A Screenwriting Master Class

Oh, I’ve been a very bad blogger! It’s been almost a month since I’ve written a post thanks to life/mid-terms/new rescue puppy getting in the way. The dust is settling now, thankfully, and I promised I’d make a recap about the Emails to a Young Screenwriter blog series by Darlene Craviotto, so here it goes!

As I’ve said before, it all started with a contest held by Jennifer Owenby, which I found randomly thanks to a Facebook group for indie authors. I entered with some reluctance and, to my surprise, I won. It was awesome and scary at the same time. The contest was for a copy of Darlene Craviotto’s book An Agoraphobic’s Guide to Hollywood and a Q&A about screenwriting session with her. Of course, her being a professional screenwriter I didn’t want to fall into the silly questions gutter, nor did I want her to feel like I was some novice that had no idea whatsoever about what she was asking. I did take a screenwriting class during my bachelors and have kept myself busy reading everything I can put my hand on that has to do with screenwriting as well as creative writing in general, not counting the scripts I had written and filled the rubbish bin with in the meantime. We had Christmas right around the corner and I had finals, that gave me time to read her book in its entirety, think on it, and then ask my questions.

I recommend her book not only for people interested in screenwriting, but readers who are looking for a well written, appealing story. Darlene’s journey isn’t for the faint of heart. She’s persistent. She’s a fighter. She’s an extraordinary woman with a beautiful soul and an even more beautiful story to tell. One of the things that struck me about her when I read her book was that, not only did she have to fight the agoraphobia to keep up with the stressing job screenwriting is, she never stopped being a wife to her husband and a mother to her two children. Hollywood is known for destroying relationships and families, heck, writing itself has been base for many marital disputes, but she never faltered and that makes her a hero worthy of a thousand books. Also, the fact that she’s not afraid to share her knowledge with everyone willing to learn, of what her blog is proof. Nothing to do with the heartless monsters one thinks Hollywood is filled with, all holding some gold ring in their hands and whispering “my preciousssss” to themselves.

But my extraordinary adventure didn’t end in the anonymity of our email exchange. When Darlene asked me if I was okay with the idea of her making a series of blog posts about our session I was flattered to no end (what did I tell you about her sharing knowledge?). Her answers where so detailed and full of wisdom it was a crime to keep them hidden from the rest of the world. And then she went and talked so nicely of me in her posts I couldn’t stop blushing.

Thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime to both Jennifer and Darlene. This will be the foundation to many of my future projects and it’s a damn solid one!

Now let Darlene herself guide you the links to all the blog posts so you can read and enjoy them as much as I did (only I got to do it twice, haha!):

So You Want To Be A Screenwriter?

It All Begins With A Screenwriter

Emails To A Young Screenwriter

If It’s Screenwriting, What’s Acting Got To Do With It?

8 Rules For Surviving Screenwriting

Go get her book, I know you’ll love it!

A Study on Character Development

This is a poem I wrote and made it into a screenplay. Due to being completely broke budget restrictions and the lack of a male British voice to narrate it, I’ve made it a text and music short.

One day, it will have actors and all those pretty things they do with cameras and fancy editing software.

‘A Study on Character Development’

I was hers.
She thought me.
She made me.
One given day, drinking her third cup of coffee, she created me.
A spark. An idea.
She rushed to her computer and started to write.
She gave me a name, a body, and filled me with everything that came up in her mind.
She made me. She made me hers. I lived to do her bidding.
She made me walk. She made me run.
She put her foot forward and watched me fall.
I walked for her some more. Ran for her some more.
One time she even made me crawl. Out of harm’s way, of course.
I sat at the table for her.
I drank tea, coffee, wine, whiskey, water, for her.
She changed my clothes. She changed my hair.
She made me jump.
She thought me at her computer. She thought me in the shower.
We talked, and laughed, and talked some more.
She made me smile, she made me wink, she made me cry, she made me speak.
She pushed me down. She lifted me.
She dragged me around the room and kissed my cheeks.
She gave me a gun and a reason to use it.
She gave me motives to breathe and motives to want to die.
I went wherever she went.
I stood behind her, I stood in front of her, I stood beside her, and took her hand.
We read books together.
We watched movies together.
We argued, got into fights.
She shouted when I shouted. She cried when I cried.
She laughed with me. She laughed because of me.
She smiled when I smiled.
I ate for her.
I jumped for her.
I took off my shoes for her and put them on again.
I slid my jacket off my arms and pulled it back again.
I cocked my eyebrow for her.
I shaved for her.
I was happy for her. I was angry for her.
She changed my clothes. She changed my hair.
We ate together. We drank together. We bathed together.
She took my hand.
She kissed my lips.
We talked some more.
We made love.
She hated me. I hated her.
She loved me. I loved her.
She made up my words. I lived in her words.
She made up my world. I lived in her world.
She reached out and touched me when she was scared.
Ran into my arms bursting with joy when all was well.
She made me. She made me hers.
She thought me over and over again.
She changed my clothes. She changed my hair.
Made me walk, smile, trip, drink, love, cry, love, cry, wink, kiss, hate, jump, shout, kill, sit, dream, run, speak, stand, breathe, crawl, eat, sleep, live for her.
Moved me. Froze me. Made me walk in her wake.
She shoved me. She punched me. She hugged me.
She whispered things into my ear.
We watched movies.
Dressed and undressed.
We laughed, we cried, we held hands.
She wrote me word by word. Filled my head with thoughts. Thoughts that were hers.
I lived and breathed through her.
And when the story was finished, when all the words were were written, when everything was said, she murdered me so I could be loved by someone else.


Text: (c) Astrid ‘Artistikem’ Cruz
Music: ‘The First Day Pt. 2’ by All Will Be Quiet
(no copyright infringement intended, I make no profit from this)

The Five Obstructions / Det Perfekte Menneske

‘The Five Obstructions’ is one of those movies I go back to when I need a pick me up. I highly recommend it. Lars von Trier pushing Jørgen Leth out of his comfort zone? Priceless.

The Trailer:

The original:

Det Perfekte Menneske (Sadly, I can’t find one with the original audio)

Obstruction #1

Obstruction #2

Obstruction #4

Not all obstructions have been uploaded to YouTube, so there you have the ones that are there/are in the original language.

Random bits of inspiration for Book 2

I’ve said before that I take a lot of inspiration from movies. Then I read this post at the Park Theatre blog and thought ‘yes, exactly, we can get inspiration from odd places/things/people/whatever and it doesn’t mean we’re copying or using them as they came.’

In order to celebrate those random bits of inspiration, I’ve decided to share with you some of the many clips that have been in my mind while writing book 2 of The Caregiver.

All of these movies/series are awesome and you should watch them if you haven’t already.

From Wild Bill

From Love, Honour and Obey

From The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

From The Bourne Ultimatum

From The Night Porter

From Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead (the whole movie, but mostly Lucinda and Jimmy during the first 4 minutes of this clip)

From Alphas

From Layer Cake (no, I never get tired of this one!)