Best 77 quotes in «screenwriting quotes» category

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    Transform into your dream.

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    To paraphrase Muggeridge: Everything is a parable that God is speaking to us, the art of life is to get the message.

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    Walk into the unknown with what you know in your heart.

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    Want a role? Fuck a screenwriter.

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    Vulnerability is not a weakness, it strengthens one and allows one to be okay with ones emotions. Be in touch with yourself. Be yourself!

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    Watch movies. Read screenplays. Let them be your guide. […] Yes, McKee has been able to break down how the popular screenplay has worked. He has identified key qualities that many commercially successful screenplays share, he has codified a language that has been adopted by creative executives in both film and television. So there might be something of tangible value to be gained by interacting with his material, either in book form or at one of the seminars. But for someone who wants to be an artist, a creator, an architect of an original vision, the best book to read on screenwriting is no book on screenwriting. The best seminar is no seminar at all. To me, the writer wants to get as many outside voices OUT of his/her head as possible. Experts win by getting us to be dependent on their view of the world. They win when they get to frame the discussion, when they get to tell you there’s a right way and a wrong way to think about the game, whatever the game is. Because that makes you dependent on them. If they have the secret rules, then you need them if you want to get ahead. The truth is, you don’t. If you love and want to make movies about issues of social import, get your hands on Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay for Network. Read it. Then watch the movie. Then read it again. If you love and want to make big blockbusters that also have great artistic merit, do the same thing with Lawrence Kasdan’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark screenplay and the movie made from it. Think about how the screenplays made you feel. And how the movies built from these screenplays did or didn’t hit you the same way. […] This sounds basic, right? That’s because it is basic. And it’s true. All the information you need is the movies and screenplays you love. And in the books you’ve read and the relationships you’ve had and your ability to use those things.

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    What monster sleeps in the deep of your story? You need a monster. Without a monster there is no story.

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    We encounter truth within.

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    Whatever you do, let it be lovely.

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    When a writer's heart is filled with the music of her soul, her words sing.

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    When asked if he had a special feeling for books, critic-turned-filmmaker Francois Truffaut answered, "No. I love them and films equally, but how I love them!" As an example, Truffaut gave the example that his feeling of love for "Citizen Kane" (USA, 1941) "is expressed in that scene in 'The 400 Blows' where Antoine lights a candle before the picture of Balzac.' My book lights candles for m any of the great authors of this world: Chinua Achebe (Nigeria), Angela Carter (UK), Saratchandra Chattopadhyay (India), Janet Frame (New Zealand), Yu Hua (China), Stieg Larsson (Sweden), Clarice Lispector (Brazil), Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru), Naguib Mifouz (Egypt), Murasaki Shikibu (Japan), and Alice Walker (USA) - to name but a few. Furthermore, graphic novels, manga, musicals, television, webisodes and even amusement park rides like 'Pirates of the Caribbean' can inspire work in adaptation. Let's be open to learning from them all. ("Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling," 2)

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    Why does Kubrick always chill our blood, and make us huddled up scared stiff with eyes wide shut? Because even dead he's still "Shinnying" with his old hand and his eye-catching plots.

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    When he was in college, a famous poet made a useful distinction for him. He had drunk enough in the poet's company to be compelled to describe to him a poem he was thinking of. It would be a monologue of sorts, the self-contemplation of a student on a summer afternoon who is reading Euphues. The poem itself would be a subtle series of euphuisms, translating the heat, the day, the student's concerns, into symmetrical posies; translating even his contempt and boredom with that famously foolish book into a euphuism. The poet nodded his big head in a sympathetic, rhythmic way as this was explained to him, then told him that there are two kinds of poems. There is the kind you write; there is the kind you talk about in bars. Both kinds have value and both are poems; but it's fatal to confuse them. In the Seventh Saint, many years later, it had struck him that the difference between himself and Shakespeare wasn't talent - not especially - but nerve. The capacity not to be frightened by his largest and most potent conceptions, to simply (simply!) sit down and execute them. The dreadful lassitude he felt when something really large and multifarious came suddenly clear to him, something Lear-sized yet sonnet-precise. If only they didn't rush on him whole, all at once, massive and perfect, leaving him frightened and nerveless at the prospect of articulating them word by scene by page. He would try to believe they were of the kind told in bars, not the kind to be written, though there was no way to be sure of this except to attempt the writing; he would raise a finger (the novelist in the bar mirror raising the obverse finger) and push forward his change. Wailing like a neglected ghost, the vast notion would beat its wings into the void. Sometimes it would pursue him for days and years as he fled desperately. Sometimes he would turn to face it, and do battle. Once, twice, he had been victorious, objectively at least. Out of an immense concatenation of feeling, thought, word, transcendent meaning had come his first novel, a slim, pageant of a book, tombstone for his slain conception. A publisher had taken it, gingerly; had slipped it quietly into the deep pool of spring releases, where it sank without a ripple, and where he supposes it lies still, its calm Bodoni gone long since green. A second, just as slim but more lurid, nightmarish even, about imaginary murders in an imaginary exotic locale, had been sold for a movie, though the movie had never been made. He felt guilt for the producer's failure (which perhaps the producer didn't feel), having known the book could not be filmed; he had made a large sum, enough to finance years of this kind of thing, on a book whose first printing was largely returned.

