It goes without saying that any screenwriter is a movie buff. We have to be. It’s our love of movies that got us into this in the first place.
We’ve all got our favorites. Countless genres are spanned. Writers, directors or performers we can usually rely on for solid, quality work. Who hasn’t claimed to have seen a particular movie “over a hundred times”?
So what is it about them that makes us have no problem with watching them over and over, as opposed to seeing something once and being done with it, or maybe even abandoning ship around the halfway point?
A favorite film motivates repeat viewings. You’re enjoying the whole experience so much that when it’s over, you’re already looking forward to seeing it again.
Consider the films in your home collection. What is it about them that made you go so far as to want to own them?
For as much as I talk about STAR WARS, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and BACK TO THE FUTURE, all of which I could watch over and over, I’m also perfectly content with something that doesn’t involve special effects, like TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN or SOME LIKE IT HOT.
What do all of these have in common? For me, it all boils down to fantastic storytelling with well-crafted three-dimensional characters, both of which also motivate and inspire me to be a better writer.
Which is what it all comes down to. The writing, which starts with us.
Not only are we striving to create a story, but we want to make them so amazing that they’re practically irresistible not only to the people who make the movies, but the movie-going public.
While working on that latest project, we imagine what the finished product would look like on the big screen and hope the audience is having such a blast watching it that they’ll want to come back for more.
But imagining is one thing. Actually making it compelling and involving is another.
We must continuously write, rewrite, hone and polish each individual piece of work to make it as involving and engaging as possible.
Not sure if yours is? Ask somebody. Writing group, trusted colleague, paid analyst. Doesn’t matter. Always be striving for greatness, my friends.
Our work is definitely cut out for us. It’s hard enough to write a good script. It’s even harder to write one people want to continuously return to.