Screenwriting : Male writing a female lead screenplay - Where next... by Andrew Bruce Lockhart

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Andrew Bruce Lockhart

Male writing a female lead screenplay - Where next...

Hi All I've just completed 1st draft of a female lead screenplay, called Beyond Use (the log line of which is below.) A US Secret Service Agent on disciplinary suspension risks her life to save a teenage girl from assassination, but discovers it's the White House that wants the teenager dead. I was looking for advice or thoughts on the best way to move forward with it, in terms of I need a female perspective on it - to make sure I'm not insulting/being unrealistic/writing it with my man brain assuming it makes total sense! My other half will read it - and as I've progressed through it, I've discussed a lot of it with her and based/changed a fair amount of the way the lead behaves on her comments and thoughts. She is just one person and obviously wants to be supportive... so I guess what I am after now is what would anyone recommend doing next in terms of checking perspective and getting other women's thoughts on it? Who would you approach? How would you approach them? It's 104 pages so it's a big ask in terms of a read but just wondered if anyone here has been here before and feels able to share what you did? Any thoughts v kindly received! Cheers for the mo Andy

Rosalind Winton

Hi Andy, I'll give it a read for you, Send me an invite and I'll give you my email address.

Rachel Wyatt

Hey, this sounds like a really interesting idea. I'd love to give it a read and hear more about it.

Max Adams

One of the fastest ways to get perspective on a female character is turn her into a male character and re-read the piece. If it still works, she's working. If it suddenly looks weird and flat? There's a problem with the presentation of the female character that the writer can't see as long as the writer is considering the character a "female character" instead of a "character."

Geoff Webb

First: Great idea, love it. Secondly:If you think you can write a female lead -then you can. Woman are as diverse in their characteristics as men. A woman can be as weird, cruel, agresive, strong minded, sensitive, happy and kind as any man. I bet your protagonist is fine. It's the teenager that's the difficult one haha

Daniel Staley-Myers

I always like a good female lead as so much is expected off them so it's nice to give them choices, throwing people in at the deep end is often a great escape plan and can help start an idea, if you have 2 title characters who are polar opposite, the friction between them can make for very exciting reading.

Max Adams

Why would more be expected of a female lead than of a male lead? A lead is a lead. A lot is expected of any lead.

C.m. Andino

Andrew, you're opening quite the can of worms here. Just the fact that you've posted this tells me you know what I'm talking about. You want to get the female lead right, but the truth is you won't be able to please everyone. Make sure you take any feedback with a grain of salt. Because once you start down the road of shoving your character into the PC mold she may not have any room left to live.

Andrew Bruce Lockhart

Thanks for all the comments everyone - much appreciated. Given me a lot to think about indeed.... and indeed.. I'm not shoving my characters into any PC mold.. they are when they are.. I just needed a perspective check which I'm getting thank you all :-)

Andrew Bruce Lockhart

Jim - I know the show. I am going for more of Agent Denham from Fringe character - though a bit harder round the edges..

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

"....I need a female perspective on it - to make sure I'm not insulting/being unrealistic/writing it with my man brain assuming it makes total sense!" Since this sounds to me like you're almost apologizing for being a guy, I'd say this approach is an error. The reason that I say that is that in my view, in order to get more women characters onto the screen, writers in general are 'de-masculinizing' guys to the point that male characters are becoming thin, weak, and sometimes outright boring. You need to use your own judgement. Certainly, you've learned some things about women. Put it to work. But don't cringe at the thought that there's a woman out there who won't like your main character and don't, as a writer, try to 'serve too many masters'. (If I misinterpreted, feel free to discard my comment.)

Andrew Bruce Lockhart

You've kind of misinterpreted Douglas - that may be down to the way i posed the post.... anyway I'm not disregarding what you have said. It's a good point. (I get on my high horse about frozen for the same reason...weak male characters and a cheap win imho.) Anyway - I've written it how I want to and I'm not planning on weakening my male characters... interesting the two who have read it so far haven't even mentioned the main area I wanted a reaction too, so it looks like I might have wiggle room to up the particular aspect if i wanted to. I guess going back to your point.... i need to trust my own judgement a little more... though maybe trust but verify is how I approached this.

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

Andrew. Thanks for answering. I hope my comment did not come across as overly harsh. In a sense, if it was, it was directed at the work of other people as manifested in some movies which I've seen. We all get notes, of course, and the process is challenging. So good luck.

Andrew Bruce Lockhart

No worries Douglas - comment wasn't harsh at all. I got your point... :-) Cheers for the good luck. I was writing this as part of the script in 30 days thing... now i'm just filing the holes!

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