This interview was submitted to Film Courage courtesy of Derek Davidson.
Celeste Chaney: I don’t necessarily have a list of screenplays, like read these screenplays and you’re going to be an awesome screenwriter. It’s more give yourself over to a lot of different styles of screenwriting, a lot of different genres.
I love Aaron Sorkin (obviously) right? So THE SOCIAL NETWORK, that is a screenplay that I have read over and over again. I really love Alex Garland’s EX MACHINA. That’s one of my favorite films. It’s a really well done screenplay. Again it’s theme (a genre) that I’m interested in. Lately I’ve been revisited THE TRUMAN SHOW. Because when that came out it was a very novel, interesting idea. It actually shaped me in a lot of ways because you have those moment where you are like “Am I on the Truman Show?” Like how powerful of a screenplay to be able to do that, to create a psychosis.
Everybody says you have to write and read everyday because it’s true. If you’re writing everyday, the next day you are going to write a little better than you did the day before. And in four years, you are going to be a much better writer than you were four years ago.
I think a lot of writers, you are waiting for the world to give you permission to pursue your craft and you need to give yourself that permission. And you need to show up and say “Okay, I’m going to do this. And I might not be very good right now or maybe I am great and I don’t know it yet?” You won’t know either way unless you put yourself out there. And sitting down everyday for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, somewhere in between. The timing doesn’t matter if you’re writing 1,000 words or if you are writing 50. The important thing is that you are writing.
Powerful stories ask questions. So they work in such as way that the audience is constantly wondering “Why did that happen? Where is this taking this?” And you can’t ask a question and answer it at the end. You have to… (Watch the video on Youtube here).
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