Alexander Payne

How Alexander Payne Shares His Valuable Screenwriting Lessons

Alexander PayneAlexander Payne is one of the most respected directors working today. His films are consistently great because he understands filmmaking in a way few others do. Payne has partnered in many prestigious awards with a collective portfolio filled with award-winning short films and features. To understand what makes a great screenplay, you must understand what makes a good movie. The best scripts are made up of three key elements such as story, characters, and dialogue. A good screenplay is a great story told memorably.

You need to rewrite constantly.

When Payne tried to find work as a screenwriter, There weren’t many opportunities for new, untested directors, and he knew the challenges they would face finding work and the struggle to get that first script produced. The most vital lesson he learned was that, no matter how good his first script was, it wasn’t good enough. Alexander Payne constantly had to fine-tune his writing while rewriting, rethinking, reworking, editing, and reshaping his scripts until he got it right. You can’t wait to rewrite your script after you finish a draft. It would help if you rewrote the whole hand while writing the first draft.

Don’t be afraid to rework your story arcs.

Many writers feel pressured to follow the story arc they created in their outline or the structure of their script. But if you find structure lazy, you don’t need to follow it. This is the most crucial lesson Payne learned in becoming a successful screenwriter. As screenwriters, you don’t have the luxury of starting with a solid idea and working out how you will tell it. You must begin with the story and spend time building the characters and the world, so it’s as natural to you as possible.

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As a screenwriter, you must always keep your story’s setting in mind. It would help if you thought about where it takes place and what this environment is like. Even if you don’t know the story’s specific setting, you still need to consider it. To fully develop your story and characters, you need to have an idea of the setting.