Must screenwriters reinvent themselves?



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  • Must screenwriters reinvent themselves?

    In order to continue being competitive many top professionals often reinvent themselves. Is that an issue with screenwriters?

    I mean in addition to honing your skills in your genre and regularly selling your scripts, must you also face this challenge sooner or later? Or is getting better and better at what you do best enough?

  • #2
    i believe many successful people in the industry must at one time reinvent themselves. they become stagnant and boring or they just have natural growth that must be dealt with.

    actors are most recognizable; esp those who acted very young - the transition to adulthood problem ie. john travolta

    stagnant ie. woody allen


    • #3
      A word of caution (actually, two words):


      I'm Not Riley Weston, But I Play One On TV


      • #4
        First of all, not only becoming a well crafted writer extremely difficult, but even at that high level talent it's hit or miss.

        How can the same guy who wrote The Usual Suspects write and direct The Way Of The Gun. Usual suspects was perfectly told. And The Way Of The Gun lacked a lot of things the other had.

        I don't think it's a reinvention, once you know how to craft a story, you know. Everyone has their own ways. Out line, jump right in, jot notes for a few weeks, start with the main character, etc...

        You'll definitely have to keep up with the times, the trends, sure, or you might lose touch with your audience.


        • #5
          I'd say that if reinvention is necessary, it has more to do with artistic development than industry requirement. No one wants to tell the same story over and over again for years on end (except my grandmother, but that's a different issue). There's a point where a noted action writer might feel the need to do something different to keep himself interested in writing at all. I'm sure there's a point where you'll have as much money as you'll ever need. At that point, reinvention is almost an artistic compulsion.

          That's my 2ยข.


          • #6
            I have to decide if I want to continue writing scripts. Decide if the payoff is worth the work.

            Lots of work.


            • #7
              What do you mean by reinvent? A successful storyteller doesn't need to change if he/she continues to convey good stories well. How those stories are depicted on the screen, i.e. the directors, DPs, SFX guys, etc. may change their styles, but a good story will always be a good story.


              • #8
                For example, consider these possibilities:

                Writing for yourself (or your mom) vs writing for a more demanding audience

                Exploring new stylistic or structural territory

                Raising your standards (B-type vs A-type movies, car chases vs redeeming values)

                Writing from the heart vs writing automatically

                Being more daring with subject matter vs remaining too complacent

                Adding another genre to your repertoire

                Showing a new side of you (social, political, philosophical, etc.)


                • #9
                  Sort of.

                  You need to keep coming up with new, exciting scripts. Exciting often means something unexpected - so that might be reinvention.

                  This is a biz where they can easily forget about you, or just become more interested in the "flavor of the month" new writer. So every once in a while you need to remind them of just how great you are by becoming the "flavor of the month" yourself.

                  That just takes a great script.

                  - Bill


                  • #10
                    I've re-invented myself, and I'm not even a famous screenwriter.


                    • #11
                      You rock, SpaceDonkey!


                      • #12
                        I think it's just something that comes naturally as writers evolve and change in their own lives. I also think deliberately putting thought into it sort of defeats the purpose. If it happens, fine, let it happen.

                        In the meantime, concentrate on what and how you want to write now.