Welcome to the thirty-third of our Creative Challenges. We’re focusing on ways to blend originality with commercial viability and production risk management in our seventh week of Creative Challenges: WriteMovies’ 100-Day Creative Challenge 33 is about the award system for films and TV shows.
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 concept for a film that could compete for major awards for its actors, director or writer.
- As you work through this task, you might also consider how this activity relates to the award system for films and TV shows.
- Save or photograph your work as a document called “100DayCC33”. 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 #100DayCC33 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!
A lot of every year’s award contenders are painfully predictable, and often badly overrated. Overwrought dramas, historical biopics about challenging and important people, issue dramas about today’s most intractible problems… they often succeed not because they’re great, but because they manage to get enough awards, nominations and critical acclaim, in an industry that generally puts profit above critical acclaim. The sweet spot between artistic credibility, cinematic bravery and mass appeal, is often what wins Best Picture.
We receive many credible drama scripts at WriteMovies, which often push for the winning places. Yet drama is often quite a hard sell for audiences – so award nominations are particulaly important for dramas. People have limited motivation to pay money and travel to the cinema to watch the kind of issues that are already prevalent and distressing on the news or in their everyday lives… so stamps of approval like award nominations make a big difference.
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!