Month: May 2016

The Importance of a Writing Desk

desk

Photo source: fustany.com

Occasionally, I will go to a Starbucks or library to write, but most of the time, I write at my desk. To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of sitting at a desk for a long time. It normally bores me; however, I’ve found that using my desk at home as a “writing corner” has been very helpful to me.

My desk features a few very important things to me as a writer. The first is a collage of inspirational quotes above my desk. The quotes are from some of my writing idols, namely J.K. Rowling and George Lucas, and my idols in general, such as Beyonce and Michael Jordan. These quotes have been great reminders to me to keep dreaming on, to keep trying, and to continue to write and pursue my dreams to become a writer.

Another feature is pictures and posters from my favorite TV shows and films. I have pictures from my favorite episode of Smallville and a poster from American Pie, one of my favorite films. Seeing these pictures everyday reminds me of the kinds of stories I want to tell through my writing, and they inspire me to want to get the audience to fall in love with my stories, as I fell in love with the aforementioned tales. I believe that all writers should keep memorabilia from their favorite films and television shows, to serve as a source of inspiration.

Finally, my desk includes indicators of my future goals, and where I hope to specifically be in life in the years to come. I hope to work for Viacom Media Networks, at MTV or Nickelodeon (or to work at both). I have a Viacom folder from my time there as an intern, and a Nickelodeon history book. Seeing these things everyday reminds me where I want to work in the future, and to keep working hard and accomplishing the most that I can in the present, so that I can reach my goals.

Therefore, I encourage all writers to keep a desk to use as a writing corner. Inspirational quotes, posters and pictures of television and film favorites, and other entertainment memorabilia are great sources of motivation for the struggling writer.

 

Why All Writers Should Watch Sports

pats super bowl.jpg

Source: nflspinzone.com

I grew up in Chicago, which is a major sports town. Although I live in Orange County now, I still follow all of my Chicago teams. I believe that being a big sports fan has greatly helped me as a writer.

So much of sports revolves around the whole David vs. Goliath tale that is central to scripts, and stories in general. I remember when the 2004 New York Yankees were being compared to Darth Vader and “The Evil Empire.” That year featured the greatest comeback in baseball, and possibly sports in general, when the Boston Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit to win the series and eventually become World Champions for the first time in over 80 years. I remember the slogan that year for the MLB playoffs was “You Can’t Script October.” You really can’t script sports, which is what makes them so exciting to watch. However, it makes us remember the importance of suspension of disbelief, and how the unpredictable is the most exciting (Game of Thrones is a perfect example of this).

There is so much emotion that comes from watching sports and being an avid fan of a team. I watched the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox from start to finish and fell in love with the team. I still have very fond memories of the season. It was a great story and re-watching the walkoff homeruns from the season still sends shivers down my spine. After all, the goal of writing is to keep the reader, or viewer, on the edge of their seat. Watching sports does that.

We can look to the greatest games, and comebacks, as sports history, for sources of inspiration in writing. Last year’s Super Bowl, in which The Patriots came back from literally seconds away from defeat to win, was one of the most thrilling endings, and battles of all-time in sports. What if we were able to write a scene between a super hero and a super villain that evoked the same emotion and disbelief? The writers of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones already seem to be understanding the significance of suspension of disbelief, and surprising viewers.

Places for Aspiring Screenwriters to Visit

As an aspiring screenwriter, most of my inspiration has resulted from watching films and television shows. Over the years, though, I’ve learned a lot and been inspired from visiting various places in the Los Angeles area. Below are a few that I’ve found to be particularly interesting:

Studio Tours

studio tour

Photo source: smartdestinations.com

The Los Angeles area is home to many film and television studios, and most of them offer tours. I’ve toured the Warner Brothers Studio, Paramount Pictures, and Universal Studios (through the Universal Hollywood theme park). Walking on the lot and seeing where where my favorite films have been made provided thrilling experiences for me and inspired me even more to want to write, and one day work at the exciting studios. The studio is the pen-ultimate for an aspiring writer, and one of the most exciting places to visit.

Hollywood Boulevard

hollywood blvd.jpg

Photo source: galleryhip.com

It may not be the glamorous, extravagant street that the films have often portrayed, but Hollywood Boulevard is the street in the Los Angeles area that has the most centralized Hollywood landmarks and sightings. Given that most of the studios and other film industry based locations are scattered throughout greater Los Angeles, Hollywood boulevard is a refreshing stroll for tourists and film lovers.  In under a mile, one can see important film-centric landmarks, such as The Dolby Theatre, The Hollywood Walk of Fame, The El Capitan Theatre, The Hollywood Museum, and much more. It’s must-see for any film lover and aspiring writer.

Museums

paley center.jpg

Photo source: wikipedia.org

Museums that preserve film and television history are a great learning source for aspiring writers. There are several museums scattered throughout greater Los Angeles that offer resources for young writers. To name a few: The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills offers a wealth of information about television history. The Hollywood Museum in Hollywood showcases props from famous Hollywood films.

Historical Theatres

dolby theatre.jpg

Photo source: forbes.com

There’s The Aero, The Dolby Theatre, The Egyptian Theatre and The Chinese Theatre, to name a few. These theatres were the birthplace of Hollywood premieres. Even just visiting them and being part of the movie premiere atmosphere is very inspiring and makes a wanna-be writer hope that they can have their own vibrant premiere at a classic, historical Hollywood theatre.

Writer’s Guild Foundation Library

wgf library

Photo source: wgfoundation.org

I interned here for over six months, and very much enjoyed the atmosphere. It is one of the few places in Los Angeles that focuses specifically on screenwriting. Hundreds of quality screenplays find residence here, and it is the perfect place for a writer hoping to write a spec script or read scripts to help them with their craft.

 

 

New Girl: A Refreshingly Different Sitcom

new girl

Photo Source: fanpop.com

I’ve watched New Girl for years now. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve come to truly appreciate it. New Girl isn’t the typical comedy: it’s not a Seinfeld or Friends, but I think its uniqueness it what makes it so fun.

Foremost, all of the characters on the show are very wacky and as I heard showrunner Elizabeth Meriwether put it: “[they are] very bad at life.” That’s spot on. Most comedies have a stable central character who is surrounded by crazy friends, the “Michael Bluth” of the series. In New Girl, they are all crazy. Jess, the lead character, is very quirky and sometimes the wackiest of the bunch (although I would argue Winston and Schmidt are the craziest). I believe this accurately represents real life, as all of us have a cooky, quirky side, like Jessica Day. This is also what makes her character so fun: she’s always full of laughs.

New Girl also has a great balance of comedy and drama. It’s not as dramatic as How I Met Your Mother, which was at times surprisingly very sad. But it has its sweet, serious moments, like in the recent episode, where Schmidt and Cece both express their worries about their upcoming marriage. And these serious moments are what make New Girl feel real, as life is both wacky and chaotic, but also confusing.

Furthermore, New Girl is a great representation of this generation and the problems in our current society. We’re already established that the gang is generally struggling with life in general, which is reflective of many people nowadays that are in their 20’s and 30’s. As seen through Nick, a failed lawyer turned bartender, and Cece, who doesn’t really know what she wants to do with her life, the series is very relatable to its target audience.

Despite not relying on traditionally funny antics that former successful sitcoms like Arrested Development and Seinfeld, New Girl is effective with its use of bizarre, identifiable characters and its ties to our current society. And is someone who is likewise in their 20’s and hilariously struggling a bit with life, I’ve learned to enjoy the series even more.