The Other Hero’s Journey

V Renee at No Film School discusses the other hero’s journey: the journey of the writer creating the story. Included with her thoughts is the video essay Michael Tucker of Lessons from the Screenplay that discusses the creation of the film Inside Out and the challenges of bringing that story to life.

The Other Hero’s Journey: The Emotional Struggle of Screenwriting

Canadian National Film Board seeks female cinematographers, composers, writers

As gender equality becomes more of a discussion, more and more industries are increasing their efforts to hire women and find ways to keep them. THE GLOBE AND MAIL recently discussed how the Canadian National Film Board is seeking out female cinematographers, composers, and writers – sections of the industry that are normally dominated by men.

Read full article here: National Film Board seeks female cinematographers, composers, writers

Screenwriting Wisdom from the Screenwriter Behind “Fight Club”

Ken Miyamoto at ScreenCraft sat down with Jim Uhls to offer insight on writing, original work versus an adaptation, how to interview your characters, making both the analytical and intuitive sides of your brain to work together, tricks for pitch meetings, and how to handle that unavoidable demon known as writer’s block.

Read full article and watch full interview here: Screenwriting Wisdom from the Screenwriter Behind “Fight Club”

Write Club: 5 Choices You Must Make Before You Start Writing

Welcome to Write Club. The first rule of write club is… just kidding. (Sorry, I had to.) We’re writers not fighters, so talk about write club all you want. The folks at ScreenCraft discuss five choices a writer must make before they begin writing their story. These five questions will help guide the writer through the development of their story as well as help the writer figure out how their story will influence the genre.

Read the full article here: Write Club: 5 Choices You Must Make Before You Start Writing

Meet the Blogger!

I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been running this blog page for Hollins University for a year now and I have yet to properly introduce myself. Where are my manners? Allow me to ameliorate this.

Name: Amanda Hobbs

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia, USA

How long at Hollins? I’ve been a graduate student in the summer graduate screenwriting & film studies program since 2015.

What made you chose this profession? Long story short, this place feels like the right place. This industry has given me more chances than others. I believe in following the yes’s. So this is where it’s lead me. 

Favorite films/directors/writers/scores/composers/costume designers? Favorite films: Chicago, A League of Their Own, The Sandlot, just about any Disney film, The Princess Bride, Invictus, Long Strange Trip, Midnight in Paris, The Dark Knight, Charlie Wilson’s War, Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen… Directors: Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Woody Allen, Alfred Hitchcock, Susanna Bier… Writers: Joss Whedon, Aaron Sorkin, Quentin Tarantino… Composers: Michael Giacchino, John Williams … Costume Designers: Colleen Atwood, Alexandra Byrne, Jenny Beavan

Goals for this blog: To reach as many people as possible and be a valuable tool for as many people as possible. I strive to include articles about multiple aspects such as filmmaking and production, the atmosphere and culture of the industry, women and minorities in the industry, and perspectives from the actor’s or director’s points of view. I seek out multiple – if seemingly unusual – sources for inspiration, creativity, and anything else I think could be of value to anyone working or hoping to work in the film industry. Since this page is sponsored by an actual living, breathing university, I also like to showcase the work of our students and professors in hopes that you will come spend time with us so you can become better at your craft and become a part of this incredible family of creatives and artists.

What genres do you like to write? Is there another genre or aspect of the industry you’d like to explore more? I’ll admit my brain tends to go into a Hallmark/Lifetime kind of place. But, I do have an incredible fascination with history. It’s really not as boring as people think. History is all about people and their stories. As far as the film industry goes, I want to learn about anything and everything I can get my hands on: writing, directing, acting, film scoring, or costume design. My skill set, however, is an entirely different discussion – ha ha. Anything can be learned if you’re willing to be a student.

