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Welcome to the twenty-sixth of our Creative Challenges. WriteMovies’ 100-Day Creative Challenge 26 is about the ‘brand’ of top directors.

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 project that would appeal to a famous film director.

  • As you work through this task, you might also consider how this activity relates to the ‘brand’ of top directors.
  • Save or photograph your work as a document called “100DayCC26”. 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 #100DayCC26 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!


Feedback:

Successful directors, especially the household name ones, are in themselves a ‘brand’ with a distinctive place in the market. Would Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Mike Leigh, or Spike Lee ever make a project that one of the others could as easily have made? Would they ever agree to make something that didn’t also feel like a step forward from territory they’ve previously covered?

As the figurehead of the ‘behind the camera’ side of every major production, the directors are also pivotal to the creative development and outcomes of the production itself – as well, of course, as being the person ultimately credited and blamed for the success or failure of the production.

This needs to be taken seriously. If there are no currently marketable directors or name producers (eg Jerry Bruckheimer, JJ Abrams) making the kind of film you’re trying to make, this may spook producers, as it’s also a sign there’s no established current audience for this kind of story. Even if there’s no way your project could ever look to attach a top director at this stage, you’ll still need to be able to name indicative directors in order to show producers you understand how the industry works and how your script would fit in with it: I failed in one promising pitch meeting with a high-profile film studio because I didn’t have good enough answers to that question – and nor did my Senior Analyst!

So, knowing how to play the ‘star system’ of directors is a vital part of pitching and selling your script. And you need to make sure your project would be a positive career move for them – not a retread of ground they’d feel they already covered to their satisfaction.

Look again at your outcomes from this Challenge. How well does it meet those needs? Could it do so, with more development?

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!

Go to the 100-Day Creative Challenge homepage HERE, to access further Challenges! Use our hashtag #100DayCC on your social media to discuss the Challenges more generally!

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