Learn screenwriting from two guys who make you laugh so hard it hurts.
I want to be both Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg when I grow up. At 33, there might be little hope for me, but hey, it could happen to you! These guys are some of the best writers and directors working in Hollywood. They have movies that run the gamut across genres and budgets in Hollywood. They know how to tell a story for every platform and their continued success is inspiring.
What I love about them is their work ethic. They always seem to be cranking out new ideas and making clear and concise choices in their storytelling.
Well, Rolling Stone had them put together a video full of screenwriting tips.
Let's see what they had to say...
Learn How to Write a Script from Comedic Super Duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
One of the best things everyone should listen to in the video is the idea of demystifying the idea of the writing process. Before you even begin, you need to come to grips with the idea that this is not magic. It can feel like magic, it can feel special, but at the end of the day, this is hard work.
The writers who are successful are the ones who are okay with putting in the hours and writing the drafts.
But how do you know what to even write about?
Pick an idea you really like...
Before you start, know that you have so many drafts to get through that you want to really pick a concept you enjoy. These are ideas you might live with for years, and you will definitely wind up hating it at times.
But if your premise is strong and feels like you are sharing a part of you, this can really pay off.
The Character and The Plot
Ideas for movies can come from anywhere. Do not shoehorn yourself into thinking only about the character or only about the plot. Just let it all rush over you and sort through the stuff as it comes.
Do you have a person whose arc you want to follow? What kind of movie or TV show should they be in?
Do you have a plot that you're pumped to write? Who are the people who would exist in that world?
Break all the rules
Stop worrying about the rules. Outside of formatting and general three-act structure, the rest of the stuff is on the table. All that matters is that you have something the audience is interested in watching and that they can find relatable in one or many ways.
We say this over and over, but there are no rules...just tell a great story!
What are we rooting for?
Tap into that and keep at it.
Find contrast in your art
Seth and Evan usually look for contrast in both their tone and genre. Can you add humor to drama? Drama to humor? Is this a political thriller...and comedy? Are these characters egotistical and their best friend is self-deprecating?
These contrasts not only broaden the horizon for the audience but also the opportunities for drama and conflict within the story.
All writing is rewriting
At the end of the day, or uh...movie...you need to sum up why everyone came and what they learned. This might only be achieved by writing and rewriting over and over again. We have to be willing to throw away pages, write new scenes, tear things apart, and be okay tearing things down.
The fact is, no one gets the story right the first time.
You're going to need to brainstorm and develop back and forth forever. If you're working with a partner, don't focus on the arguments, focus on making the best story possible.
Is it accessible?
Have you hit all these other points?
Go back and do it again.
What's next? Get our free screenwriting eBook!
So much of what we're talking about on No Film School when it comes to screenwriting is summarized in our new eBook. It also helps guide you through a 10-week writing plan that will get your script actually finished.