Those who can't, teach



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  • #16
    There are several books out there which are the polar
    opposite of Lew's piece of crud. How he has a teaching job is
    quite honestly well beyond my grasp. But one can't
    accurately generalize from only one instance of crappy


    • #17
      Saying coined by someone bitter....


      Stupid saying. My high school math teacher could really do math and my college English professor spoke perfect English.



      • #18

        I agree some screenwriting teachers dont need credits on imdb to get respect. Not only for the reasons already mentioned aboved but also for not wanting to play the game.

        There are talented (some more than others) filmmakers and actors who simply dont work. Many of them dont want to. They dont want to waste their time with all the bullshit that goes with filmmaking; Hollywood or independent.

        I think it's quite commendable. No ego. No vanity. They just wanna teach.


        • #19
          Re: re

          Ultimately, it doesn't matter how a how-to author writes. If you find his advice helpful, then it's worth it. If you don't find it helpful, then it isn't. That's all there is to it.

          Frankly, as a former teacher, the whole conversation is pretty irritating. There really isn't any correlation between teaching ability and skill at the subject being taught â€"*especially when talking about the arts. Some of the best writers around are also the worst teachers ever. The combination of talent and teaching ability is so rare, it's almost non-existent. I'm sure we can think of one teacher we were really impressed by, but I'd be surprised if we could think of more than one.


          • #20
            Re: re

            I'm sure we can think of one teacher we were really impressed by, but I'd be surprised if we could think of more than one.
            I just thought of more than one, and man were they HOT!!!... :rollin


            • #21
              To anyone who believes that you need to have impressive credits in order to teach, I ask you --

              why do you post here?

              Someone asks a question about structure, character, story and all the unproduced writers here give their advice. (Often very good and useful advice). By answering the question and giving your take on it, you're attempting to teach that poster something.

              So if you don't have writing credits, you either have to acknowledge that people can be good teachers without them, or that you have nothing of value to say about screenwriting.


              • #22

                And let's face it, failed screenwriters have more time on their hands to help YOU.


                • #23
                  To get to your specific problem, i.e. running out of steam halfway through:

                  I came across Jeff Schechter's Totally Write. Even though I don't agree with everything he says, at least he doesn't try to teach you how to write. Instead he discusses story and structure and gives you some nice questions and rules-of-thumb to evaluate whether your story ideas will go the distance.

                  Using his stuff it was easier to sift through my story ideas and get a feel for the kind of storylines that can sustain a whole movie. And for the stories that can do that, I have no problem to outline the whole thing all the way through. It makes me want to write even more because I know I won't get stuck on page 55...



                  • #24
                    I think there's a big difference between someone who tosses their 2 cents worth of advice in on something (even when it's good and valued advice) and someone who calls themselves a professional teacher. If I can help a neighbor with their jumpshot it doesn't make me a professional basketball player, or a coach.

                    In Hunter's book, on page 122 he writes: We have the gall to tell actors to hold a beat after a dialogue sentence! Chutzpah of a high rank. Using "wrylies" is as bad as directing the director with camera angles and closeup indications. Don't.

                    Then on page 130 he shows the very first page of his script for Fallen Angel, where he used no less than EIGHT wrylies, including, but not limited to (demolishing), (interrupts) and (almost whining).

                    Good freaking gravy. That's like telling my neighbor that the key to the jump shot is to not jump at all. I'm not saying that you need to have a list of credits like Billy Wilder to be able to teach screenwriting, but it almost struck me dumb that the first "how-to" book I ever picked up--by a film school legend--had such extravagantly bad examples of how to do it.

                    On the bright side, Lew suggests reading Aristotle's Poetics, which I have now done. That was not a waste of time.

                    Thanks for the input guys. And I'm not entirely disillusioned by the book learnin' either. I'll probably check out some of the other suggestions made here. Onward and upward.