5 Writer’s Tips: The Fear of Re-Writing

5 Writer’s Tips: The Fear of Re-Writing

Last week while I was talking to one of our members about re-writing, it dawned on me the fear that many writers have with the re-write. I know of this fear because I’ve battled it and still battle it. This is the fear of going back to the page and finding out where you went wrong.

Re-writing: The Dragon Many Writers Are Afraid To Slay

I don’t know what it is about re-writing that intimidates some of us but I think it has to do with perfection, finding errors, and quite frankly, wanting to be done. So, I’ve compiled a short list of 5 Writer’s Tips to help overcome the fear of the re-write. 

  1. Accept that re-writing will make each and every version of your screenplay, book, web series better. Some wise person once said, “Writing is re-writing.”
  2. Break the re-writing into steps so you won’t get overwhelmed. Instead of looking at it as this whole re-write, start looking at it as steps. For example,  I gotta fix my main character’s backstory, or I gotta add more details to the world, etc.
  3. Ask yourself, “Do I want to give my story a real chance?” At the end of the day, great writers want their stories to be read, heard, felt, and seen. If re-writing is going to strengthen your chances of success, don’t you want that? 
  4. Accept that perfection is only a word in the dictionary. Your first draft isn’t perfect and that’s as it should be. Re-writing allows your writing to become better. We’re writing because we believe in story. Perfection traps us in fear and leads to procrastination.
  5. Allow a couple of days if not a week between drafts to allow change to unfold in your mind. When I wrote novels I gave myself seven days between the editing process so that I could read my manuscript with new eyes. New eyes give us courage and help to make the re-write process easier. 

The more we write, the more we re-write

It seems some writers have the re-write process down to a science. Others of us, legitimately, struggle with facing that page again. Wherever you are in your process, remember the best stories with the best characters will rise to the top. Re-writing allows us to produce the best writing of our lives. 

Film Critic Tim Gordon Introduces Lakefront Film Festival

Film Critic Tim Gordon Introduces Lakefront Film Festival

MEET TIM GORDON, FOUNDER OF THE LAKEFRONT FILM FESTIVAL

Tim Gordon, Film Critic, President of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association and Founder of the Black Reel Awards, has created a new venture: The Lakefront Film Festival. Gordon is taking 20+ years in the entertainment business and providing a forum to filmmakers of all backgrounds.  The 2018 season will be the inaugural session for the Lakefront Film Festival which will be held in Columbia, MD in July.

Why did you create the Lakefront Film Festival? 

I wanted a film festival with my imprint on it. It will be a user friendly festival where filmmakers come to this festival and feel validated. I want all filmmakers to know that we’re playing on a level playing field. I thought through a lot of the small touches in order to create a foundation and a culture. As a film critic, I’m uniquely built to do what we do with this festival: teaching and curating.

Why Columbia, Maryland to host the festival? 

The city was built on diversity and just celebrated its 50 year anniversary. I was able to get the local city government behind us and brought a lot of talented people to the mix. They have a huge facility here and we’ll use 13 venues in four days.

How will the Lakefront Film Festival be different from other festivals? 

There will be a strong presence of African American films and other ethnicities as well. We’re creating a good culture for the festival and I bring background and history. I want everything to be top shelf. I’m trying to cultivate different audiences and we may play a movie more than once.

DIVERSE MOVIES NEED OUR SUPPORT

What triggered your love of movies? 

My first mentor, my father, was a huge film fan. Being as young as 5 years old, I remember having plenty of conversations with my father around movies. I was never interested in movies as an actor or a director but I always saw movies as someone behind the scenes. When my father worked at the Newark Star Ledger, I would go into this room of old newspapers and I loved history and looking back.

I was in the military and I would go to the movies on dollar day. I was the guy who could always review the movies. I gained that reputation. People would say to me, “I know you saw the movie.”

Tim Gordon

Film Critic / Film Festival Founder, Lakefront Film Festival

 

Why have you been so vigilant in your support of black movies? 

I can’t really explain why I was so passionate about movies. But, I remember being 27 years old and reflecting about To Sleep With Anger with Danny Glover and also The Five Heartbeats movie. During that time, 1991, 1992, when the films came out neither of them made a lot of money at the box office. But I thought, ‘there has to be a way that someone can be a liaison between Hollywood and the community.’ That’s how my newsletter, The Renaissance Review, was born. And, I loved award shows as a kid. It always bothered me that strong black films were overlooked. I thought to myself, ‘we need to validate.’ So, I created the Reel Black Film Awards.

