I am excited to have been interviewed by Tio Louis, of Prime Latino Media on the subject of screenwriting! For the next ten weeks, I will be sharing clips of our conversations. I hope you will enjoy them, and let me know what you think.
Tio Louis has been a mover and a shaker in the business for 30 years, and I am honored to speak with him.
T.L.: I’m Tio Louie from Prime Latino Media, and I’m here with Marilyn Horowitz, best known for her book How to Write a Screenplay in 10 weeks. Since we’re going to be talking about screenplays, one of the greatest around is The Wizard of Oz. As they say in that movie, it’s always best to start at the beginning. So, Marilyn, how does one go about starting to write a screenplay?
M.H.: Well, the first thing, of course, is that you have to have some kind of idea of what you want to write. That being said, you then have to ask yourself, very seriously, “Am I really willing to commit the time to writing it?” A lot of people say they want to write, and yet when push comes to shove, they don’t make time for it. But if you really are serious, the first step is to sit down and write out your story in some way. It could be as complex and detailed as a short story or just a few ideas scrawled on the back of a napkin. Many people will say things like “Oh no, I can’t write a word until I have a screenplay program” or “I have to take a class first” or “I need to go to film school.” And none of that is true. Certainly when Sylvester Stallone sat down to write Rocky he wasn’t sure about proper screenplay format. He was just putting together his story in the best way he knew. And that’s what anyone starting a screenplay has to do. On the other hand, it can be very helpful to invest in a how-to book on screenplay writing. There are several good ones out there, but I recommend mine because it’s clear and simple and its graphic design makes the concepts easy to understand. You just sit down with the workbook, go through the exercises, and in two hours you’ll have a clear sense of your main characters and story structure. At this point, I recommend writing a short story version of your movie, almost as if you’re telling it to a friend in an e-mail: “Say, I have this idea for a screenplay. It’s about this little girl whose been adopted by her uncle, and she has this dog that will not behave. And her teacher hates the dog, catches the dog digging up her flowers, and threatens to put the dog to sleep.” And you just go from there!
Louis E. Perego Moreno/@TioLouie
Founder & Executive Producer of PRIME LATINO MEDIA, the largest network on the East Coast of bilingual Latino multimedia-makers and actors in Latino and mainstream media and entertainment, hosts PRIME LATINO MEDIA Salón, metro-New York’s only monthly network gathering in which over 75 narrative & documentary filmmakers, programmers, casting agents, TV & digital media producers, actors and journalist/authors have been interviewed. An interactive content producer and educator who for the past 34 years has owned Skyline Features, a bilingual (English and Spanish-language) multimedia and educational production company developing documentaries, television programming and advertising commercials featuring Latinos, Blacks, Women, Urban Youth and LGBT. Created a non-profit video training program that over the course of ten years produced 70 documentary shorts with 1,500 Latino and Black Youth. Producer/Director/Writer of documentary feature, Latina Confessions (What does it mean to be Latina in the USA?) and on the PBS documentary feature as Co-producer of American Dreams Deferred, about a Puerto Rican family and their son’s journey graduating from NYU with a Master’s degree. For 13 years he served on a national level and for two years he was the President of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers in New York (NALIP). He has been serving for over 18 years on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Latino Arts & Culture at Rutgers University.
LATINA CONFESSIONS (Dir, Prod, Writer): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5hb5YHDeXY
AMERICAN DREAMS DEFERRED (Co-prod): https://vimeo.com/9867432