If You’re Not Reading Bad Screenplays You’re Not Getting Better – Guido Segal

Guido Segal, Screenwriter, Journalist, Film Critic, Instructor: Many times I thought I did my best writing and no one connected with it and other times I had a deadline and I wrote it very fast I thought Oh my God this is embarrassing! And people loved it.

Film Courage: You have read hundreds of screenplays when you’ve interned at production companies?

Guido: Probably, yeah.

Film Courage: What did that teach you about writing and what came across your desk?

Guido: It’s the best advice I could give any writer, if you don’t learn how to write, read scripts, read bad scripts which is what you’ll mostly do, read good scripts as well. But there’s no better way to write than reading scripts. See how different people use the language in the format. Some people are more verbose, some people are very sparse in descriptions, some people are really great. Scripts are not literature. They have to be engaging but they’re not novels. If you can be very concise and can convey the idea in a snappy way in one sentence, those scripts really work of course. Some people have great prose but there’s not a great story there. It’s so difficult because it’s a conjuncture of great story, great characters, great use of subtext. There are many, many scripts marred by the characters just stating everything how they feel and sometimes you’ve got to do that but using subtext (good use of subtext) it’s always appreciated because most of the time we don’t go through life saying everything we feel or think. Actually in order to avoid conflict we tend not to…(Watch the video interview on YouTube here).

BIO:

Guido Segal was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Before moving to Los Angeles to pursue his  MFA in Screenwriting at UCLA, he was a journalist and a film critic, selected as a Juror at la Semaine de la Critique, during the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Segal has worked as a documentary filmmaker for History and Discovery Channel covering political topics (Asylum Seekers; Sicarios). He also has vast experience as an assistant director and screenwriter for films and TV. Segal co-wrote the Argentinian films Leones (2012) and Kékzsakállú (2016). He was also staffed as a TV writer in three shows: Un Año Para Recordar (2011-2012); La Asombrosa Excursión de Zamba (2014-2016); and Siesta Z (2016). The last two animated shows were nominated for International Emmy Awards in the Kids category. Segal has lived in Argentina, Spain and Finland, and taught Screenwriting and Film Analysis in Universidad del Cine (Buenos Aires), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona), TAMK University (Tampere, Finland) and UCLA. 

 

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