Where do you find inspiration? History and real life stories fascinate me. I also find myself gravitating towards stories about women. Women have stories just as rich and compelling as anyone else. I’m not the sort to condone or resort to man-bashing; I think it’s neither necessary nor appropriate and contradicts the goals of gender equality. I just think women deserve to have the credit for their contributions, respect for the abilities of their brains, and deserve to have their stories shared and celebrated.  

Tricks for sustaining/maintaining creativity? How do you fight creativity blocks? When I write, I like to lock myself in room with a big window, stick my earbuds in and listen to classical music (which is also not as boring as people think). The Beethoven station on Pandora does the trick for me. It’s nice to have something in your ear that will block out the outside world for a bit while also stimulating your brain enough to keep your attention. Whenever I find myself struggling to write, I realize that it’s time to take a break. The brain needs some rest. So I’ll find something else to do like go for a walk – fresh air does wonders, find a craft to do, read a book, or exercise. I like to think of it this way: when you hit a block, the creative fuel tank is empty. So in order to keep going, you need to refuel. I find it enormously helpful to go find something else to do because staring at a blank page all weekend accomplishes nothing. Go socialize, enjoy a meal with people, have conversations… I’m an introvert and I’m saying this. Yes, private time is important. But humans are social creatures and require interaction with other humans for a multitude of reasons. That’s neither an accident nor a fluke. Also, pick a writing time and defend it like mad – this is something I struggle with immensely.  

Fun facts/favorites/interests/hobbies: Fun facts: I attended the Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake City for the first time this year and volunteered with the Richmond International Film Festival. Both wonderful experiences. Interests: outdoor activities, travelling, gardening, music, cooking/baking, crafts, reading

Bio: A little bit about me. I’m Amanda, your humble blogger. I grew up in Chesterfield, VA (just south of Richmond). I received my Associate’s in Arts degree from Richard Bland College, my Bachelor of Arts in History from Virginia Tech, and I’m currently working on my MFA at Hollins University. As far as my involvement with the film industry, I’m slowly but surely, making my way. I was an active member of the music community as a band student in high school and wanted to pursue a career as a music teacher, but eventually realized it wasn’t a good fit for me. However, I did become a sister of Tau Beta Sigma, the National Honorary Band Service Sorority. I considered pursuing a theatre major, but opted for history because I felt it would be more versatile, it was subject I was genuinely interested in, and I still thought I wanted to be a teacher. After teaching preschool for several years, spending a semester in a teacher licensure program, and not satisfied with where I was headed, I decided to take another direction and go after something that I really wanted. I came upon Hollins University after doing an online search for film programs in my home state of Virginia. I stewed over it for some time before applying, but once I did I never looked back. I’ve continued to pursue work in this industry because it’s given me opportunities that others wouldn’t. And, plus, there’s more than one way to be a teacher. 

 

Amanda Hobbs - photo 2
Amanda Hobbs

How to Write Character Arcs in a Series

Creating character arcs in one story can be challenging enough. But some of us writers just have too much wracking in our brains, so we create a series. Which begs the next question: how do you create and maintain character arcs across a series? K.M. Weiland at Helping Writers Become Authors provides insight and guidance on how to do that.

Click the link here to read the full article: How to Write Character Arcs in a Series

Episode Four of Page Ten Podcast

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Episode four of Page Ten, the Hollins University Screenwriting Podcast, is up and running, just click on the link below, or if you’d rather, it’s also available to download on iTunes. Head over and take a listen to the interview with guest Lawrence Ross, and if you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe and catch future episodes.

Naming Your Characters

Laura Martin provides a helpful list of tricks and tools to use when naming your story characters. Every writers knows this to be a tremendous chore and one that has a serious influence on your characters and how they are portrayed and perceived.

Read the full article here: Naming Characters

Historical Fiction in the Making

If you’re a history nerd like me, you’ll appreciate this post. Melody Faith at Kingdom Pen provides some helpful advice on conducting research for writing historical fiction. Some of these pointers could be equally helpful in researching for other genres as well.

Read the full article here: How to Research for Historical Fiction