Alejandro Adams, professor of media studies at San Jose State University, knows how to write for motion picture films. For a number of years, he has been involved in Cinequest San Jose, where he has been interviewed as the director of his screenplays. His films include Around the Bay, Canary, and Babnik.
Adams began his career in fiction writing, but discovered a larger market for screenwriting and video production. Since then he has focused primarily on screenwriting and teaching. He teaches university level classes on film history, business, and screenwriting technique. At the May South Bay Writers general meeting, he will discuss how to write for film and how to publish screenplays.
Whatever you write—novels, memoir, poetry—screenwriting and motion pictures have much to say to you. Many movies begin with a scene that shows the setting. Then the picture zooms into an action leading into the story. Sometimes you are introduced to the main character and a problem he needs to resolve. Your piece must have a setting, and you must picture your scene and what your characters are doing in order to write about them. Think about how the scene is set with its rich visual and auditory elements and visualize your zoom-in. Now you have the beginning of your chapter. Your other chapters follow suit if you pretend you are watching a movie as you write them.
Come to hear Alejandro Adams and think about how you can profit from learning about screenwriting technique.
Many of us have heard of J.R.R Tolkien, J.K Rowling, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Stephen King, and William Shakespeare. Those great writers have one thing in common: their books have been made into motion feature films. If we were to ask those novelists whether they believed their newly published books would soon become a major motion picture, initially, most would say no. At some point, however, those successful writers had published something so meaningful that turning it into a movie became the next most logical step.
As a writer, how many times have you thought of the possibility of turning your novel into a major motion picture? What would it take to transform your writing?
If the idea of taking your story to the next level to win an award at the next Cinequest Film Festival sounds exciting to you, please come to our next meeting at Harry’s Hofbrau at 6 pm on May 8. —WT