11/19/2010 12:09 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

"Cinema Language" Speaking to My Rewrites

Recently I had the chance to attend Cinema Language, taught by Tom Provost and presented by Mark Stolaroff of the No Budget Film School. I've attended a lot of conferences and workshops related to making movies, and this was definitely one of the more interesting ones.

I've been rewriting a low-budget, character-driven screenplay for a while now, which in all likelihood will become by second feature. I've been going back and forth on a few things, especially regarding what my main character is all about.

Tom used a wide variety of video clips, ranging from the beginning of Cape Fear to an interview scene in Erin Brokovich to illustrate how the choices we have our characters make portray just what they're all about.

Tom stressed that the best writing comes when you're as hard on your main characters as possible, and I couldn't agree more. (I'm a fan of the quote, "People are like tea bags. You have to put them in hot water before you know how strong they are.") This bit of direction is serving as the guiding force behind my latest rewrite.

Cinema Language was full of great tips, though it would be a disservice to share too many here. The class really needs to be experienced in person. I highly recommend checking out the Cinema Language Facebook page for updates on future events.