As a dreamer who dreams of getting a screenplay produced, last week I wrote about Anne Jordan, screenwriter, editor, creative writing and screen writing instructor and how she isn’t aware of the positive impact she has made on so many.
She has probably lost count of the vast number of people she has taught and mentored over the years.
As we sat down for the second part of my interview with her (see last week’s for the first part titled, Anne Jordan’s Secret Screenplay Advice! World Exclusive Tell-All), she asked me,
Why would you want to interview me?
There are clearly more important people.
I told her that since I’m new to the screen writing game, I wanted to interview someone who mentors people who are just getting a start on their screen writing career.
She is a perfect candidate because she –
- Is tirelessly working in the trenches day in day out.
- Is a straight shooter – she tells you where your screenplay went right and where it falls short.
- Gave my friend Laurie and me a brutally honest critique of our screenplay, Divine Intervention. Can you say major revisions will need to be made to make our script more enticing to the investors?
- Is our biggest cheerleader.
- Possesses a treasure trove of information.
- Is a networking savant-she’s on Facebook with 4,626 friends.
- Believes in herself and that trait rubs off on everyone.
- Has the wisdom to educate herself on ALL aspects of the screen writing world.
I had a couple of questions left for Anne as we concluded our interview –
Q. Can you explain the importance of getting involved in a screenwriters group?
A. Screenwriters need to spend time with other screenwriters because:
They receive unconditional support
Every writer needs to hear constructive criticism in a positive, nurturing environment
They speak the same language
They understand the struggles a writer experiences
They network-you never know who knows who that will be able to further your career
I formed the NCS-NorCalScreenwriters to be dedicated to the education and support of screenwriters, actors and filmmakers. The group holds weekly meetings, offers basic and advanced screenwriting classes, script evaluation, script consulting and editing services.
I often assign writing exercises that are then read aloud to the group. They may include: writing a scene, description of a character or place and writing commercials.
Anne understands the importance of having your script read out loud. She will have you bring in 5-ten pages of your script and assign NCS members to read each character’s parts.
Hearing your words read can be very enlightening.
It clearly illustrates what is working and what isn’t. Members may give you some insight that never have occurred to you-hence, giving you the chance to make revisions and improving your script tenfold.
Q. Any exciting news about NCSE ’11?
A. I hope to build on the success I had with the inaugural 2010 Expo. I’ve sparked a lot of interest from new potential sponsors – influential people wanting to speak at the 2011 Expo and a new crew of eager participants.
Anne then offered me these tips:
- Write the best script possible
- Find a way to write a screenplay that is geared toward the target audience of 18-24 year old males
- Older screenwriters have an edge because they have more life experiences to draw from that will create richer stories
- Write for your investor – it all comes down to them making $$$ off your movie
She concluded our interview with –
The one thing I would want your readers to know is that the biggest problem women face is – not dreaming big enough. I find that most women think big dreams are doomed to failure.
I advise dreaming “bigger”. I mean, if you’re going to dream, it should be as fabulous as possible, right?
I think you can take Anne’s advice and blank out the screen writing part and replace it with your dream to see that her advice applies to all dreams, so are you dreaming BIG enough?
Creative people lead colorful lives. Anne Jordan is no exception. She knows networking is key to furthering her work.
Be sure to check her out on Twitter @NCSrocks.
I’ll be back after a brief intermission –
Toni left 8 Women Dream in November of 2010 to focus full-time on Club B and her screenplay dream.