80 Level Podcast

Becoming a Screenwriter with Simon Racioppa - 80 Level Podcast

November 23, 2022 Kirill Tokarev / Simon Racioppa Season 2 Episode 15
Becoming a Screenwriter with Simon Racioppa - 80 Level Podcast
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80 Level Podcast
Becoming a Screenwriter with Simon Racioppa - 80 Level Podcast
Nov 23, 2022 Season 2 Episode 15
Kirill Tokarev / Simon Racioppa

Simon Racioppa, one of the screenwriters and executive producers behind Emmy-Nominated animated anthology, The Boys Presents: Diabolical, talked with 80 Level about scriptwriting, making it in Hollywood, and building your career in this tough business we call show.

Watch a full trailer of The Boys Presents: Diabolical on YouTube:

Stream The Boys Presents: Diabolical on Amazon Prime:

Check out other Simon’s projects: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1115022/

Follow 80 LEVEL on social media:

We are looking for more artists!
Join 80 LEVEL Talent for free: https://80lv.pro/join-80lvTalent
Get your work noticed by some of the biggest and best developers, publishers, and studios in video games today.

The Gaming Blender
Could you design a video game?

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

This video is sponsored by Xsolla, a global video game commerce company with a robust and powerful set of tools and services designed specifically for the video game industry: http://xsolla.pro/8023

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Simon Racioppa, one of the screenwriters and executive producers behind Emmy-Nominated animated anthology, The Boys Presents: Diabolical, talked with 80 Level about scriptwriting, making it in Hollywood, and building your career in this tough business we call show.

Watch a full trailer of The Boys Presents: Diabolical on YouTube:

Stream The Boys Presents: Diabolical on Amazon Prime:

Check out other Simon’s projects: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1115022/

Follow 80 LEVEL on social media:

We are looking for more artists!
Join 80 LEVEL Talent for free: https://80lv.pro/join-80lvTalent
Get your work noticed by some of the biggest and best developers, publishers, and studios in video games today.

The Gaming Blender
Could you design a video game?

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

This video is sponsored by Xsolla, a global video game commerce company with a robust and powerful set of tools and services designed specifically for the video game industry: http://xsolla.pro/8023

so thank you for joining us today and uh Jane in our podcast today we have with a

Simon rasiopa who's a screenwriter and we're gonna talk a little bit about movies and film and how to get into this

kind of industry Simon before we kind of go into it can you do a little intro tell us a little

bit about your career where you started what were your the projects that you worked on and what were kind of like the

most recent ones sure um uh so I started I grew up in Toronto

Canada and I was lucky enough to get started on television quite early I was sort of working in TV when I was about

14. not screenwriting but sort of like helping on local television shows back in Toronto around that age and then in

University I started more focusing on the writing uh side of things and scripts and getting interested in that

and I was able to sell a script out of my first year of uh especially my last year of University

um for recent shows uh that I've worked on the last couple big ones are I helped work on uh uh The Dark Crystal age of

rebellion for Netflix which was this huge big puppet series for Netflix that we did based on the Jim Henson movie and

I worked on that show I worked on doing development on that for about 14 years before it actually happened

uh and then my other last two big projects are invincible for Amazon Prime video uh which is based on the Robert

Kirkman comic in the same name and we did a first season of that and we're hard at work in season two and three uh

of that right now and then uh diabolical which is that poster right there which is the spin-off of the boys uh and I did

that last year and that came out earlier I came on March this year so and that was an anthology series eight different

episodes um all different story lines different characters all based in the world of the

boys but completely different from each other so that's the that's the recent stuff um how did I get into it I just uh you

know I started writing scripts and I was lucky enough to get a script noticed uh

I sent it off to another screenwriter who worked in Toronto it was part of uh my last year Ryerson at the University I

went to you had to write a script and have it adjudicated by an outside writer by a professional writer so we had to go out and find one so I found a writer in

Toronto who was working on TV at the time and he read my script and gave me feedback and then recommended me to another working writer who read my

script and liked it and gave me my first job so I got lucky that way but yeah that's that's how I started anyway and

then kind of just have worked my way up since then so I'm gonna tell you a story

um kind of like the the rhyming that happens in life so a couple of days ago I was at

Edmonton in Canada and I knew very little about this place

and I had a talk with some of the guys there and they talked about how this is

becoming like the next big uh place where they shoot movies and apparently they shot the the new last of us there

and some other projects and when I came back home I realized that actually I

live I rent in Studio City which is another big part of kind of

like the moving industry and um we'll kind of come back to that a little bit but from your point of view

you said you were lucky when you were kind of traversing and doing um this career

do you think location is important especially right now do you feel like you need to be an Edmonton or Los

