Creating Illusion With Story Structure — David Wappel

Film Courage: Are you a planner or an organizer?

David Wappel, Screenwriter: Yes, I’m definitely a planner and organizer. I think that is what I’m probably most fulfilled doing is planning and organizing which makes sense because that is what a screenplay is, just an organized plan for an emotional journey. I’m constructing essentially a train that the audience is going to ride and planning out every little minute detail of that ride and then trying to hide the audience from the rails and the car and I’m using empathy for a misdirection for that.

I like knowing the destination and then constructing the path to it and then sort of hiding that path for the audience.

Film Courage: Interesting. Do you always know the ending when you start writing a story?

David: I always know the ending when I start drafting. When I’m first thinking about a story I don’t necessarily know the ending and I am scribbling a bunch of notes what might be the ending, what might be a scene. I do a lot of note-taking and a sort of loose free thought of whatever I’m interested in for this project, I’m trying to collect as much as possible out of my brain about what is interesting to me about that thing and then I’ll do a treatment and I’ll do that treatment over and over and over until it gets to a point where I feel that is the story I want to write and then I’ll go to a draft. So by the time I’m going to a draft I know the ending but I also know everything leading up to it.

My first drafts I can usually write pretty quick but that’s because I just spent months writing a treatment over and over and over and it’s different versions and I’m…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

 

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