The Intergalactic Business Report enlists expert advice from master storyteller and screen writer Tuno Van Stowe. Van Stowe’s work in the film industry has garnered him major awards and recognition including as Hollywood’s most influential young voice*. Below, he teaches you the seven steps he relies on to develop, write, and bring a story to life on the screen:
When I first started writing screenplays, I did it because I was broke and lonely, and it seemed like the best way to pass time in my small New York studio apartment, which wasn’t much larger than a closet and actually had a toilet in the living room.
In those days, if you wanted to be a writer, you moved to New York or maybe L.A. I chose NYC because I felt it was the kind of place that spoke to my gritty, emboldened nature and I struggled, mightily, till I finally moved out to Los Angeles and started writing screenplays. This is my story of how I made it and I hope it helps. I came up with 7 rules I think apply to anyone who’s aspiring to be a great script writer. These worked for me and they will for you.
1. Start with an idea that speaks to you and don’t let go of it. For me, this was the story of ninjas and other karate-type people fighting their way out of a prison. I don’t know how I got this idea, but it may have been from nights of watching late night t.v. where there were movies about martial arts guys fighting each other. There were also movies about prisons. I just combined the two. Do you have a great idea? If not, I’ll give you one now. Your movie is about how you go out to Hollywood to find a super impressive screenwriter who wrote a movie about Ninjas in prison. You want to have sex with him (but only if you’re really hot) and you make it your goal in life to accomplish this.
2. Your title needs to boldly announce your movie. I chose the title: “Ninja Destroyah,” because I felt this embodied the ideals of my film. It was about ninjas and they destroyed stuff (and people too). For your film, you can call it something like, “I wanna have sex with Tuno Van Stowe,” but again, only do this if you’re really hot.
3. Write what you know and then keep writing. For me, I knew a lot about ninjas from watching them in action on t.v. and also in my mind. I call this the “research phase” of the process. When you feel like you know enough, then write about it. In your case, I would simply fly out to LA and have sex with me. Then write about it.
4. Become the vice-president of marketing for your project. You need to make promoting your movie your full-time job. And (I can’t emphasize this enough), if you’re super hot, then you need to come out here and have sex with me like it’s your full-time job, which includes a performance review at the end of the year.
5. Get in the room with the people who make movies happen. If you don’t get your script to movie producers and other stuff like that, then you will never get an actual movie made. I remember this challenge well. I followed a movie producer to an In-N-Out Burger and tried to shove him into the bathroom where I would pitch him my script. He was stronger than me and I hadn’t calculated for that. I would recommend that someone like you, again, if you’re what most men would consider objectively attractive, just try to overpower me and shove me into a bathroom and have sex with me.
6. Re-write, re-write, re-write! I always say this three times in a row because if I just said it once it would be a really dumb headline. Please come out to Los Angeles and have sex with me. It gets lonely here and a lot of the women are stuck up and have issues, which would be all right if they were more interested in having sex with me because I can look beyond a lot of things. For instance, I haven’t asked you once about your personality or interests and have focused exclusively on your looks. Which means I’m pretty progressive and understanding and will accept you for who you are as long as you meet the very simple requirement of being insanely hot and willing to bang me.
7. Don’t be afraid to throw away your script and start over. Ultimately, my screenplay for “Ninja Destroyah” was met with confusion by people who read it and many of them simply told me it “wasn’t ready” or that it “sucked” or that that they think I “should see a psychiatrist or something.” So, I started over with a new script called “Ninja Destroyah 2: the Itching,” which was a sequel to my first script. Then I filmed it on my iphone with me doing a voiceover as I shot footage of my grocery store mostly. Look for it in theaters, I guess. And also fly out to LA and have sex with me.
*You can award awards to yourself because there are no rules against it.
Tuno Van Stowe is an award-winning writer, producer, and voice actor. If you would like to contact him to make a movie or to have sex with him or both, please send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.