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Jason Mirch is Stage 32's Director of Script Services and host of the Writers' Room. Outside of this role, he is a feature film, television, branded entertainment, and digital content producer and executive with over 15 years experience. Most recently, he produced a 3D animated feature film starring Jacob Tremblay, Christopher Lloyd, Mel Brooks, and Carol Kane. Full Bio »
While the scene will be heavy with exposition, disguise the exposition in dialogue and conflict as much as possible. How does the character make the complex simple? What props does the person use? How does the character who receives the info react?
The Write Now Challenge
How can you write to make the complex understandable? How can you describe a set piece that is both inventive and relatable? That is the goal for this month's Write Now Challenge!
We're revved and ready to go for the final webcast of September 2020 in the Writers' Room during the Write Now Challenge Webcast: Black Limousine! In this challenge, you were asked to write a short scene (1-3 pages in length) using the prompt below as your opening. EXT. STORE PARKING LOT – LATE AFTERNOONA YOUNG WOMAN, 20's, stands in the parking lot of a shabby-looking grocery store. She wears a work apron beneath her winter jacket. Just about to light up a cigarette, she suddenlyfreezes. Peering ahead she sees a BLACK LIMOUSINE coming toward her. There were some fantastic entries from our members that took this prompt in every direction - from Comedy to Drama, Supernatural to Sci-Fi, and even Thriller! It was a fantastic showcase of our members' imaginations.
In this challenge, members were asked to pick their favorite antagonist or villain from film, television or literature and in - ONLY ONE PAGE - write a monologue from his or her point of view. The participants could frame this as an interrogation, a negotiation, a confession, or a conspiratorial conversation. Most importantly, writers has to make sure the scene had conflict, and the character's point of view in his or her voice. During the webcast we heard from some of our favorite protagonists, including Loki from the Marvel Universe, Terence Fletcher of Whiplash, Commodus from Gladiator, Jack Bynes of Meet the Parents, and Lex Luther of Superman among many others.
It's like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife...well, actually it's more like the Write Now Challenge Webcast: Isn't it Ironic coming at you this afternoon at 4pm (Pacific)! In this challenge, members were asked to write a short scene (no more than 5 pages) using one of the examples of irony from the Breakdown Webcast: Dramatic Irony. As a reminder the examples for irony are below: Dramatic Irony: A literary and theatrical device in which the reader or audience knows more about a situation, complication, or conflict than the characters they are following. Classical Irony: This term describes irony as it was used in ancient Greek comedy—to highlight situations in which one thing appears to be the case when, in fact, the opposite is true. Cosmic Irony: Cosmic irony highlights incongruities between the absolute, theoretical world and the mundane, grounded reality of everyday life. Socratic Irony: Socrates would feign ignorance of a subject and ask seemingly innocent—but actually leading—questions to draw out information he already knew. Socratic irony differs from verbal irony because it involves intentional deception. Verbal irony, on the other hand, does not connote insincerity or deception. Situational Irony: occurs when there is a difference between what is expected to happen and what actually happens. With situational irony, our discovery that our expectations haven’t been met are the same as the characters in the story. Verbal Irony: is when a character says something that is different from what he or she really means, or how he or she really feels. This is the only type of irony where a character creates the irony.
In this challenge, members were asked to write a scene of conflict. Remember that "conflict" does not necessarily mean "a scene where two people fight"! It means a scene in which two characters with opposing points of view attempt to get what they want in the scene. So, what do they each want? What methods do they use in an attempt to get it? Seduction? Deceit? Force? Honesty? Are they successful in their attempts? The possibilities are endless!
During this webcast, writers from around the world including Australia, Scotland, Canada, and more, shared their "writer biographies" and talking points. It was an excellent way to get to know one another and find out how to present their backgrounds and career aspirations during a general meeting. In addition to developing the craft, we endeavor to prepare Writers' Room members for the business of film and television. And that means, knowing how to present yourself, as well as your ideas, in a meeting with producers, executives, and filmmakers. Using the "Breakdown Webcast: Breaking down a General Meetings" as a guide, your challenge was to write a short biography on yourself which focuses on the major "talking points" that you would benefit you in a general meeting with a producer, executive, manager or other industry pro. Include a bit on your personal and professional background, the genres you write, your screenwriting accomplishments (such as awards, accommodations, accolades), your goals for your writing career (features? TV? Both?), and what makes your point of view so unique in an crowded market!