Angeles or somewhere else in order to get into it so I don't think you have to be but man does it help uh it helps a

lot you know I was lucky enough to grow up in Toronto Canada um you know if you're working in film or

television in Toronto certainly when I was getting started in sorry in Canada you wanted to either be in Toronto Vancouver or Toronto or Vancouver or if

you did French language South Montreal but really it was Toronto Vancouver yes there were movies being shot in Edmonton

and being shot in many Calgary in many other places but if you wanted to be in the production like the writing side the creation side of TV shows that was

happening really only in Toronto or Vancouver for the most part there's always exceptions of course but that's

kind of where you needed to be to get noticed and in the states obviously it's New York and Los Angeles but it's primarily Los Angeles

um so you look if you write a really really excellent script like just a

stellar piece of work it's going to get noticed no matter where you're from um but if you're looking at this more of

a career if you want to be in be in it in the long term you want to be in uh the industry you want to be in the field

you want to be meeting other writers other people who work in that field other people who make movies producers and directors uh and the only way you

can do that is be by being in a place where they make movies or make TV shows and that's really

again that's Limited in Canada it's like it's really Toronto and Vancouver in the states it's really Los Angeles so

do you have to move here no but man does it help you know maybe if you're just writing feature films you might be able

to exist outside of La uh but TV definitely you want to be here um look and also once you get crazy

famous if you become a huge success you can do whatever you want work wherever you want but getting started yes it helps to be in Los Angeles absolutely

so you talked about we talked a little bit about location

um now what about the skills that you need to have it seems like this is the kind of industry where everybody says

you just go and write a script but if we come back to my story about Studio City there is like a big Barnes Noble there

and it's very close to my place and I keep coming there like every weekend

almost and I noticed that they they always have this stand where they sell

books and writing there's like always books in writing and I never never seem

to notice them in other Barnes and Nobles or they were hidden somewhere and then I I realize it's because you know

people from Studio cities it's kind of like a movie space and people want to get into writing I guess so is writing

one of the easiest sort of like Avenues to becoming part of this industry or

maybe it's the hardest one you tell me you have to ask yourself is like there's a thousand different jobs in film and

television you know you can be a grip you can be costume designer you can be a set designer you can be an art director you can be a director you can be a

director of you know photography there's a million jobs so if your job if your desire is just to get into the industry

writing is just one of the many options open to you and I would sort of suggest that you should do whichever one

interests you the most you know if you're more interested in like how scenes are shot and you're a more visual

person maybe you should look more into doing you know like what dops do and what directors do or what designers do

um you know if you're interested in writing and creating then that's that's the reason you should pursue it uh more

than just as it being away into the industry if that makes sense uh is it easier or harder um I don't really know

I mean I think every job in the business has its own challenges and every job is equally difficult to get to a high level

and to sort of achieve the skill you need to be like you know a great screenwriter I you know it's probably

and that's as hard to become as it is to become a great GOP or a great director or a great costume designer

um in terms of you know teaching yourself I guess the the advantage that writing has is that uh you can just

start you know you can just you know you have a computer you can just start you can try it you can you know give it a

give it a try versus you know if you want to be a lighting designer like you

need to go out and Apprentice with somebody to just get access to the things you need like a lighting grid to

actually try it out you can't really it's harder to do that in your garage than it is to like go to a Starbucks and

write a script um so so writing does have that advantage to it you can self-start projects and you can sort of practice by

yourself whereas even even acting that's harder to do you want to be in like Community Theater or you'd want to be taking classes that said I still think

writing is something you can learn and you can practice and you can get better at it's not something that you necessarily automatically do like

everybody knows the alphabet everybody knows how to spell and put words together but writing a script is obviously more than that

uh personally I think the best way to learn there's two ways to learn one way is I think you can take classes and I

think that's a good way to start certainly if you don't have a lot of experience uh you know a class will give

you a good foundation on just sort of the basics of how scripts work how to put a script together what what makes a

good script what makes a bad script they'll give you a good start but to me the real way to learn is to read other

scripts and uh nowadays on the internet you have access to thousands and

thousands and thousands of professionally written scripts for TV shows that are currently out new pilots that are coming out movies that have

been out over the last 20 years that's what you're trying to make as a screenwriter you're trying to make a finished piece of work a finished script

it's not about the idea it's not about the concept or the outliner you have a great idea for a movie it's about the

finished script so the best way to figure out how to do that is to look at ones that have already been finished and were sold and we're successful uh and

you should be reading those scripts you should be reading two or three of them a week you know and but trying to really

read them look at them and decide to yourself like what makes this script good why do I like this why do I not like this what would I change about it

uh you know why did this succeed and why did this one not succeed what could I make better about this and sort of

trying to write down those thoughts and almost analyze them to yourself and then that just by doing that just by reading

