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Why screenwriters and filmmakers need strategy and tactics

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Screenwriting 9th Nov 2016 Raindance Film Festival


If you want to have a career as a writer (and to keep it once you have it), you need to think about both the long term (which requires strategy) and short term (which requires tactics). 

On the Campaign site, Dave Trott writes an interesting post about this, with the example of the German general, Rommel, who was a brilliant tactician. Trott points out that the German army won the early stages of the war because it had excellent tactics, and lost over the long run partly because it lacked a coherent strategy.

THE IMPORTANCE OF STRATEGY

As a writer, some of the elements you want to think about in terms of strategy include:

  • Which genre do you want to work in?
  • Which formats you want to master (film, TV, transmedia)?
  • What kind of support team you want to build as your career expands (agent, researcher, admin assistant, etc.)?

It’s also useful to think about your strategy when you see big changes coming in your realm. For instance, writers need to be aware of huge changes taking place in publishing and TV and film.

My personal example: in light of  Hollywood’s increased commitment to huge budget special-effects movies, I’ve stopped pitching ideas or writing spec scripts for that market and started looking toward micro-budget and low-budget films made for distribution via the internet.  At the moment I’m exploring enhanced ebooks and transmedia. My guess is that this is where there are going to be major opportunities for writers to have creative control over their work and—eventually—make serious money.

THE IMPORTANCE OF TACTICS

Tactics are about adapting to and taking advantage of opportunities as they come up.  For instance:

Read the full article at Raindance Film Festival

screenwriting, scriptwriting

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