Screenwriting : "Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal." by Imo Wimana Chadband

Imo Wimana Chadband

"Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal."

I'm embarking on a number of grand heists over the next couple days. I'm going to watch horror films, jack what I like, and incorporate it into my own haha

What says you? Do you use techniques of other movies in your scripts, or you solely lean on your own imagination?

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Pick here and there. Horror and action are the genres in which there is the less originality. Nobody will notice. A good way to progress, but well, not a great way to stand out from the flock; unless you add something remarkable.

Bill Costantini

I've never been a totally big fan of that quote, but I understand how other peoples' works can inspire us. Many directors talk about how certain scenes inspired some of their scenes. Brian De Palma pays homage to Hitchcock in many of his scenes. A bunch of filmmakers openly admit how they "drew upon" Fellini's 8 1/2 to help create films and shots. Tarantino pays homage to many directors in many of his scenes. Scorsese and many others talk about it, too. There are even some youtube videos that have side-by-side shots of nearly identical scenes that are from different films.

Writers can certainly put their own "twist" on tales that are usually old. I think Aaron Sorkin was the most recent writer to put a little different spin on that quote, which originated with Picasso, if I recall correctly.

Coincidentally, I painted three copies of Picasso's Three Musicians when I was younger - so maybe I am a big fan of that quote, after all. But at least I didn't sign his name on it. Or did I? I don't remember. Heh-heh.

Best fortunes in your creative thievery, Imo!

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Did you noticed that your thief's face is Picasso like? Great artists are copied, good artists are stolen.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

This is for you

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

I've absolutely been influenced by the scores of movies and shows that I've viewed. As a musician, I've also been influenced by the music I love. Just as other musicians and writers before me have been influenced. However, I endeavor to write original stories and have developed my own style in delivering them.

Imo Wimana Chadband

In all areas of my writing journeys I've been influenced by those who resonated with me. My poetry got better when I studied Jay Raymond, because I loved how raw and unapologetic he was about the poetry craft. When writing songs I improved by listening people who I found were genius with crafting melody without losing depth in lyrics. When writing for blog sites, I studied how popular sites wrote their blogs and developed my own way of writing. The same goes for screenwriting.

For me, it's like college. To learn the career you desire to be proficient in, you need to study books and projects by those who've had a hand in the foundation. And once you have the base, you rework it and bring your style to it. My goal is to see into a writers mind as I watch the film, seeing how they played on the audience's mind to gain the scare factor they did. With that, I can apply it to different scenes once I understand what truly caused the scare, rather than just copy and pasting the same scene. It's more of a learning process for me on how certain reactions are targeted, rather than copying scenes into my own script. That wouldn't equate to much creativity or originality of story in my opinion, even if some greats have done so.

Bill Costantini

I steal Phillip's song and Imo's poems, and trade them to Dan MaxXx for the scripts he steals from his agent's office. I'm like a farmer...I don't waste a 'nuthin.

Peter Roach

I am the opposite. I am obsessed with not copying an idea, but according to to Christopher Booker there are only 7 stories, so I have hopefully learned my lesson and just write what falls out my head.

Stephen Floyd

If you watch how great artists steal from each other (Fellini from Bergman from Kurosawa from Ford, etc.), you see theft is quite common. Like any caper, the trick is getting away with it.

Craig D Griffiths

Since nothing is truly new in decades we are adapting something if we know it or not. We can only hope that we tell it in an original way.

Doug Nelson

I think ole Bill Shakespeare covered most of the original tales; the rest of us are pretty much copying off him - with a few contemporary quirks thrown in.

Bill Costantini

Many of Shakespeare's stories were influenced by Chaucer and Plutarch, and from true history stories. Many of Chaucer's stories were influenced by Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch. Many of Dante's writings were inspired by Ovid, Virgil and Horace, who were inspired by the Greek mythology writers a few hundred years before them.

I'm not sure of the connection between them and the writer of Giglamesh, which was written around 2000 B.C.,

Carl Jung wrote a lot about how we all share in this concept called the Collective Unconscious, in which myths, dreams, archetypes, storytelling traits, etc. are all encoded in our DNA.

Even if themes and subject matters are still the same as they were 4,000 years ago, every generation still demands and deserves its own take on things. Most 25 year olds don't want to see a heist film or a romance film from the 1950's. They want to see one from the now. That's what ultimately makes stories different. New characters and new settings. New times and new mores. New diversities, and new people telling them.

Best fortunes in your creative endeavors, Imo!

PJ Edwards

I like getting inspiration from movies and screenplays but dont really "steal". Then again nothing is really original anymore anyways. For me it's like "oh! thats how they solved that problem! I'll try something similar. "

Tim Dutton

I actually set out to do "First Blood" as a western. Hadn't watched it in years and thought I was writing completely from imagination with just the concept in mind. When I finished I checked it against the film and had did it scene for scene, so completely rewrote and it turned out nothing even remotely similar.

Jim Boston

Imo, most of the time I use my own imagination...but the closest I came to borrowing/incorporating/stealing ideas from other films was when I wrote "Gayle Strawberry and Her Soda Pop Music Makers." (For that one, I wanted to put my own spin on the 1940 Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland movie "Strike Up the Band," where Rooney wanted to convert his high school's orchestra into a swing band and enter it into a Paul Whiteman-sponsored contest. What I ended up cooking up had an African-American perspective and involved a Black Los Angeles teen who, in 1942, started her own swing band to get the act into a new event, the National Swing Contest.)

Like "Strike Up," "Gayle Strawberry" even had an auto accident.

All the VERY BEST to you, Imo!

Imo Wimana Chadband

"I steal Phillip's song and Imo's poems, and trade them to Dan MaxXx for the scripts he steals from his agent's office. I'm like a farmer...I don't waste a 'nuthin." Hahaha Bill! I like it!

We're all just a bunch of merry thieves, that sometimes steal without knowing that we have stolen something that ironically might have been the victim of theft from elsewhere that traveled from generation to generation via a long line of burglary dating back to the original owner of that which was snatched...However, what makes us creatives, is that each time the idea was adapted into our own, our own personal spin was placed upon it, giving it new life.


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