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    When is now.

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    I'm very lucky. I actually like screenwriting. I rarely feel a sense of doom going to my desk.

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    Without the author there is nothing.

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    With prose, I know where I'm starting and I think I know where I'm going.

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    It's possible for me to make a bad movie out of a good script, but I can't make a good movie from a bad script.

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    I've always been a writer, I've always been a storyteller, but I never thought about screenwriting.

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    Work on your craft, whatever your medium. Determination is your illusion headway toward reality.

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    Writing turns everybody into wussies. Everybody quits.

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    Your audience is your adversary. If you don't have one get one - imagine it. Imagine it now. To whom is your story addressed and why? Audience is always a creative act of the imagination. You can't tell your story effectively and leave it out. It must be alive in you, vividly alive. It is in conflict with everything that is false in what you have written. If it is an audience worthy of your talent and potential, it won't let you slide by the lies, the laziness, the shortcuts. If you don't take audience seriously, you can be sure it will return the favor.

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    I see screenwriting as a bit like a math equation which I have to solve.

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    [Making movies is] 80% script and 20% getting great actors. There's nothing else to it.

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    Collaborating on a film script involves two people sitting in a room separated by the silence of two minds working together.

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    Once you crack the script, everything else follows.

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    All tales, then, are at some level a journey into the woods to find the missing part of us, to retrieve it and make ourselves whole. Storytelling is as simple - and complex - as that. That's the pattern. That's how we tell stories.

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    As a screenwriter - if you are completely honest with yourself - you can’t help but admit that your greatest threat is the audience, where audience is not understood as a demographic category but as a character outside the script to whom the story is addressed. A good part of the drama necessary for uncovering the story resides in the conflict between the storyteller and his/her audience. Audience plays the part of antagonist to the writer’s role as protagonist. The writer drives the action, which is forever complicated, frustrated and undermined by the audience’s needs and sensibilities. Audience wants you to prove it. Audience has a chip on its shoulder, and doesn’t give a damn. Audience has been there and done that in the guise of your mother, your father, your ex-, your worst enemy. Audience laughs at your stupidity and dares you to change its view of you and the story world that you would have it care about. Audience is defiant. It has your number. The only way you can defeat it is by carrying a bigger stick - your only defence is an inspired offence, namely the story.

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    As a writer, you're the guy in the box. You're creating and you have these euphorias.

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    As screenwriters, we rip open our chests and bleed onto our work. Infusing it with our very souls.

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    Comfort yields complacency. Break free.

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    Don’t just see brilliance… Feel it.

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    Don't just write a strong female protagonist. Be one.

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    Do you want it good or Tuesday?

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    Everyone has their truth. Mine lies in the cinema.

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    Her words dance on the page.

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    Greatness is achieved through kindness, compassion, and love.

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    [G]reat stories communicate simple truths that reflect the poetic dimensions of the human soul. Not only do powerful characters help us understand our lives, their stories reflect our core values as human beings.

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    If the story you're telling, is the story you're telling, you're in deep shit.

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    Karl Marx: "Religion is the opiate of the masses." Carrie Fisher: "I did masses of opiates religiously.

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    If you don’t think screenwriting is a work of art, good luck in your life without a soul.

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    I think, because…well, I like the idea of coming up with a story that never existed before, but I don’t really want to be in charge. I don’t want to be famous. I guess I like the idea of sitting in the dark and knowing that I created the thing on screen, that it’s my story, but, like, no-one else has to know it was me. Does that make sense?

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    In prose, when you wrote something, it's symphonic… There's something ethereal in that process that's euphoric.

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    Intuition is truth.

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    I read a few of those books on how to write a screenplay, but, just like I told you with the school thing, once again, most of those books are written by someone who’s never written a good script. You look at the writer’s credits and they’ve written one episode of The Golden Girls or something. People who write good scripts, write scripts. They don’t write books about writing scripts.

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    It's a great euphoria when you reach that writing zone.

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    It's when you feel worse, that's when your character comes out and the last thing you want to do is quit.

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    Love is alive when there's music in your heart.

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    Is every writer's keyboard a spill magnet?

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    Love awakens the soul.