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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions (often with a humorous eye) about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

I really want to direct my screenplays, but don't know how.  Can you give me some advice, DCH?

Gaviel in Paris


This week's answer: 

Prima Donna Screenplay 

It's not always that easy to direct your own screenplay, Gaviel.  Screenplays usually don't listen to directors.  (Come to think of it, I don't think they listen to anyone.)  They don't like being told what to do.  They're really quite stuck on themselves (especially if they happen to have been read by somebody eating taffy).  The sad truth is:  

Screenplays don't take direction well.

I know that may come as a blow, seeing how you really do want to direct your own.  I've actually seen a screenplay get in a confrontation with a director and walk right off the set (or slide off.  Or fly off.)  It was something about a difference of opinions regarding the approach to the screenplay.  The director thought the screenplay was too long, and the screenplay didn't agree.

Now, Gaviel, you're in Paris, and, in Paris, maybe screenplays are more flexible and willing to be directed.  They may be more easy going and not fly off the handle (or of the set) so easily like they do here in the states.  Maybe that screenplay wouldn't have slid or flown off the set if it had somebody to call.  Like an agent.  That's the answer:  Screenplays need agents.

Wait.  They already have them.

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