Welcome to the eleventh of our Creative Challenges. In our third week of Creative Challenges, we’re exploring what producers and commissioners actually need from writers: WriteMovies’ 100-Day Creative Challenge 11 is about the needs of a film or TV producer.
Guidance: For the next 20 minutes, use whatever method you like – thoughts and ideas, mind maps, diagrams or sketches, a sample of script, prose, poetry – as you:
Write a letter from a clueless writer to a producer or TV commissioner – a letter that’s certain to fail in its goal.
- As you work through this task, you might also consider how this activity relates to the needs of a film or TV producer.
- Save or photograph your work as a document called “100DayCC11”. Then reflect on this experience and what it has taught you about you and your writing: what comes naturally to you, which aspects were easy and difficult, and the subjects, angles and attitudes that you like to focus your writing on.
- Share online if you like using the hashtag #100DayCC11 to compare to other people’s experiences and support each other, or submit to our Academy Lite if you’re a subscriber!
When you complete the Challenge – or if you get completely stuck – then look at the Feedback below!
This Challenge focuses you on what NOT to do when you’re approaching a producer or network about your writing. The number of things to avoid doing is an extremely long list, so hopefully you came up with some fun or scary mistakes to include here – you almost certainly weren’t able to include them all at once! Over the next Challenges, we’ll focus on good things to do instead.
Hopefully, writing this letter will have helped you think of life from the producer’s point of view, what they need and don’t need, want and don’t want, what’s helpful and unhelpful to them, appropriate and inappropriate etc. If you don’t grasp those, you are likely to fail regardless of the quality of your work. For real insight into how the industry will really read and handle your script (or not), read the published works of our founder Alex Ross, via his author website https://www.arossauthor.com/. WriteMovies has always been built around his insights into the way the industry really works for agents and producers, based on his experiences as a Hollywood agent of the likes of Quentin Tarantino.
General tips and feedback:
Many writers, naturally, don’t find it easy to be creative ‘on tap’ – especially for work that they didn’t set themselves. But to write professionally, you will usually need to meet deadlines and requirements, that can’t be put off, for briefs you didn’t choose for yourself: even if you’re ill or feeling down, you’ll usually have to just find a way through, and get the results that are needed, to the quality that’s necessary. So the WriteMovies Creative Challenges are designed to help you find ways around the crucial issues of ‘block’.
We do this by setting a (deceptively!) simple brief, and encouraging you to use a variety of methods, approaches and creative products in order to find ways around it, and generate some kind of outcomes that might be useful to you in the future. Whatever state your mind and mood are in – energetic or tired, stimulated or bored, motivated or disengaged, etc – there are different ‘modes’ of creative productivity which you can engage, to make the best of it: editing your work if you can’t write, making notes if you can’t generate script, etc. Try a mix of methods to make the most of activities such as the Creative Challenges, especially anytime you get stuck: just keep adding notes, sketches etc freely, you can decide later whether any of them are useful! Also note that the brief is to ‘prepare’ a creative work – not to actually make it straight away, before you feel ready to! But if you’ve come away from this with a passage of prose or script or even poetry, well done!
Hopefully this activity will have shown you the potential value of our Creative Challenges, and the benefits of making a routine to complete them, and persisting with it day by day to gradually improve all aspects of your writing and to develop solutions to ‘block’, that you will become more and more proficient with over time. We recommend that you commit to fulfilling the 100-Day Creative Challenges, sharing your outputs to gain the support and feedback of other writers working on the same activities, and if you’d like expert daily feedback from us on this and much more, additional material, subscribe to the WriteMovies Academy Lite now!