How To Know You Are A Screenwriter – Christian Elder

Christian Elder, Screenwriter: Writers intrinsically are always seeking (even as I speak) the right word to use.

Film Courage: Why screenwriting?

Christian: That’s a great question to start with. I think it’s just basically two things and one is when I was young the thing that came before I wanted to tell stories (which I think is very integral to wanting to write screenplays) is a love for movies and a love for cinema. I think I just became like a movie addict first without any sort of concern whatsoever for the idea of writing a screenplay, just kind of getting a rush from movies and watching movies and talking about movies and wanting to introduce my friends to movies. I think that was the amuse-bouche on the palette before I launched into storytelling. Storytelling was something else, storytelling was the idea that there was a message that I want to convey, a statement that I wanted to say and usually that didn’t really sort of progress until for me I was in my early 20’s and I had these ideas and I would see these great films from people that were expressing at the time for me these kind of subjects that dealt with things that hit me in the heart at my core for who I was, a young adult, as a young black male adult. Two examples would be John Singleton and Spike Lee and I thought Hey, I want to tell stories that have messages that are akin to that, that relate to people like me. That was the impetus and then I went on a journey of trying to discover how to do that and that entailed mining what I love about the written word and that also involves a love of literature, a love of storytelling of all types. I think that screenplays are usually just elaborate short stories…(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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