The Formula For Writing A Great Screenplay – Christian Elder

Christian Elder, Screenwriter: It’s not what he’s playing, it’s not the chord that he’s hitting, it’s what’s between. It’s the stop, it’s in between it, that is where you feel the story he’s telling in the music.

Film Courage: How did you figure out your voice?

Christian: I yelped into the wind and no… you know when you asked me that question immediately the first thing that popped into my mind and it really has nothing to do with anything we’re discussing was the first few lines of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and what that story and that book means as this modernist tale that is descriptive of how an artist reaches his voice because anybody familiar with Portrait of the Artist knows that it starts with these kind of weird little phonetics because he’s just a baby and he like…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).



Christian Elder is a screenwriter, playwright and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. He has been a finalist for Tribeca All Access, a semi-finalist for the International Thomas Wolfe Playwriting Award, a quarterfinalist for the ScreenCraft Play contest and a quarterfinalist for the Academy Awards Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. His work written for the stage has been recently developed at the Billie Holiday Theatre through the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop and Urban Stages, both in New York. He has written and directed two short films and is the creator and executive producer of the new crime fiction anthology podcast Hell, California. Elder’s Hell, California, is a hardboiled crime fiction podcast anthology series (co-produced by Jeremy Foley). It takes place in a mysterious, mythical California border town called Hell. Each episode is an original standalone noir story, often about greed, lust and murder. In March 2020, Elder, Foley and a team of six writers formed an online TV writers’ room during the pandemic, resulting in this series. 




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