Are you looking for some inspiration?
Fiontan Cassidy, Newstead College, "Munchies" - Best Screenplay Award 2016
Fiontan Cassidy was in year 12 at Newstead College last year when he wrote the comedy film "Munchies". He took out the Best Screenplay Award ($1000 cash prize from Screen Tasmania) together with his filmmaking team of Jordan Peters and Harry Dempsey. We asked him a few questions to find out what goes on behind the scenes of a good script.
How do you prepare yourself to write a screenplay?
Before I start any piece of writing, I like to have a strong idea of how the story is going to flow from start to finish, as well as the characters and how they behave with one another. Watching (and analysing) as many well written films as possible (I started with Tarantino, Edgar Wright and Aaron Sorkin) as well as the occasional terrible film is always useful in helping you identify what works/doesn't work in certain dialogue, which you can then apply to your own scripts. Reading plays is another great way to get exposed to effective dialogue.
What do you enjoy most about the writing process?
I've always loved the character creation process of writing, and seeing characters develop as you're writing their dialogue, so by the end of the process you have a whole range of really distinct characters that can play off each other in interesting ways.
How many drafts did you write to get the end result of "Munchies"
Munchies was difficult to edit because it's effectively one scene that plays out in real time, so most lines directly affected the ones after them. Instead of the traditional drafting process, I brought my first draft to my director and cinematographer, and we worked out changes that needed to made for technical or comedic reasons. We repeated this process a few times until everyone was happy, but the process was really dependent on the sort of script we were working with.
What gave you the inspiration to write the script for "Munchies" - was there a moment in your life you could draw on, or were you brainstorming with friends?
Working as a trolley boy gives me a lot of time to zone out and let ideas float around. There's a shot at the start of Munchies where Tim throws a piece of cake, spins, and catches in his pants which I thought of at work and the rest of the script grew from there. As the shot is a completely visual joke, as well as something very difficult to replicate, it made sense that it would grow into a screenplay rather than a play or something purely text.
What advice can you give other filmmakers about writing?
As everyone has a different writing process, it's difficult to offer advice there, so I think it's just important that you know what works for you writing wise and sticking to that.
It's important to remember that, writing wise, short films are a completely different medium to feature films, plays or any other script. While it's important to think visually, like with any film, if your idea can't be fully explored with a strong beginning, middle, and end in 5 minutes, it might be better suited to a different from.
Watch Munchies here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeSrbTBj0Q4