The Danger of listening to experts!!



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  • #16
    Re: An eye to the future

    I just don't think that argument holds up at all. People who are currently working in the industry (the George Lucas's of this world) are the ones who have been pushing the technological boundaries and seeking a democratisation of the business. The problem, if it is a problem, is that this is a multi-billion dollar industry where the power lies in distribution and the huge attendant marketing costs which lie in getting people to pay for view the product. Of course the internet and other delivery systems may open things up for a period but don't you think these huge corporations will play catch up? The music industry has already begun to grapple with these issues and coral revenue back into its clammy paws.

    But ultimately even this kind of discussion misses the central point. Screenwriting is about story telling, a craft which is difficult to truly master. The fundamentals of that haven't changed. And that's where we can look to people who have a firm grasp and understanding of that process for advice and guidance, all the while using our critical faculties to filter out what we find redundant or unhelpful to our journey as writers.


    • #17

      This thread is illogical. It's a discussion site, we exchange, experiences, ideas and opinions.

      Anyone can play contrarian and add a 'but' to anyone else's comments.

      I may as well start a thread "The Danger Of Listening To Ham."

      You give advice all the time and there are some who see you as more of an "expert" than others.

      Do I give more weight to CE and Taos' opinions than yours? Damn right I do.

      If there's "danger" in listening to experts then who do we listen to?


      • #18
        Um. Sc111, perhaps you should read his post. It's not really about the dangers of listening to pro advice. It's about taking responsibility for your own work, rather than finding excuses in the pro's advice for not garnering attention with your script.


        • #19
          I don't really understand where you are coming from, Ham.
          We've been offered insight to Tao's experiences. We take
          what we can from it and move on.

          To issue some sort of "warning" to not absorb this as sacred
          text, I think that's a little (woo oo) out there.

          Advice from pro's is simply that. Advice. Relax, Ham.



          • #20
            But, St. Rogue, maybe you can discern what is directly applicable to you, but others may not.

            As an example, take CE's post about a script resonating with a reader. Some may take it as "So, the reason I've not had any success is that my script hasn't resonated with a reader?" They won't go on to rewrite their work, or even look at it again, they'll just continue to send out blindly, because they, now, truly believe that their script is just not resonating with the right reader.

            In 2002 - 2003, I got absolutely no bites on my writing. I didn't take that to mean that my script wasn't resonating, or connecting with the right people. I took it to mean I need to work harder to make my scripts better.

            However, in that time, I've watched a few poster, not naming names, who've sent their scripts out, and gotten no response. Their response to this is to say, "Well, what CE says..." "What Tao says..." "What Zod said..." Blaming others (the readers) for their script's failure. When, really, they should go back to their scripts and figure out what's not working. They should be reading produced scripts to find out what does work. They should be taking classes, getting feedback, etc. But, instead they debate the minutiae of screenwriting, and what our pro's say about it, thereby relieving themselves of any responsibility for their own works.

            I think that's what Ham is cautioning against.

            To continue using the CE example: Your script is your responsibility. Sure, your script might not resonate with everyone, but it's gotta, at some point, resonate with someone (who's not your mom). Until then, read the pro's posts, take what you like and leave the rest.


            • #21
              That's how I see it, too. And the reality is, pros aren't always on the same page about how to proceed, both artistically and business-wise. In fact, read some of the old threads and FAQ archives to see how far apart Dr. Stiggers and Taotropics are. For example, a while back Stiggers came up with a list of subject matters, characters and various misc. things he felt aspiring screenwriters should avoid (because they were newbie cliches) and Taotropics called it "Stiggers' List - The List of Death," because he saw no reason for an aspiring screenwriter to limit him/herself that way.

              That's why I advocate finding a pro whose opinions are close enough to your own POV and using their posts for inspiration. (But not in order to justify sending out inferior work.)


              • #22

                I did read his post and I still think it's illogical. He's warning that misapplying or twisting CE's comments (in one particular post) about even bad scripts finding their way to a buyer could lead to turning out "less than stellar" work.

                Well, yeah, it could. It still doesn't eradicate the fact that bad scripts DO sell. And we could go round and round on that one point alone.

                Ham makes a broad statement in the thread title, 'The Danger Of Listening To Experts," then backs it up with his own cautionary note about one, count it, one of CE's posts.

                This is what I find illogical.

                Ham advises: produce "stellar work." A variation on "write a great script," which is repeated all the time.

                This type of advice is cryptic. You can put it on a bumper sticker. It sounds wise but it's sorely lacking in usable detail one can apply to their own efforts.

                CE and Tao take the time out of their busy professional lives to fill in amazing, usuable detail for a mass of people who come to this site to learn.

                On Two Adverbs, CE's logline lottery analysis is an amazing
                help in developing story. You don't even have to enter the lottery, just read his comments. Tao's insights as a working writer in the industry are preparing people for what lies ahead when they do sell. 'Helpful' doesn't even come close to the value of this advice.

                People sell this type of advice, these guys are posting it for free. I think their efforts should be respected not nitpicked into oblivion.

                They have feelings, they can decide to walk off and keep their advice to themselves. Then what do we have left? Oh, wait, I know, "Write a great script." Yeah, that's what we have left.


                • #23
                  There is absolutely no nitpicking of Pros going on here, sorry. It's nitpicking of how some percieve advice. It's, again, about taking responsibility for your own work, and not taking bits and pieces of these posts to create excuses. Which is what I've seen many people do here.

                  It's not illogical advice at all. It's advice a lot of people should take a serious look at.


                  • #24
                    Hi cutie Ham!

                    I am not famous, but my advice to everyone, famous or not, is to follow your heart. But also be practical. If everyone says your script lacks 'something,' do something about it. Editing is not giving up - it is improving. Use a style book, a dictionary, a screenwriting format book - even take classes. Don't give up if writing is your dream (and you're good at it). Just keep working to improve yourself.

                    And good luck from me, the fairy godmother.