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Posts Tagged ‘Joel Engel’

“Everyone who tells me they don’t have time to write, I just say, ‘One scene a night for three months, and you’ll have a movie—you can even use the weekends.’ It’s possible to be a writer if you want to be a writer, even without all the time in the world….After doing the dishes, instead of turning on the television or reading a book or going to the movies, write one scene. Whatever you do write one scene.”
Oscar-winning screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost)
Screenwriters On Screenwriting  by Joel Engel 
Page 18

P.S. Checkout Scriptnotes #163 where John August & Craig Mazin spend the entire podcast discussing the movie Ghost for which Rubin wrote the screenplay.

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Captain Kirk isn’t the only Star Trek person with an Iowa connection. Nicholas Meyer who directed Star trek II; The Wrath of Khan (1982) and co-wrote the screenplays for Star Trek IV; The Voyage Home (1986) and Star Trek; The Undiscovered Country (1991) graduated from the University of Iowa in 1964. 

He worked as a Unit Publicist on the 1969 film Love Story. A few years later he wrote the novel The Seven Percent Solution which became a best selling book as well as a movie. Meyer also wrote the script based on that book and received an an Academy Award nomination for his script. 

You’re writing a play, a play for the sceen—a screenplay. What are the elements that make a play? I was trained by Howard Stein at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He said that everybody had to read Aristotle’s Poetics, which we did, in the Francis L. Ferguson translation.  These are my antecedents. When I taught  I would point out that in writing drama for the screen, we first decide what drama is, then worry about how to put it on the screen. That sounds deceptively simple.

According to Aristotle, who in fact was only offering his observations, not setting them down as rules, the skeletal structure of a drama means that a question is asked at the beginning. The process of asking that question is known as exposition. I formulate the problem. Act One: The ghost tells Hamlet, ‘I was murdered by my brother, your uncle, and I want you to get revenge.’ So here’s the question: Will Hamlet kill the king? The job of the dramatist is to raise as much suspence as possible as to the outcome of that question, and when the question is answered the audience goes home. End of play. What will happen if? That’s dramatic structure.”
                                  Nicholas Meyer
                                 Quoted in Screenwriters on Screenwriting
                                  by Joel Engel 
                                  Pages 89-90 

 

Scott W. Smith

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Before screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin won an Oscar in 1990 for his script Ghost he spent time in the Midwest. He was born in Detroit and graduated from high school there, he was a student at Indiana University, and was living in Illinois before he and his wife and their two kids decided to give L.A. a try with $4,000. to their name.  It was a gamble that paid off.  

“Everyone who tells me they don’t have time to write, I just say, ‘One scene a night for three months, and you’ll have a movie—you can even use the weekends.’ It’s possible to be a writer if you want to be a writer, even without all the time in the world….After doing the dishes, instead of turning on the television or reading a book or going to the movies, write one scene. Whatever you do write one scene.”
                                                                  Bruce Joel Rubin

                                                                  Screenwriters by Joel Engel 
                                                                  Page 18

 

Scott W. Smith

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