two or three scripts you know a week and then working on your own writing it's going to sort of flow through you it's gonna you're gonna pick up stuff and

you're gonna pick up ideas and you're going to pick up format and you're going to pick up like dialogue and ideas for that and that'll help your own writing

and then you just need to keep on writing scripts and just keep on practicing uh and so it's it's

ultimately it's like Stephen King had this great quote I think in his he has a great book on writing called on writing

and I think his quote was he was like he reads for four hours a day and he writes for four hours a day I feel like that

also applies to screenwriting you want to read a lot of scripts and you want to write a lot of scripts and if you do those two things together

it's you know hopefully that's that'll work out for you it might take some time it might take a couple years but that's

that was my route so you mentioned um kind of reading scripts becoming a great screenwriter

my question is uh what kind of constitutes a good script

like what makes it you know you know what I mean like what makes it how do you make sure it's like

if it's poor or if it's a good one well that's that's of course the million dollar question right what makes

something great because sometimes also sometimes terrible scripts the movies are still super successful and sometimes great scripts the movies aren't you know

but what makes the script itself I mean I you know everyone has different opinions about this uh but there's I

think there's a couple things that we could all agree on one is it has to be consistent it has to be logically consistent has to make sense

right um you know you want a story that logically follows like it makes sense like a happens and that means then that

B has to happen then that means that CS happened that someone can follow that and their understanding of that and they

follow it and it makes sense to them uh but at the same time you want it to be unexpected you want it to be surprising

so you want it to be logical and follow you know this sort of this this sort of

pathway that makes sense but you also want it to be surprising so you want people to be like oh I can't believe that happened but of course it happened

it makes sense from everything that happened before so that's sort of the originality to it uh you it needs to be

emotional I think I think every good movie or TV show transmits emotion it's the writer trying to get somebody else

to feel something or to think something or to have an emotion so it has to do that

um I feel like you know there's there's movies that can maybe be a really great technically written they can look great on screen but they don't make you feel

anything I feel like that's probably a failure you know you want you want a show or a movie or script to make you

sad matter to make you happy or make you understand something in a way you haven't really thought of before

um and then characters have to act like real people you know a lot of uh I read

a lot of you know more rookie writer stuff and a lot of times their characters feel like they're just doing

things to further the plot like a character has to act like a real person so I always try to ask myself okay would

you do that in that situation would you really act like that like no one would do that no one would say that and if you

find yourself saying that you have to revise your work and look at it and try to make your people act like real people and I think this applies you'd be

writing the wackiest comedy in the world the weirdest you know indie film uh but your characters have to act like real

people otherwise you know your audience is not going to understand it they're going to be like well these These people aren't

like no one would do that so why I'm not interested anymore and you push your audience away so those are the main sort

of things I always think for in a script of course there's always exceptions someone can you know the nice thing

about writing is there's no real rules you can also you could throw all that out the door and write some kind of

amazing script if you were a genius that did something new that maybe didn't make sense and had characters who didn't like act like people and maybe that would be

the most amazing thing ever but if you're starting out those are the main things I'd look for you know logical

consistency that follows you know a logical path but is surprising you know characters that act like real people and

an emotion that you're trying to get across your audience so what's your take like you and first

of all thank you for your answer I think you touched on a lot of points there especially emotion I think that's

probably one of the things that we want to see in the movie and when we really don't really don't get that we feel like

the movie didn't really deliver but um my question kind of connected to the other part of your answer when you said

that there is no real formula sort of right you don't really

uh no but I I know that there was a time when people did think that there was a

formula and this the writer's Journey the hero's journey I mean first the

heroes during the writers Journeys those books they're kind of kind of dissect like step by step like what do you do

like the heroes and you can take any film like from Rambo to Star Wars where

they they kind of Follow That same template I would say it's not really like a framework correct what's your

take on that do you think this is still relevant or maybe it's too old because

um I'm just gonna say it because like from my uh kind of for my taste I feel like the movies that

have that although they maybe are a bit more on a predictable side uh they kind of resonate more with me

than the the films that don't I don't think there's a problem with that kind of work uh I think certainly

for newer writers you know obviously like you said there's tons of screenwriting books that are out there I don't think it's a bad idea if you're

just getting started to to buy one like pick one because I think they're mostly similar not not that I've read a ton but