Gordon takes his passion and love for movies and creates MUCH NEEDED outlets for the community. The Lakefront Film Festival is currently accepting submissions. To learn more about Tim Gordon and his initiatives, please check out the sites: Lakefront Film Festival and Black Reel Awards, as well as his personal site: Film Gordon.

Sowande Tichawonna: Talks Editing and Business Longevity

Sowande Tichawonna: Talks Editing and Business Longevity

Sowande Tichawonna

The entertainment industry has a tendency to burn people out. Its shark infested waters, backstabbing and crushing rejections all have a way of sending people packing with unfulfilled dreams. So, it is refreshing to build with someone who has enjoyed a 20+ year long career. For Sowande Tichawonna and others like him, I wanted to launch this column in appreciation of their longevity and to learn from the best. Here’s our first installment of Industry Wisdom.

Sowande Tichawonna film The N WordSowande Tichawonna, CEO of Raceman Tell-A-Pictures

Resides in Washington, DC

Professional Title: Editor, Producer, Videographer

Film Credits: Director of Photography & Co-Executive Producer of Straight Up Go-Go. Screenwriter, Director & Executive Producer of The New “N” Word. Screenwriter of Talkin’ Shop.

Latest Project: Branding Video for the Team Isiah Foundation, an organization founded to help children win against cancer.

How did you become an Editor?
I became an editor through my work for other companies. I’ve had the good fortune of working Montgomery Public Schools for 12 years. I took it upon myself to learn the craft in depth. I took a class in Avid editing. I’m an Adobe Premier Pro, Avid and Final Cut Editor. I’m a big proponent of knowing the fundamentals so that you can apply them across various mediums.

How did attending Howard University benefit your career?
I have a Bachelors of Arts in Broadcast production from Howard. Everything I studied gave me the foundation to make a living as a professional. One thing about being at Howard, I was very social. I knew a lot of people from different walks of life and different countries. The ones who were serious in their discipline are the ones who are doing well now. Putting myself in different social circles has made a huge impact on my network.

“There’s no difference between a documentary and a narrative because it’s all storytelling.”

Straight Up Go GoWhat experience changed your life?
Taking the History of Blacks in Film course at Howard University changed me. We screened Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep. In that film I saw images of people who I grew up with. I didn’t realize it was possible until I saw that film. That’s what made me want to be a filmmaker. Initially, I was amazed. Then, I was angry that it wasn’t widely available. That was what put me on this course. I decided I wanted to not just to be a filmmaker, but to be a filmmaker that didn’t perpetuate stereotypes of African Americans in film. To this day, they are still prominent.

What is your advice for someone starting in this business?
Treat everyone with respect and treat everyone equally. When you meet people and treat them with kindness and fairness, they remember that. Nothing like leaving people with a good impression.

At his DC based production company, Sowande Tichawonna continues to edit and produce branded content for corporations, non-profits and government agencies. In addition, he’s mobilizing a fund to provide support for black focused film projects. Catch him on Facebook.

 

 

Bobby Huntley: Talks La Vie Magnifique de Charlie

Bobby Huntley: Talks La Vie Magnifique de Charlie

Bobby Huntley is the Director, Co-Writer and Co-Producer of the new coming of age feature film, La Vie Magnifique de Charlie which is affectionately known in social media as #TheCharlieMovie. Shot over seven weekends in Atlanta, GA with no budget, Huntley’s backstory is one of passion, persistence and motivation.

ABOUT LA VIE MAGNIFIQUE DE CHARLIE

After her sister Brandy’s untimely death, everyone is taken aback by Charlie’s unorthodox (and seemingly chipper) approach to her grieving process. Follow Charlie and her friends Kayla and Keturah as they go along for a wild, hilariously exhilarating and bittersweet ride – which will surely be the craziest day of Charlie’s life. Charlie was filmed over seven jam-packed weekends in Atlanta, GA, with very little to no budget. The talented cast and crew joined together to create this visually vibrant story for the screen.

How did you get started as a filmmaker?
I started at age 10. I randomly asked my Dad for a video camera. When I was in school, I’d bring whatever I shot with my cousins the previous weekend. On Fridays, we’d screen those in class and I’d do reenactments on different historical things. For class projects, I’d turn in a short video instead of a report. It was a way for me to express my creativity. My teachers saw I was a real creative person so they allowed me to express that.

What inspired you to direct, co-write and co-produce the Charlie Movie?
I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to do a story of women that doesn’t center around men. I’ve always been intrigued by black women. This was a way for me to explore that. It gave me some insight. I wanted to challenge the things that we were seeing in the media.

