Keeping producers and screenwriters in sync

I think Ross Lincoln's article 'How to Keep Screenwriters and Producers in Sync - Produced By' hits the nail right on the head. Some of the most fruitful and enjoyable conversations I've had with friends and colleagues about my own screen ideas have often been about the nuts and bolts of the story, how it is built and the practical problems with it.

Although I have meet a few film producers, I have not yet been in the position to work with a producer on an idea. When I do get the opportunity to do so, I would hope that they are as passionate about film as I am. That not only do they enjoy the creative process of developing a screen idea and bringing it to the screen, but that are "specific and knowledgeable" in the notes they offer, enabling us to be on the same storytelling page.

I particularly like the comparison between producer and writer being like that of director and actor. I think that sums it up nicely.



LINCOLN, Ross A. 2015. 'How to Keep Screenwriters and Producers in Sync - Produced By', Deadline [online].
Available at:
[Accessed 8 November 2021]

The short film

I make a point of watching short films quite regularly, from all over the world. I love the way they can express so much emotion within such a small space of time.

A short film isn’t simply a condensed version of a feature film, but a different narrative form altogether. It is an art form in its own right, with a much freer form of storytelling than feature length narratives. I think they have more strengths than weaknesses as a storytelling model. One of the differences between shorts and features is that the short may or may not have conflict between characters. Some of the best shorts I have seen have had no conflict, while others have had some degree of conflict. It is also a cinematic form that lends itself to wordless storytelling. As a form that does not necessarily need dialogue, character arcs or conflict, the short film is a non-standard narrative, open to a wide degree of variation and experimentation.

I think the short film offers a different storytelling experience for the viewer. Where the feature film feels like a full-on gaze, the short is a glance. A brief moment in time. A small window into the world.

Reflections on being a screenwriter

I guess I see the role of the screenwriter as storyteller. As the one who gets the ball rolling, as it were, generating and shaping ideas into something that looks and feels cinematic, that is compelling and solid enough to be made into a film.

Before starting the MA, I thought I knew what a screenplay was, but now I realise that it is so much more than text on a page. Screenwriting is about process rather than product. So I see my role as screenwriter as a collaborator, in whatever production scenario I might find myself. Sharing and responding to ideas as the story evolves.

I think I read somewhere that writing a screenplay is like sculpting in clay. Except, unlike the solitary sculptor working away at their block of clay, a film requires a team of 'sculptors' with a shared vision, drawing upon complementary skills, as they shape their work of art together. For me, that's where the fun is!