Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich, The Soloist) Talks About the Art of Writing Screenplays
It is not often that I get to share a talk from a woman on mentorless.com, and believe me, I am very aware of that fact mostly because I spend a lot of time trying to find lectures and masterclasses given by women in the industry I’m interested about, and I inevitably fail.
Why do I care if it’s a woman or a man talking, you might ask? Well, because whenever I hear a woman talk, I realize there is a whole way of seeing things I haven’t been made aware to and that actually talks to me in a very different way. As much as I love to learn from my WWM (Westernian White Men), I don’t think you can’t possibly pretend being interested in storytelling when you just feed yourself with one gender, one race and/or one nationality. And I think we’ve reached a point where people feel that the world is bigger than what we’ve grown up with, and they want to have options and to explore new emotions and new angles on a same subject. And today is a good day for that.
BAFTA Guru is one of the few outlets that gives voice to women who are not actresses or producers, and I’m happy to say that Susannah Grant’s lecture is as inspiring and entertaining as any other lecture. Grant has a fairly long list of credits attached to her name, including Erin Brockovich, and 20 years of experience in feature films, television writing and animation.
“The question is how do you reel yourself back from failure in a public way. How do you fall on the right side of that knife edge? And i guess what you need is a little bit of wisdom and honesty to look at something that feels false, or boring, or derivative, or in poor taste, or bullshity or inauthentic to you and just plain “not good enough” and say to yourself: I bet I can do better. You have to be clear, you have to be simpler, you have to be richer. And that’s difficult.”
Grant ends her 10 minute lecture with a letter from Martha Graham to Alice De Mille that is still so relevant, I had to type it down and share it:
I absolutely loved Susannah Grant’s no-bullshit talk. It is filled with good wisdom and honest anecdotes. Make sure to listen to the second half of the video as well, which is a conversation where Grant talks about the art of adapting real life characters into fictional characters, writing for Disney etc.
A must listen for screenwriters and storytellers in general.