The Different Stages I Went Through To Learn Screenwriting by Mark Sanderson

Film Courage: How did you learn to write screenplays?

Mark Sanderson, Screenwriter/Author:  Oh! I don’t know if I still know? How did I learn to write screenplays? Early on as a kid when I was making films with my friend we wrote on pen and paper and just made a couple of notes and really didn’t know what we were doing but we knew we had to have something on paper. I’m not sure if we actually read a screenplay per se or not? A lot of times scripts in those days were hard to find. You couldn’t just say Oh, I’m going to look up on the Internet blah blah blah. Unless you were in the business you were not going to find a screenplay, unless you knew someone in the business.

We started with pen and paper and then eventually moving into high school (because I was only 11 years old) and in middle school realizing that we had to have some sort of…you can’t just shoot the movie and make it up as you go. We started writing screenplays and after we veered off on our separate paths…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Watch the full lecture here on Youtube

In this special Film Courage video lecture, Author/Screenwriter Mark Sanderson presents Staying In The Game: Surviving As A Working Screenwriter in Hollywood for a live audience (with Q&A) – recorded in North Hollywood, CA September 25th, 2018.

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

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About Mark Sanderson:

Mark Sanderson (aka @scriptcat) is a Los Angeles based screenwriter, author, script consultant and sometimes actor blessed to be living his childhood dream of making movies with thirty-six screenplays written in genres ranging from comedy to drama. His work ranges from his sketch comedy writing and performing as a founding member with The Amazing Onionheads, writing for MTV, to his spec sale, and twenty screenplay assignments with television premieres and worldwide distribution of his fourteen emotionally compelling films— the WWII indie feature “I’ll Remember April,” Lifetime Network’s “An Accidental Christmas” and “Deck the Halls,” the stylish indie noir feature “Stingers,” action-packed thrillers “USS Poseidon: Phantom Below” (aka HereTV’s “Tides of War”) and SyFy Network’s “Sea Snakes” (aka Fox’s “Silent Venom”), Lifetime Network’s highly rated thrillers “Mommy’s Little Girl,” and “A Night to Regret,” and the LMN Network premieres “Mother of All Lies,” “A Wedding to Die For,” “One Small Indiscretion,”“Hunted by My Ex,” “Family Vanished,” and the upcoming thriller “My Daughter Vanished.”

Mark’s films have premiered on Lifetime Network, LMN, SyFy, Fox, HereTV, HBO Canada, Christmas 24, NBC/Universal, The Movie Network, and have been distributed globally. His films have been recognized at festivals including a premiere and opening the Palm Springs Int. Film Festival, premieres at the Hawaii Int. Film Festival, St. Louis Int. Film Festival, The Rainbow Festival in Hawaii, Newport Beach Int. Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale Int. Festival, and nominated for the Starboy award at the Oulu Int. Children’s Film Festival in Finland.

Mark’s long association with award winning Hollywood filmmakers dates back to his first produced screenplay and has since worked with Academy Award® winning producers, veteran directors, and has written films starring Academy Award®, Golden Globe®, and Emmy® acting nominees and winners. Mark is also a screenplay consultant and his new book, “A Screenwriter’s Journey to Success” is now available on Amazon…(Read more here).


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