black Ghiandola, also showcased and written by 16-year-old Anthony Conti, who died last December right as this was finished. Tamika gets talent like Johnny Depp, Laura Dern and a cast of amazing people to support, star and direct.
I also went to the opening day of NONA, Kate Bosworth’s film on human trafficking. Her husband, Micheal Polish wrote and directed it. The film offered a unique perspective on the human trafficking issue that dispelled a lot of the current notions presented in media. In addition, he focused on the human side on why and how this happens – and that most of the victims have no idea until it is too late that they are being trafficked. Quite frankly, it changed my perspective on the issue especially since most of the victims of human trafficking in the US are from the US, not foreigners. Many are trafficked by people they know – family members, friends, and boyfriends. I have seen quite a few of these films but the point of view of this feature was focused more on how innocent women are trapped and/or forced into this rather than what the life is – in other words, less about the sex scenes and more about putting a face to the victims.”
Stephanie Forshee with Backstage provides some insight and guidance to budding and aspiring film directors. She answers every question such as what does a film director really do, how to get started, and how to find your artistic style as a director. She discusses several examples of how some of the most famous directors got their start. She reminds readers of one truth of the business: everyone’s path is different
Read the Full Article Here: How to Become a Film Director
Screenwriting is an inspiring, creative, amazing profession with seemingly endless opportunities. However, it can be daunting, especially for the newcomers. There’s a lot to take into account when writing out your movie: the setting, the time period, the genre, which actors will play which characters. The movie business has a lot of moving parts, but unlike writing novels where the novel is the finished product, the screenplay is where the whole journey begins. And that process is often very long and arduous. Stephanie Palmer, author of Good In a Room, provides several infographics to help decipher the screenwriting and process and movie business.
Read the Full Article Here: Screenplay Writing Explained In 7 Infographics