trees with red and green leaves
« All Posts by this Blogger

My favorite class this term is FILM33: Writing for the Screen I. It's the kind of class that reminds me of why I chose Dartmouth: a workshop class where everyone can work on whatever idea they like, and at the same time help each other improve.

I'm working on a complete script for my short movie and the first act of my feature script (which normally includes 3 acts). I was very nervous at first, because my ideas belong to the magical realism genre, and thus they're very vague and hard to explain. Moreover, I'm not a movie-expert like everyone else in my class - I take this class simply because I want to challenge myself with a different type of creative writing. And indeed, writing for the screen is much more difficult than simple creative writing. For example, if I want to write a short story, I can convey my plot through a chain of metaphors and end it vaguely without losing the artistic value of the story. But with screenwriting, it's a different story. Everything must make sense to a certain degree for the impatient producers and audiences to like the script, and deciding the border between complete nonsense and too expository is, at least to me, the toughest part.

My worries soon faded away as my professor, Bill Phillips, and my classmates are all very supportive of my ideas. Professor Phillips' comment on my first assignment, "This can be either complete brilliance or total insanity! Haha!" somehow made me feel really proud of my ideas, and encourages me to continue working on them instead of compromising them to "normal, typical movie ideas." My classmates also helped me a lot with reforming my script to make it more suitable for the screen. Gradually, I've become more confident in my script and most importantly, in myself.

I'm really grateful for my screenwriting class. The discussion is always very lively, as everyone is enthusiastic about their ideas and active in the discussion. Professor Phillips is also a really chill professor. He doesn't give us any pressure over grades at all because he wants to us to have the freedom to write and explore our scripts. Sometimes, he even sends us random emails about the Netflix series he's been watching (I high-key suspect that he watches at least four hours of Netflix a day). Our twice-a-week class feels more like a club meeting of movie nerds rather than a class, and I really enjoy that!

I'm definitely gonna take Screenwriting 2 next year!