Most Important Screenwriting Lessons I’ve Learned In The Last 10 Years by Christine Conradt

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Film Courage: What did you do to get better as a writer from 10 years ago all the way to now? Whether it’s been the 10,000 hours we talked about?

Christine Conradt, Screenwriter: A lot of it is the 10,000 hours. I mean, I’m a big believer in that if you put in your 10,000, you’re at a place where you just have confidence and you know what you’re doing and so the obstacles that you encounter you just know how to tackle and so that’s very different than I think that I was 10 years ago before I had done that.

But I think also just being able to recognize your deficiencies. For me when I read a great script and I go “Oh my gosh, this is a great script,” I get really excited about it. What are they doing that I’m not doing? What can I learn from what this writer did? And I think just constantly learning and constantly reading and constantly researching and having that in the back of your mind all of the time, that you want to get better and you’ll just gravitate toward things that make you better instead of finding that comfortable place where you know you are good at writing this.

So I’m just going to write this over and over. I think forcing yourself to stretch. Because once you do that, again it’s a great feeling when you’ve written something good and you’ve done something you haven’t done before then you have something you are really proud of.

Film Courage: I’m wondering what scripts those are? Do you have one off the top of your head that you looked at and was like “Wow I wish I had written that?” Or “I want to do something like this?”

Christine Conradt: It happens all the time. I can’t think of a specific one that’s just come out. But I was just speaking on a panel and we were reading the first five pages of a bunch of people’s scripts and then we were critiquing them (the whole panel was) and we didn’t know whose was whose. And there was one that I thought was great that I really gravitated to. So this guy came up afterward and was like “Would you like to read it? It was my script that you liked?”  And I read it and I just thought it was really fantastic. He’s a great writer and I remember reading it and it was an action script and I don’t typically write action.

It was so crisp and it was just moving so quickly and I was like I just love how he’s structured this and how even on the page (the way it looks), just so conducive to what he was trying to convey in terms of content that I was like but I’ve got to remember. So as I was reading that I was absorbing all that because he may not be as far on his journey as I am, but he’s certainly a better action writer than I am and so I was learning a lot from how he structured…the words he chose…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

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