"There are three things that make a movie great: a good script, a good script and a good script." Alfred Hitchcock
One of the BFA's main objectives is to get writers writing.
Of course getting your project funded is near impossible. Of course carving a pathway into a career as an actor is hell. But anyone anywhere can write. And those that believe they were born to write should be writing, now, whatever their situation, whatever their circumstance.
Screenplays are the cornerstones of films. They're the blueprints of your building. You simply cannot make a good film without a good script. And despite multi-million pound and dollar budgets and the highest ranking stars in the industry it is the script, the story, the essence of the film, that is intrinsic for the rest of the magic to work.
There in the dark, music can move you, cinematography can astound you, SFX can mesmerize you, an actor's performance can bring you to tears. But those elements are the stunning flowers which cannot grow without the strength and foundation of a solid rooted stem.
Never underestimate the importance of writing. Our experience has been the same with both successful and emerging actors – their biggest complaint is that there are simply no good scripts out there any more.
That is not to decry the brilliance of those screenwriters successfully working in the industry at the present time. It is merely to say that there is a shortage of a new generation of writers. Whether the hopelessness of the current economic climate, or the sheer impossibility of breaking into the industry, is making writers never begin their dreams let alone give up on them, no one knows. But more and more actors are writing their own projects because of a lack of good material. And more and more often the same films are being remade time and time again.
The lack of a new generation of bold and fearless writers who aren't afraid to take risks, break boundaries, be different and daring and controversial, is contributing to a lot of the staleness felt by audiences.
Yeah, okay, people will laugh at you when you tell them you want to be a writer – let them laugh.
Yeah, okay, writers are sensitive creatures and it's hard being brave enough to put yourself out there with your written work let alone taking the first step on the monstrous journey of getting your script produced. But your nugget of gold is still needed and is what we're all waiting for. It's your creative voices that we simply cannot do the rest without.
Never ignore that still small voice inside you that says 'this might just work and I'll try it'.
I remember Harvey Weinstein emphatically answering a journalist enquiring as to what was central to The English Patient's success after it swept the board at Oscars.
'The writing!' HW barked at him 'There is nothing else.'
Our greatest conviction at the BFA is to make writers write. The first thing you'll write will be terrible. But keep going. It takes many attempts to find your voice. But you will find it if you know in your heart it was what you were born to do. knock the apathy out of your heart. Start writing. There is literally a whole industry of actors and filmmakers desperate for something extraordinary to land on their doorsteps. Don't be fooled. The industry isn't so crowded with brilliant scripts that yours won't get through. It's crying out for brilliant scripts. It's desperate for them.
Boldness has genius, magic and power in it.
A writer writes – so what are you waiting for?