More Thoughts on Writing for Film, TV and the Stage

Last night, I arrived back to NJ and while sitting by the TV with my Mom, she urged me to watch Lars and the Real Girl with her.  I agreed to watch the movie, and as it began, I thought immediately of our conversation on Friday morning.  My mom kept commenting on how much she loved the acting, and although there were some great performances, I knew the film’s gift was its writing.  I kept being surprised by twists in the plot and the well arced characters.  I had the feeling this writer had written for more than just film.

This morning, I discovered Nancy Oliver was responsible for the wonderful script and I learned that along with Lars, she has written for Six Feet Under and True Blood. I also discovered that she did went to Florida State for undergrad and a wrote a whole lot of plays starting there.  I knew this was an artist who was from the theatre; however, it seems as though Ms. Oliver isn’t writing so much anymore.

When thinking about Ms. Oliver and the conversation we had Friday morning, I think about when I first got interested film production.  I remember thinking that it was a lot easier to say what I needed to say without words.  It was liberating to think imagistically and then to allow the words to permeate the composition.  Also, I found I can understand a film or TV character’s background even if their exposition is not in their text.  I don’t know if a writer for film or television is noticing this shift from stage to screen differently.

I think this trend we were discussing in class has the potential to be more than about money.  How is the craft of writing for Film and TV more liberating?

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