In this episode, we talk about…

  • How Ed’s high school experience inspired him to be a writer and why he tells himself he’s an imposter daily
  • How shifting from big-budget films to smaller specs expanded Ed’s creative path
  • How a trip to an Alaskan strip club led Ed to write the play Strip Club and how it got him hired for Laverne & Shirley 
  • The fallacy about gateways that lead to your career—you make your own path
  • Why Ed considers Men in Black as a series of failures that culminated in success 
  • Developing a skill set to learn how to write while you write and learning from every script  
  • How Ed approaches storytelling: 
  • Remember you’re always dealing with point of view even if you don’t realize it
  • Know what it means to have a healthy relationship with the audience and always keep in mind what they know
  • Examples of objective vs. subjective points of view 
  • Consider your audience as a friendly ally 

Advice for new writers: 

  • Get other people to say your words out loud and listen to it
  • Take your words and mount it, direct it, film it, edit it 
  • Take acting, editing, and cinematography classes 
  • Watch your very favorite movies and transcribe them—internalize what those writers did

What you can learn from transcribing films: 

  • How little dialogue you actually need
  • How little stage direction you need 
  • How short scenes are and how they do not have a beginning, middle and end but just a middle (usually)
  • The importance of sequences and how things are a juxtaposition of little pieces to form a sequence 
  • You really only learn about writing screenplays by writing a bunch of screenplays 
  • Why Ed is choosing to keep a beginner’s mind until the end 

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This episode of The No Film School Podcast was produced by George Edelman.