Monday, May 10, 2010

Writers on Screenwriting: Craig Mazin

We know how valuable it can be to hear other writers discuss the craft. It can inspire renewed commitment to one's work, give ideas for different ways to approach a story and remind us that we are not alone with our frustrations - and joys - in the writing process. To become a better resource for up-and-coming writers, we've asked AFF speakers - past and upcoming - to share their thoughts, practices and lessons with us.

Craig Mazin is the co-writer of the hit comedies Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4. Currently, he is writing The Hangover 2 with director Todd Phillips, as well as an action-comedy for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a science-fiction comedy for Paramount Pictures, and a family adventure for 20th Century Fox.

Craig served on the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America, West from 2004 to 2006. He also runs The Artful Writer — a website for professional and aspiring screenwriters.

Writers on Screenwriting: Craig Mazin

Here's my One Simple Rule Of Screenwriting

1. Relax.

That doesn't mean sleep. It means relax. If you write one good page today, that's fine. Relax. If you write nothing today, then in all likelihood you'll have a ten-page-day a week from now, so relax. Can't figure the scene out? Relax. Scripts not selling? No one's reading your stuff? Or everyone's read it, and it's crap?

Relax, because grinding and despairing will never get the job done. They just make it harder. If you're meant to be a screenwriter, you'll be one. If not, you won't. Make sure you can pay your bills and support your family. The rest will happen as it will.

Take a breath. It's not the be-all, end-all. It can even be fun!

Just follow the rule.

Writers on Screenwriting is just a taste of the AFF Conference experience - we hope you'll join the conversations with Craig and others this October 21-24!