 

What life experience has changed you or shaped your work?
I saw the Nina Simone documentary and she had a clip in there where she said, “As an artist you must reflect the times in your work.” Before watching the documentary, I would do these things that didn’t mean anything. But, from that moment on, I decided my work must mean something, so that it can impact people.

 

As a black man, why did you do the Charlie film?
It’s really my love letter for black women. There’s a real campaign for black women to feel better about themselves. Black women in the media are taking control of the conversation. I love the hashtags black women have created. I love #blackgirlmagic. Black women are taking control of the conversation and reclaiming it if you will. I just wanted to give them something they could appreciate.

Do Something That Matters.

Bobby Huntley

Director, Bobby Huntley Films

This fall look for La Vie Magnifique de Charlie on tour in a city near you. Check the trailer below. To follow the movie, check out @thecharliemovie in all social media.

To connect with Bobby, please check him out at the following links:

Website: www.thecharliemovie.net
Instagram Handle: @bhuntleyfilms

Camille Brown: Talks About The Nth Ward Film

Camille Brown: Talks About The Nth Ward Film

Writer / Director / Producer Camille Brown whose first narrative feature, The Nth Ward will be released exclusively via Amazon on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, spoke with BlackTVFilmCrew.com about writing a thriller that tells the story of an engineer with the US Army Corps who is sent to New Orleans to assess the damage years after the hurricane. Fresh off of being a semi-finalist for this year’s HBO’s Directing Fellowship, Camille has a lot to say.

About the Nth Ward

The Nth Ward is a chilling suspense thriller about a woman haunted by the childhood disappearance of her parents.  Madison, now an engineer with the US Army Corps, and Kitch, a local contractor, are two conflicting personalities paired in a government program to assess the ongoing devastation of the Ninth Ward from the hurricane that savaged New Orleans a decade before.  Efforts to rebuild have been thwarted.  Bizarre happenings and disappearances lead them to believe that some darker force is at work.  When she seeks out the mysterious woman whose house stood unscathed in the eye of the storm, Madison’s own personal mystery engulfs her.  Her relentless pursuit of truth threatens Kitch’s dearest aspiration and their very lives and livelihoods.  Madison must look beyond the natural, the scientific.  Is it witchcraft or a clandestine government plan?

What inspired you to write the Nth Ward? I was inspired to make this film after seeing how the 9th Ward in New Orleans still had not been rebuilt after all these years. I have family and friends who are from New Orleans and were there doing Hurricane Katrina. They told me what happened during Katrina and they have not gone back.

Many artists focus on one genre, but you’ve written a quirky romantic comedy, a documentary and now a thriller. What inspires your creativity?

I love all forms of expression. I love films. I love telling stories and I don’t want to limit the kind of stories I tell.

 

My advice to students and young professionals: Just do it. Bunker down and do the work. Write that script now. Shoot that short now. Shoot that feature now.  It might be challenging during the process, but after everything is done it’ll be rewarding.

Camille Brown

Writer / Director / Producer, C. Brown Productions

What is your average work day like as writer, director, producer of C. Brown Productions? Since the completion of The Nth Ward, I’ve been working everyday trying to figure out the best distribution avenue. I work on the publicity and marketing as well. And I try to fit in at the end of the day, working and progressing my next projects.

Share an interesting story with us from your childhood that has impacted your life. The first time I saw ET I was in awe. It is a classic. I fell in love with movies after that. My mom would always have me sit down and watch films with her. From Sunset Boulevard to Maltese Falcon to Lawrence of Arabia. She introduced me to film and taught me to really appreciate it.

**We appreciate Camille taking the time to talk with us. Check out the trailer below. And, remember, the Nth Ward will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD Tuesday, August 29, 2017 with additional distribution outlets coming later. Support this filmmaker… To purchase your copy, visit this link: Amazon.  **

More About Camille

A graduate of UCLA’s prestigious Film, Television and Theater School, Camille has had a string of successes including her documentary, A Second Chance At Life which is narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, as well as writing and directing the award-winning short film Thank You for Washing which screened at over 20 festivals winning best short for 10 of them. She co-produced the feature film A Perfect Getaway starring Steve Zahn and Mills Jovovich. Most recently she was a semi-finalist for the HBO Directing Fellowship.

To connect with Camille, please check her out at the following links:

Website: www.thenthward.com
Twitter Handle: @TheCamilleBrown and @TheNthWard
Instagram Handle: @TheCamilleBrown and @TheNthWard