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Dream Big, Want More, Demand it All!

Why I write?

 

fullsizeoutput_ff9There are two things I do well, hair and storytelling.  And, quite frankly, I’m damn tired of shampooing.  I write because I have something to say about the world we live in and the one from which we are trying to escape.  Television,  film and books – amazingly enough, do both at the same time.

Believe it or not, there are stereotypes that need to be pummeled, stories without any voice that need to be shouted and people struggling in dark places that need to see a glimpse of light.   I write to illuminate characters that others are uncomfortable with or don’t ordinarily see.  I write and spin tales that people can relate to, ones that make them think: what kind of human being are you, more importantly, what kind do you want to be?  I write to entertain and hopefully educate.  I write not necessarily to change the world but to make a small piece of it a little bit more coherent. Quite simply,  I write because I have no choice.  It is what drives me, what makes me… me!

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Feeling Unstuck!

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So happy to announce that three of my pieces placed in screenwriting competitions.  Whitewashed, which won the George Lindsey Short Screenplay Competition earlier this year, is once again a contender… this time in my very own hometown, New York City! Yay!

Both my works: Side Piece and The Dog Walker made it to the finals in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition.  I’m so excited!

Discovery

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Discovery is an exhilarating feeling.  I can only imagine how Christopher Columbus felt… discovering something for the first time even though hundreds of others already knew.  Still, at least for me, it remains an epiphany.

Yes, I know a little about industry formatting while grabbing hold of a reader’s attention and never letting go.  Yes, I’m aware of first imagery, escalation, and the order in which that imagery is created (thanks Max Adams). Then what didn’t I know? Well, that’s quite a lot but let’s stick to the topic.

That first thirty pages of a screenplay isn’t even about getting produced.  Heavens to murgatroyd! Unclench those pearls!  I’m speaking about establishing oneself as a writer for hire.  Although, admittedly, at the finish of every script I begin practicing my Academy speech (hint, hint, wink, wink).  I digress.  That first thirty is about mobilizing the reader.  It’s about making him or her pick up the phone and call the gatekeepers.  It’s about creating value… not only for you but for them.  It’s about warning the powers that be that a flood is coming and you have just built the only ark. Yes, baby, you better get on board! It’s going to be a fantastic voyage! And so sorry, I’m not sorry, if you miss the boat.

So, with this new knowledge, I am taking pen to paper and creating a brand.  A very specific, distinct, brand called Anita Williams.  I am wielding my pen, telling thrilling stories, adventurous tales and hatching crimes.  I’m spreading love, exposing history, unraveling drama and entering new worlds.

2016 Peachtree Village International Film Festival

 

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It was an honor to be selected as a finalist in the 2016 Peachtree Village International Film Festival.  A live table read for Westbound was held at the South West Arts Center in Atlanta, where Jacques Buckingham, Otis Jackson and Jerrica Roy – all professional actors, breathed life into words. I networked with and met fellow writers, filmmakers, actors and comedians.

The festivities concluded with an awards ceremony honoring legends in the entertainment industry, Obba Babatumbe and Barbara Nivens.

IMG_6925 The crowd was astounded to learn Barbara Nivens’ age and her long history in television and film.  When Mr. Babatumbe spoke, his soft well-spoken words resounded off the walls and into our hearts.  They both were gracious recipients and people who embraced a crowd of fans.

It was indeed a spectacular night and although I did not walk away the Big Kahuna, I am by far a richer person for the experience.  Thank you Peachtree Village International Film Festival.  I had a blast!!!!

 

#DulyNoted

Laurels for my Feature Screenplay: Westbound

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GRATEFUL

Big grat’s to Anita Williams whose short script Whitewashed took first play in the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival shorts competition. Yay! http://theafw.com/movers-shakers/

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Dialogue

The Dog Walker Sample

UnknownDialogue is easy to write but great dialogue… now that’s a whole new ball game.  I’m searching for a way to make each character distinctive, have a voice of their own but, at the same time, be true, relevant and believable.  I want the reader to dote on every word each character speaks.  Moreover,  I want the audience to go home with the memory of what was said.  I want them to repeat what was said.  For that to happen they have to feel what was said.

 

Polish it!

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Understanding the medium you are writing for is paramount. My sole purpose is to make that gatekeeper hand over the keys to the kingdom.  So, I want to grab that reader by the jugular and never let go!

I started polishing my scripts by going in hot pursuit of words like: is, are, that, then, walk, sit, stand, look, just, begin, start and turn to name a dozen.  I changed these words and was left with a much more clear and solid read. Jesse turns to watch him metamorphosed into Jesse watches him. Rick is walking transformed into Rick tromps. In other words I exchanged a posh novel way of writing for a more crisp and painless style. After all, I am writing action genre films.

Whitewashed Sample

Moving Day Sample

 

 

Focus

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For me, the focus is on a mixture of techniques when starting a new screenplay. I begin with seven little paragraphs.  They include the balance, catalyst, big event and so on – you know… the normal elements of story but not necessarily in that order. Once those gems are complete, I create an outline of events that need to happen  (along with their complications), to get me to each of those elements.

I’ll admit that once I start writing new twists and turns sometime develop and then it’s back to the drawing board (lol).

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