Pat Verducci, Writing Coach, Teacher and Mentor: I think it’s the magical side of writing that makes it feel really daunting and something that we cannot control.
Film Courage: Pat at what point does empathy have to be present in the story? If we have a character that is unlikeable but eventually we determine we understand why they are doing what they’re doing, is there a point where the empathy meter has to kick in for the audience?
Pat: I actually think the empathy meter has to kick in on page one. That connection needs to be established immediately in the story. If it’s not, we’re going to struggle to connect to that person and follow them, especially if they’re kind of an anti-hero main character. For example, in The Talented Mr. Ripley where Tom is the anti-hero, the filmmaker and the writer (I think it’s Anthony Minghella) works really hard on page one to establish why he wants what he wants…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
Writing Coach, Teacher, Mentor and Screenwriter Pat Verducci teaches two Advanced Screenwriting courses at UCLA TFT. She has written scripts for Touchstone Pictures, Witt-Thomas Productions, and Walt Disney Animation Studios. She has also worked as a story consultant for Disney/Pixar. She wrote and directed the feature film True Crime, starring Alicia Silverstone, and her writing credits also include documentary shorts for HBO and Showtime. She co-produced Somewhere Between, a feature documentary about four teenaged girls transracially adopted from China, and served as a story consultant on the Tinkerbell franchise for Disney. She is currently the script editor on several feature film projects for Film Victoria and Screen Australia, and is writing Citizen Bella, a documentary on the life of modern dancer Bella Lewitzky. Verducci serves as a mentor at Cinestory and the Meryl Streep funded IRIS/New York Women in Film and Television’s Writer’s Lab for Women. She’s a member of the Writers Guild of America.
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