Award-winning screenwriters Nick Hornby (An Education, Brooklyn), Beau Willimon (House of Cards), Nancy Meyers (Something’s Gotta Give, The Intern), Andrew Bovell (Strictly Ballroom, A Most Wanted Man), and Jimmy McGovern (Accused, Banished) answer Twitter questions for BAFTAGuru.
This seven-minute video offers an amazing array of screenwriting advice, specifically tackling the staple screenwriting subjects of writer’s block and the best type of screenwriting education.
Nick Hornby avoids writer’s block by presuming that the movie he is writing will never get made. Even for a writer of his caliber, odds are still against him as well. So he doesn’t even allow the very notion of what happens after the script is completed to come into his mind, which frees him to tell the story without being blocked by fear and anticipation.
Beau Willimon is adamant that there’s no such thing as writer’s block. It’s about putting in the time. Fear should be used. When screenwriters feel that fear, that’s when they should be writing.
Many of them state that getting out of your head was as easy as going for a walk, watching movies, watching television, and seeking inspiration elsewhere.
In regards to that and screenwriting education, Willimon even went as far to say that screenwriters must be the greatest thieves, because that’s what it takes. You need to read scripts, be inspired by the work of others, and take what you can from everything that you can get your hands on.
These are just a few nuggets of wonderful advice and perspective found in this video.
When seeking out advice from those with knowledge and experience, you should always take what fits best with your own philosophy and process, and discard the rest — but always take everything into consideration.
All that it takes to get you out of that writing slump and put you on the proper screenwriting education course is often just one idea, one tip, one piece of advice, or one quote. Watch this video and see what you can find.