7 life lessons I learned from screenwriting

Warning: I do not encourage you to over analyze your day to day life or you relationships. I already tried it, it’s counterproductive and dangerous.

6 life lessons I learned from screenwriting | moranchaim.com

 

1. Watch your life and enjoy the drama

In every beginner screenwriting course you begin to understand these basic elements:

  • Drama is created by choice making.
  • Choice is created by conflicting ideas.

We humans like to pick sides, like to cheer for the underdog or hate the villains, but when it comes to our lives we try to avoid conflict as much as we can. We want things to be always nice, for everybody to get along and that our decision making process won’t be so bi polar.

There are great lessons to learn from the dramatic mechanism.

  1. Don’t fear it, it will find you no matter how nice you are to everyone, and even if you’re too nice.
  2. You can’t avoid the contradicting thoughts in your mind. Don’t listen to them over and over without a decision. Let the stronger though win with no regrets.
  3. It doesn’t end until the credits roll, which means that no matter what you decide or which side wins, it will change and get overturned again and again in the course of life.

 

2. Everyone has hidden intentions and subtext

Whenever you get to know new people there are hidden intentions and concealed world views. You can sense that on the surface everything looks calm and polite but the undercurrents always flow underneath our personality masks.

Where ever someone is not too clear, contradictory, and hesitating or even try to elaborate too much just to cover up a lie. Look for the sub text. Look for the bigger picture intention. What can he/she gain for the long term? What are they positioning you to think about them or to think about others?

 

3. You need obstacles and limitations in order to evolve

Out of necessity and hard times come innovative solutions that evolve you as a person. Think of every big or small innovation that we use today, it came out from the mind of a person who said “there must be a way to do this”. In western culture we talk a great deal about achieving, about setting goals, entrepreneurs and inspiring individuals.

 

For every leader there must be a following. We can’t all be leaders, but what we can all be is innovators. We can always learn from our mistakes, we can always develop our skills and personality and be better than our yesterday’s self.

 

4. Deadlines are one of the major limits you need to handle

Working with a deadline allows you to confront stress with hard work and dedication. If you miss a deadline you damage your chances to succeed. You might be the best {enter your profession} in the world but if you can’t manage your time and produce the final product, no one is going to hire you.

 

5. Every screenplay can be broken into acts, sequences, scenes and bits

For every task or problem you encounter in your life there’s a solution. Break it down to chunks you can swallow and built the solution brick by brick until you can see the full change.

 

This is a mindset that I use every day to solve even the most common problems for efficiently and to prioritize and to get things done right. When you do it long enough it become a nature of thought. You might start to see more problems in your life and think it is your job to fix everything, it is not. Other people don’t need or want your help most of the time and that is ok because they are writing their own life’s story.

 

6. Communicate!

Remember all those shitty movies where two characters were too shy or embarrassed to talk about what bothers them? Isn’t it a lousy feeling to see a movie that could have been solved after only 5 minutes but lasted 90 minutes? Speak your mind, talk to each other, get closures and don’t expect anyone to read your hidden intentions and subtext. Life is too short to add more obstacles to it.

7. Timing is key

You might have the best intentions but if you act on them in the wrong timing you’re screwed.

Life is dramatic by it’s nature, there will be obstacles and limitations, people will hide their intentions and be afraid to tell you what they really think. Use these lessons carefully. Other people life’s story is progressing in a different pace than yours. Don’t force change or truth when it is not necessary and crucial to the development of your life’s story.

About the Author

Moran Chaim

5 Comments

Murray Suid

I’ve spent many years writing scripts but I confess: I never thought about how that job relates to my actual life. This article is really insightful and well written.

Reply
Arthur Workman

Sometimes rushing a screenplay in order to submit it into a screen writing contest might cost you more than you know. You may think it’s all up to par and sounds good until you enter it and then the next day you come to find out that you wished you would have waited to put more ideas into your script. Now you can’t because you already submitted into the contest.

Reply
Moran Chaim

It’s always a problem holding yourself and not released a piece until it is absolutely ready. So many times I stopped my self from sending a piece just because I wanted it to be over and done. Better to polish it more and more even if it costs you another month of work.

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