I’M BACK!! And Dabbling in Screenwriting

This is my first blog post in freakin FOREVER. I’m talkin months – like many many months. Not sure why exactly I stopped in the first place. Probably a time thing if I’m being honest. That’s such a lame excuse though. Whatever I’m making it anyways.  

I really want to start blogging more and I have a free half hour so here we go…

I’ll start with a brief little update about what my life has been like the past five or six months. Here’s a tidy list that you can feel free to skip past if you want – I won’t be offended…

  • Acted in two short films and one commercial.
  • Recorded several new podcast episodes for The Millennial Lawyer podcast.
  • Was on a dating show which I lost (sheds tear)
  • Discovered that I live down the street from the best taco stands in Nash, and have been taking full advantage.
  • Directed a short film. 
  • Started giving ghost tours in downtown Nash. 
  • Still working at the lemon
  • Went on a two-month hiatus from Planet Fitness (SMH).
  • Am now back on my Planet Fitness game (#HealthIsWealth).
  • Went to Destin, FL for literally 24 hours (it was well worth it)

Yup – that about sums it up. 

Anyways, I recently went on an Amazon Prime book buying binge and started reading all about writing screenplays. I’ve written a few short screenplays in the past but if I’m being honest, they all kinda sucked. I’d give them a solid C+ and that’s being generous. I originally wanted to write a short screenplay that I could produce myself and act in so that I could add the footage to my acting reel. But once I realized that my stories were lacking, the lawyer in me went into research mode and I started combing the web for information. 

Don’t worry – this won’t be a long boring post about how to write a good screenplay. I wouldn’t even know how to do that.  I’m only two books into the ten I purchased from Amazon.   So yeah basically an expert. 

This post, on the other hand, is mainly about PREMISE – and how having a solid one is critical to writing a good story. 

After reading The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri, I realized how important it is that every story have a solid premise. None of my screenplays had a good premise. Are you surprised? I already told you they were pretty JV squad. They had cool stories and characters and scenes but no concrete premise.

The premise of a screenplay is essentially the central idea or theme of the story. AKA what is the point?? Some examples given by Egri are..

  • Foolish generosity leads to false gaiety
  • Ill-temper leads to isolation
  • Dishonesty leads to exposure
  • Egotism leads to loss of friends

After reading Egri’s book and fully understanding the importance of starting with a premise, I started writing with purpose and towards a goal. I basically just automatically became the next Aaron Sorkin. Just kidding. Sorkin is a legend – mad respect.  Plus, I’ve still got eight books to read. I’ll probably post additional writing epiphanies as I learn more about the craft so be forewarned.

To sum up this post, I found the brief but important nugget about premise extremely helpful. It was on my mind this morning so I thought I’d share my thoughts. Cheers to my next screenplay being better than my last! Well – hopefully. 

Have an AMAZING DAY!!

~Brendan

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