Welcome to the twenty-second of our Creative Challenges. WriteMovies’ 100-Day Creative Challenge 22 is about ways career moves for star actors.
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 prepare a creative piece, about:
A role that could be a perfect ‘next step’ for a current star.
- As you work through this task, you might also consider how this activity relates to career moves for star actors.
- Save or photograph your work as a document called “100DayCC22”. 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 #100DayCC22 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!
It’s interesting here to think about what it is that distinguishes the profiles and typical roles of different kinds of actors. What is it that makes a ‘Harrison Ford role’ different from a ‘Tom Cruise role’? Julia Roberts from Nicole Kidman? Humphrey Bogart from Cary Grant? Will Ferrell from Ben Stiller? Producers need to know that someone saleable can be put at the heart of this project – so if no current star fits the role at the heart of the project, your project is much less likely to get the greenlight.
There are many reasons this is a useful challenge to try out. First is that every role needs to be a positive ‘next step’ for the actor you or producers want to cast – they and their agents are precious about their reputations and their future image, so they’ll say no to anything that doesn’t fit with the image and stature they’ll need in order to progress in their goals. You may be desperate to land them – but the feeling and need isn’t mutual.
This also impacts on the way you develop the parts. My wife isn’t interested in films with Will Smith and Matthew McConaughey because she feels like every film they’re in becomes “all about them” – watch BAD BOYS FOR LIFE to see an example, where in spite of the franchise famously being a cop-buddy series about two guys, there is no doubt which of them is the focus of everything in the movie – including the backstory and motivations of the villains. I suspect that the stars’ agents are just as important as the stars’ own potential egos, in pushing this approach in every credible role they’re approached about.
Stars are sometimes signed to exclusivity contracts, which means that studios or networks NEED to find regular roles for them, or they’re throwing their money away – even for projects that wouldn’t have been greenlit for any other reason. Look again at your concept here. Could you develop it and sell it to the people that need to keep your chosen star profitable?
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!