French Alpes / Mont Bento

Screenwriter: Day 1

How I learn to stop worrying and start my first draft

Alysse Hallali
Sep 13, 2013 · 2 min read

My name is Alysse, I am 21 years old, and as far as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a something in the cinema business. (Not a gangster, like in GoodFellas)

I am lucky: I live in Paris, France, and I know people who know people in the industry. I’m lucky again because in France, the movies shouldn’t be called an industry: despite the great number of shows and feature we shot, there is a great deal of artisanat and improvisation. What American calls “Indie”, we call it “Business”. And that sometimes leaves some space for young people like me to try to do stuff.

Last may, I was expelled from Luc Besson’s the Cinema school. I stayed there one year but couldn’t stand it. And at the same time, I receive the answer for the graduate program I desperately wanted to go to. And the answer was a very definitive NO. You see, they select 5 screenwriters a year, and 370 people applied. I cried, and I started to tell myself it was not worth it and I should take an internship in the advertisement agency that offered me one. I still think sometimes, I should have take it. Producing ads for Coke Zero could have been a great break form the fear and sadness.

But today is different. I came back form a week trail in the Alpes with one single idea. I do not need any cinema graduate program.

The only thing I should do is sit down and write a first screenplay. Not a masterpiece. Not a screenplay that would take me straight to Cannes. No. Just 100 pages of dialogs, characters and action lines. Just to see :

  1. If I’m abble to do it?
  2. If I like it?

So, form now on, every day, the alarm will ring at 6. And I will see in the end, what it is like to call yourself a screenwriter.

I’m using several tools. First, witch helps me getting the engine going. (it’s like walking: the first 30 minutes are the hardest. Once you get through them, you can walk 9 hours).

Then Go Into the story process and exercises, from the guy who created the Black List. And of course Lift, this app that let me create and keep nice habits.

And i would like to keep a trace of this process. And that’s were Medium is for.

Welcome to the heist.

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