Writing is typically a solitary practice, with intense focus required to get in the right head space in order to let characters and situations come to life on the page. Ultimately your stories are going to be seen by others, however, which makes it essential to have an outlet for constructive feedback as you’re working through a new project. This is the philosophy behind The Film Scene, a student club which offers a support group for budding screenwriters in both our campus and online programs.
Club president Michelle “M.J.” Brewer and vice president Joseph Russo are both students in the Creative Writing for Entertainment program, and spoke about the benefits they’ve already seen in their own work, as well as others’, since launching early this year.
“Film Scene students have the ability to meet with like-minded individuals,” Michelle says. “This opens avenues to share work and ideas to help broaden the individual’s horizons even more, especially during breaks [from classes]. We brainstorm, read potential screenplays, and give each other feedback.”
The club’s online community engages in discussions through their Facebook and Google+ pages. Michelle has also posted instructional videos for members to watch and discuss, as well pushed the group to seek out writing contests and competitions.
“The most helpful thing for me has definitely been the contests, like a recent one for Final Draft,” Joseph Russo says. “Michelle is really good at making us all aware about these things, which I never would have known about otherwise. I also like that we’re open to existing screenwriters who are always welcome to be a part of the club too, so they can contribute their experiences and share insider information.”
Collaboration can be essential for helping writers develop their style and technique, and Michelle sees this as the key to making The Film Scene work. It really comes down to inspiring new and unexpected creative avenues for storytelling.
“Sharing ideas with other people who have the same passion I have for the craft of screenwriting is always a plus,” Michelle says. “I consider myself someone who thinks outside-the-box, but even with my imagination, it’s impossible to believe I will always think of everything. The more choices there are to go with a story, the better a story can be, and there can never be too many choices with audiences as broad as they are.”