Updated every Monday

A selected E-mail answered and published each week
  Your questions answered by a  Hollywood professional

A humorous view of the Film & TV biz through the lens of a weekly cartoon
A bit of Hollywood humor 


Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  If you wish to view additional archived E-mails, please go back to the Previous E-mails of the Week section.

This week's question: 

It's soooo hot.  I can barely lift my fingers to type a word; my brain has melted and is like mush.  To make matters worse, a producer is waiting for my script.  Do you have any advice to help me proceed?

Butch W. 

This week's Answer: 

"Hot" Screenwriter

I know what you mean, Butch, about finding it hard to write in the heat.  (But I wish I hadn't been reading your e-mail when I was eating breakfast, being that I was eating my favorite breakfast, which is mush.)  And then, with a producer waiting for a script when your melted brain can't seem to produce for that producer... That's a tough one.  How to proceed...?  Well, let's see...

Could you write at night when it cools down (if it cools down where you are at night)?  Or how about waking up very, very early in the morning when it's cooler (if it is)?  How about writing in a swimming pool on a waterproof laptop?  On second thought, better not.  It would ruin your laptop.  Or how about not sleeping at all until you become sleep-deprived and dizzy and silly and disoriented?  (Which would put you in a perfect state to write for television sitcoms.)

Or, then again, maybe I'm heading off in the wrong direction and the way to go is to not resist what is happening to you at all.  Instead, make lemons out of lemonade (or something like that).  Let it be as hot as it wants; let it melt your brain.  Have you ever tried writing a screenplay with a melted brain?  Why not try it?  You might find you come up with a fantastic script.  I think the writer of "Volcano" wrote it with a melted brain.  And let's not forget the classic horror, MUSH!  Need I say more?  So you're in good company.

Maybe you could start a new trend:  screenwriters writing in extreme environments (or "environs" as story analysts like to write to appear educated and well-read -- although all they do is pull down the menu of "Tools," go to "Thesaurus" and pick a different word).  For a screenplay about the winter and ice, the screenwriter could go to the North Pole.  For one about a jungle, he could go to Africa.  For a script about outer space, she could break into Cape Kennedy and stow away on a spaceship headed for "space... the final frontier."  Just think of the possibilities.

It sounds like you've told a producer that you'll have a script for him or her.  I've found that, if you want to climb in this business (and I'm not talking about mountain climbing -- although sometimes the business can often feel like an impossible mountain to climb), it's best to keep your word and honor your agreements.  So, let's assume the producer is expecting your script in a month.  The first thing to do is to DECIDE that you will honor your commitment and  will get a script to the producer by that time.  Or you can decide to NOT honor your commitment.  The most important thing is that you move forward and CHOOSE.  It's much worse to not decide and run from the producer -- which is ultimately running from yourself (and if you've ever tried to run from yourself, it's very difficult.  The expense of having to always have two pairs of track shoes all the time...)   So, let's say you've decided to honor your word and commitment and you have chosen to write the script.  Good.  Now here's all you have to do.

How To Write A Screenplay Even When Your Brain Is Melted

1.  Sit down (unless you like to write standing up or doing yoga or running from yourself).  (And forget the pool idea.)

2.  At your computer or typewriter or your paper.

3.  Let your imagination run wild; allow your creativity to flow.  (It may flow like molten lava since your brain in melted.   But don't be alarmed.)

4.  Now record all that molten creativity.

5.  And never forget:  A melted brain can come up with something very "hot."

And, not to be condescending in any way, but having a producer waiting to see your work doesn't sound to me like such a bad thing.  I don't mean to sound like a critical parent like my parents did when they were being critical, but I remember so clearly as though it were yesterday (were my parents here yesterday?) when my parents would turn to me when I was a little boy, sitting with them at the dinner table, and they would say...

"You finish your screenplay, young man.  There are thousands of screenwriters in China who are not as lucky as you and don't have  producers waiting for their scripts."



Script Advisor Home | About Us | Contact | Links | Samples | Help | Services | Weekly
Copyright 2003/2005 Script-Advisor.com ... All Rights Reserved