3D Screenwriting is a new, transformative way to approach screenwriting. Writing with the actor in mind and creating riveting, 3-Dimensional characters is its objective.
How did you come to create this new technique?
After all my years of working with writers, I came to the realisation that there were consistent problems that always seemed to come up. They would get structure, they would get form, but when it came to characters, that’s where we had to spend the most time. I felt that there had to be an easier, more instinctive way to understand character, to get inside of them. There had to be tools, techniques that one could access in order to enable the screenwriter to start writing believable, motivated characters from the beginning…… not half way through a script where they’re asking themselves ‘Oh my God, how did I get into this situation.. where do I go from here?’.
I think the solution appeared to me because I spent so much of my life as an actor. I started off that way. I understand where an actor is coming from, what an actor demands, what an actor needs to know in order to create something that is alive and truthful. So I’ve used my years as an actor and combined this with my years of intense work with screenwriters. This combination of the actor in me coupled with my understanding of screenplay development and writing has led to 3D Screenwriting.
The really gratifying thing is that I see how well it works. I have a really profound “before and after” experience with my writers. I see how far they have come…What if they are just starting a screeenplay?
The techniques I teach can be used even before the writer writes a single word. They will color the way the writer starts to approach the screenplay.How long are the sessions?
I usually work in 2 session increments. I work in small groups, although I can also work “one on one”. We work on the selected scenes very closely, exploring the characters’ behavior through various exercises. Then the writers go away to rewrite based on the input received and come back for the second session where we examine the rewritten material, and make a judgement as to whether or not the writer has absorbed the concept and been successful in the exploration.How many sessions do they need on their script?
Just one 2 day session will change the way they approach their writing. We can always go further, but I really believe that what one learns in just those 2 days will give them the tools to use for the entire screenplay and for future ones as well.
It will change the way they write.How do they know when they’ve achieved this in their script?
When they are able to answer all the same questions that an actor would ask in preparation for a role. They need to know everything about the character. They have to think of themselves as the “lawyer” representing their characters, and they have to defend and understand them from beginning to end.
Playwright Edward Albee said it brilliantly.
“What I do is take my characters for a walk on the beach and have a conversation with them. If I can talk to them about subjects that are not even in my plays or screenplays, if I am so familiar with them that I can have this ongoing conversation then I know them.”
So I would say to my writers take your characters for a walk on the beach.Are you available for consultations after the workshop?