filmcourage (filmcourage) wrote,

Two Inspiring Lessons For Screenwriters by Elaine Zicree and Marc Zicree

(Watch the video interview on Youtube here)

Film Courage:  Thinking back to something a mentor said to the two of you individually, maybe even before you met one another, what was it?  Or what statement or mantra never left you?  It could be Ray Bradbury or someone else.

Marc Zicree: Sure.

Elaine Zicree:  It’s a funny thing but what most affected me was a script doctor, a very good script doctor I had.  And it was a script I’d written and it was one of my favorite scripts ultimately but she said “This is brilliant.  I absolutely love it!  Now here’s the notes….”  but the fact that she said that I was brilliant and that she loved it I thought “Well the heck with a few notes.  I’m brilliant and I love it!” So I think crazy flattery…I realize the weight of allowing somebody to feel special and be special, it was crazy flattering that all of those notes seemed like nothing.  So one of the biggest pieces of advice was ‘Hey, what you’re doing has super value.  Now here’s the work.’  And just going on that thing where I was allowed to have super value at the top of the journey really got me through it as if it was nothing (those notes).

Marc Zicree: In terms of me (the mentors) what they’ve told me…you know…it’s funny because the mentors who’ve really guided me have been Rod Serling, Ray Bradbury, Guillermo del toro and what really inspired me was the fact that these are guys that come from enormous enthusiasm, creative enthusiasm.  And one thing Ray said to me was don’t look outside yourself, look within.  And it’s funny there was one time when he and I was sitting together and I said “I just figured out what business you’re in.”  I said “It’s not writer, you’re in the Ray Bradbury business.”  And he said “Yes!  That’s exactly right.”

And so what he was doing was creating something that no one else could create.  And he told me that he wrote every day for 10 years before he wrote a single line, a single word that was uniquely his.  And then one day he sat down and he wrote the words THE LAKE and he wrote a short story based on the time when he was a little boy.  When he was eight years old he and a little girl friend who was seven went swimming in Lake Michigan and he came out and she never did (she drowned).  And it was a story of her coming back as a ghost and they told me that when he finished the story, tears were streaming down his face and he knew that he’d written something that no one else could have written and it came specifically from his experience and his soul.  And it took another two years of writing everyday before he could write something again that was uniquely his.  And then he got to where he could do it again and again and again and he became Ray Bradbury because he was determined to do that.

I thought that was a great lesson to say ‘Okay, what are you creating?  What can you create that isn’t something of what others are doing, but that is unique to you, that no one else could have created, that you create something fresh in the world that’s truthful and meaningful and then you know you’ve done something worth doing.  So that’s been a great inspiration to me (watch the video on Youtube here).

Tags: am writing, screenplay, screenwriting, script, write, writing

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