Ben Wheatley’s 90 Bits Writing Technique to Greenlit a Film Idea
Ben Wheatley’s 90 Bits Writing Technique
to Greenlit His Next Screenplay
Nothing fascinates me more than the creative process. Just like Daily Rituals change from one person to another, none of them might work for you to the dot. But reading about how others go about it has been a liberating source of inspiration tailor my creative process and to keep it open to change.
British filmmaker Ben Wheatley has distinguished himself in the last two decades by the singularity and the diversity of his production: from short filmmaker and animator to YouTuber to commercial and TV director to finally feature filmmaker. Like David Lowery, Rian Johnson or Jeff Nichols, Wheatley has proved capable of shooting compelling stories whether on a very low or a studio budget.
During an interview with BAFTA Guru, Wheatley talks about his writing process, how he usually triggers ideas (unsurprisingly, while being in his body), and the next steps he takes to concept proof them before he decides to turn them into a full screenplay and a film:
“I walk around a lot and listen to music and then think about stories and I’ve always done that. I kind of make stuff up in my head and listen to the story and walk around and then sometimes I go “Oh, that might be an interesting story.”
And then I write down a little bit, see if it’s all right.
And then, if it can survive that process, I might write up a little bit bigger, and I basically write sentences and then I get a piece a paper and I divide into 1 to 30 time 3 times, and If I can get to all those 90 points, then it looks like a film.
Then I’ll write it, but if I can’t then I just don’t bother.
My rule of thumb is usually if there’s a film I want to see and I haven’t seen it anywhere, then I’ll try and make it.”
More Screenwriters about their process:
- Jeff Nichols Screenwriting Process
- BJ Novak on The Writing Process He Learned Doing The Office and Has Been Using Ever Since
- What Guillermo Arriaga Does When He Is Stuck on a Scene, the Screenwriting Rule He Follows & His Writing Process
- Pete Docter (Monsters Inc, Up) on the Creative Process Behind Building a Pixar Story
- Discover the 8 Steps Process of Award Winning Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black
- Jim Jarmusch About His Writing Process, Working With Actors, Learning From Robby Muller…
- Charlie Kaufman Talks About His Writing Process in a Master Class
- Ava DuVernay on Her Creative Process: From Observing to Writing for Low Budget
- The 3 Elements Screenwriter Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady, The Hour) Needs to Write a Story