Have you listened to Rick Dees’ Top Forty lately?
What’s the latest trend in Art?
Quick. Who’s Frank Gehry?
If this sounds far afield from the subject of screenwriting, not so.
The topic is: being well-rounded. And it’s a must for any writer attempting in his work of fiction to be current with “the news of the day.”
Being well-rounded is one of the great pleasures of our profession — and a great excuse for anyone asking why we’re interested in any subject.
I’m a writer. I need to be up-to-date.
What are the latest trends in Art, Architecture, Pop Music, International Diplomacy, Science, and Astronomy? Who are the leaders at the cutting edge of Poetry, Medicine, History, Fashion, and Interior Design?
There is nothing worse when reading a script than finding an outdated pop culture reference, or sensing that this writer isn’t up-to-date on a trend or a new wave of thinking. It makes me wonder if I should throw in with this project. If you don’t know what’s happening, odds are your script may be lacking in other areas, too.
Only one cure for that: get up-to-date. Drop in occasionally on the latest goings-on in worlds other than your own. You might even find some thought-starting nuggets that inspire you to other stories.
What sources do you regularly tune in to just to stay up-to-date and well-rounded? What journals, reading lists, websites, or newsletters keep you being the Renaissance Man or Woman you need to be?
Hey, for me, this justifies buying the occasional issue of Dwell Magazine, or browsing through the Science section of Amazon, or checking out that Netflix documentary on a topic outside my ken.
This job lets us keep learning — and that’s a perk all by itself.
- Captain Perry
I have heard of Gehry.I understand he draws like the wind blows. But my big discovery lately is Nicky Hiltons painted two piece suit “pink and blue”. Poor girl she ran out of paint on the bottom.It’s so absurd and so bad,I think it’s hilarious.Of course I was doing research for my movie.I research all kinds of things constantly and I have a license to commit journalism.Blake gave it to me two years ago.
- James Harbinson
Not to mention, it’s a GREAT way to waste time.
- Elizabeth Fais
Just the rational I needed to plan a trip for an African safari … or a train excursion through the Alps … or an art history trek through Italy … or all three!
- Risa Romano
You ever listen to K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the 70’s?
- Glen David Miller
Rick Dees? Does he still countdown? I thought Ryan Seacrest had taken over everything to do with popular music these days?
But, that point aside, it’s funny how much ‘crap’ I catch from everyone. Why are you listening to ‘that’ music? Why are you watching ‘that’ show? What, are you a 14 year old girl now?
But, I’ve been doing this my whole life. I can’t say that I like everything I see or hear that’s meant for the younger generation, but, I do wonder why they are attracted to the things they’re attracted to. I wonder what the next generation’s tattoo or piercing thing is going to be – are we now going to see a revival of Alix Keaton? :D
I will say this – and it would be interesting to get someone’s take on it. For a long, long time I’ve wanted to direct and or create material for a Disney Channel show. Well, I tried something… I took an episode from a proular DChan show and changed the names and the Maguffin, and handed it to a couple of people ‘in the know’ to see what they thought. I was told to get rid of it and don’t let people see something like that – that I’d never get work writing something so bad. Can you say confusion?? :D
So, there’s my thoughts… now… back to the music! :D
So very right again, Sir. And another thing – As I’m getting older (I take the 5th on exactly HOW MUCH older…) – I’ve started to notice how much faster time seems to be going, and I’ve come to realize what I think is at least part of the reason for that – it seems like I’ve seen it all – everything that happens seems to be a repeat of everything that’s gone before! It’s only when I look to the cutting edge – I mean really try to stretch to see not just what’s a hot trend or a current fashion or the Artiste du Jour – but to try see what’s next, what’s beyond, who’s hot tomorrow, that I start to be surprised by life again. If you think you’ve seen it all, look deeper. Look into the corners, behind the walls, outside of your comfort zone. You’ll find stories in the new experiences. You’ll be inspired by them. If the Muse don’t come to you, go out and hunt it down! And here’s a hint: the Muse is not to be found in your rut.
You keep me inspired, Mr. Cat! You make me THINK!
- Eric Blair
Well rounded means no sharp edges….
To smooth those corners, expand your reading material to sources like British, Italian, German, and Jewish newspapers online. I also like
http://news.myway.com/ no frills news
and for reference material:
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A very important post, Blake. And I couldn’t agree more. In fact, getting “up-to-date” is how I justify all my procrastinating on the Internet (tee hee).
Oh, and just an aside on Gehry: he’s so inspirational — a guy who’s career only really started to take off when he entered his sixties! He’s in the prime of his career now!