Friday, June 25, 2021

"How to Break into the Film Industry": Tyler Mowery interviews Dominic Morgan


Angelika Film Center, Fairfax VA 2019-10

How to Break into the Film Industry with WGA Screenwriter Dominic Morgan”, as interviewed by Tyler Mowery.

Dominic comes from northern Ireland, apparently, and came of age near the violence and shelling.  He describes his entry into the field, with a deal where he was assigned to write another person’s concept and idea as well as his own, and then to travel to Brazil and learn what the people affected by the drug trade were like.  All down to earth.

He says if you have an agent, you need to produce one or two good pieces a year to keep their attention. What sells is a portfolio of screenplays, possibly interrelated and some of them smaller, not a single blockbuster.

The interview mentions Michael Hauge’s screenplay structure, which is a little more complicated thant the Harmon story circle. 

My own “do ask do tell” book series at one time generated three long screenplays (one was called “Make the A-List”) and tended to be long with several critical transition points rather than one (where getting what you want costs you something).  They were based on the world as it was in early 2000’s, immediately post 9-11. Their length and complexity might be more appropriate for a mini-series. More recently, I’ve written “Second Epiphany” which presents the material, well, from a space ship environment, where the backstories fit into various parts of the script, more or less.

I am looking into simpler stories to make that are more in line with normal expectations.  The problem is that the philosophical conflicts, while genuine and maybe captivating to some, require a lot of expository background before they become understandable.

Tyler offers a “Writer’s Mind” YouTube series, half of it free, half of it requiring Patreon support.  One of his most important episodes, about “personal high agency” (#16) is on the Patreon portion but is set up by earlier free videos like “First Principles”. Tyler also offers a course on Practicalscreenwriting

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