No Writer Is Smart Enough To Come Up With 20 Bad Ideas In A Row – Christopher Riley

Christopher Riley, Screenwriter, Author, and Instructor: His theory says is that no one is smart enough to come up with 20 bad ideas in a row.

Film Courage: Once a writer has processed their own defining moments, how do they begin to apply that knowledge to the characters that they create?

Christopher: When I think about applying the idea of defining moments to characters, I think in terms of these categories. If I’ve got a character who has a dream, I’ve already looked back at my moment of watching ordinary people and seeing this dream of somehow getting my fingers into the clay of filmmaking. I know about how at least one dream was born, then I can come to my character and say for this character What does it look like when their dream was born? Now their dream may be to be an astronaut and so I would think about what is analogous from my experience to their experience? I was watching a movie…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


Christopher Riley is a professional screenwriter who co-wrote with his wife Kathy Riley the award-winning German language courtroom thriller After the Truth. The Rileys have written scripts for Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Mandalay Television Pictures, the late Sean Connery’s Fountainbridge Films and Robert Cort Productions. Christopher produced the independent action-thriller Red Line and executive produced the web series Bump+. He is the author of the classic screenplay format guide The Hollywood Standard, now in its third edition, and teaches screenwriting at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Riley’s latest book is The Defining Moment: How Writers and Actors Build Characters (through Michael Wiese Productions). 

See it on Amazon here

BUY THE BOOK – THE DEFINING MOMENT: How Writers and Actors Build Characters (by Christopher and Kathy Riley)

See it on Amazon here

BUY THE BOOK – THE HOLLYWOOD STANDARD: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style






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