I think they're mostly similar pick one and use that to help you get started you know sometimes that kind of stuff that

formula or that structure is great to just start an idea but then maybe you want to vary it maybe you want to go in

a different direction maybe you want to do something more surprising but uh there's nothing wrong with that stuff I don't think it's gone out of fashion I

think a lot of movies still follow a really familiar structure like most of my work if it's a feature so so we're

getting three acts you know because I find that that helps me visualize the movie but then to me that stuff is like

scaffolding like you put it up to help you support the story to get you started and then you tear the scaffolding out

because hopefully you've made something that can stand without without all that formula or initially there so again I

think it's a great way to get started uh it's even you know something I think about when I'm working on movies or TV

shows now but I like to hope that uh you know it doesn't limit you you know it's

it's a help to get you started and then hopefully you can go on and sort of build from that on you know on your

story further out so I kind of have the question connected with that and uh thank you for kind of

highlighting that there's something there's nothing wrong with kind of using these guard rails especially when you're

starting out I feel like it's a great way to just kind of guide you like in

you know like what's the next step because sometimes it's just like you don't know and I know professional

writers usually say that the story kind of writes itself because I feel like you already wrote so many that you it kind

of flows like a river to wherever you want to go but um and this prob I'm probably not the only

person with this kind of question but sometimes you get a movie where

it's just like not cohesive like like you said it doesn't it doesn't make sense like the latest example that I had

was probably this uh animated film sing there's like a bunch of animals who

are doing like a musical theater and then there was a sequel and I liked the

first one so much we watched it with my three-year-old daughter she was like so engaged and she was this koala trying to

build this theater very interesting and then the next one it just felt like a

bunch of scenes that you kind of glue together and the same kind of drawback frankly you can

see in a lot of other movies that you see in theaters right now why is this happening like what happened to this you

know when you just kind of when it you know it doesn't make sense but suddenly you come up is it like do we blame we FX

do we blame script doctors do we blame something else like who what's going on uh so I haven't seen that movie I've

been I'm aware of it but I haven't seen uh either sing um I mean look it comes down to a lot of

different reasons making making movies or TV shows is really hard uh and uh I

know that sounds like I'm whining but it's a difficult thing to try and make something new and original and that is cohesive and has emotion and all those

things you know it's a difficult job and when you're making a movie or a TV show there's actually all this other pressure

on the production at the same time there's a schedule uh you know there's a budget that you can't exceed or you're

not supposed to exceed there's a schedule you have to meet there's demand and sometimes from actors from other producers from different Studios so

there's a lot of things a lot of moving Parts in a motion picture so unfortunately it's not always the case

of where the writer gets to sit down and have all the time they need to finish the script to make it perfect to get

good feedback on that and then to answer that feedback with a new draft and then that drop just gets made that's not

really usually what happens usually what happens is you get a draft and you get feedback from a number of different

places you know maybe from the director from the studio from another producer and you're trying to coordinate all

those things and maybe the draft is is still really great but then it goes into production and then in production you find out oh we don't have the time to do

this sequence you know or this sequence isn't working out or this actor wants this section changed for them or the

song didn't come in very well so we're going to cut it so you're trying to fix those things on the fly as the film gets

made um you know and you're still trying to hit that schedule and sometimes there's test screenings and test screenings

maybe do well or don't do well and you have to do more change changes for that so all this to say that like any

television show or any feature is a sort of a living breathing animal and you can't always predict how it's going to

come out of the end based on how it starts but everyone on any feature film or any movie are trying to do the rest

they're trying to make the best movie they can they're trying to make the best TV show they can but sometimes circumstances make that really difficult

you know and sometimes you run up to your own limits your own creative limits you know in those cases and maybe that's

the best you could do at the time so there's no real person to blame necessarily it's just unfortunately it a

factor the industry that it's it's a difficult thing to do to make a really good movie or a great TV show there's a

lot of challenges along the way and sometimes it works out and you come out with something great and sometimes it's

less great than anyone hoped for uh it's you know it's a very subjective uh art

form I I really like this answer that you're kind of talking about all the

factors that are outside of whatever you're doing like directors producers all the other

factors that influence you but at the same time you might not agree with them and then there is the question of like

the Final Cut and all the other things and it goes on and on and like unions

and you know whatever like they were the the actor kind of got coveted or

whatever I think if you're looking for like a good illustration like this there is this show about the filming of

Godfather um I don't know like I think it's called on Paramount plus it's uh the offer it's

called the offer and that the very kind of like they they show in this episodic format all those oranges

you know thing that making a movie is and then there's the central part of the producer that tells the story and so on

uh but my question is kind of connected with that so we know movies are very hard to do what about TV shows because

it seems like from uh like an from my point of view it's like not making one

movie that is like an hour and a half it's like making you know eight movies or like 12 movies or whatever the season

is like 24 movies which is made which makes it much more difficult and you've

been doing you know TV shows what do you feel about that are they more difficult less difficult what are

the particular things that are important for TV

have their own challenges I'm not going to say which one's harder I think a television show is a bit more of a

marathon because obviously a movie again depending on what job you're in but a movie you know is a

two-hour script roughly you know it could be a little shorter it could be like 90 minutes if it's a you know a comedy or a kids movie it could be a

little longer if it's a big epic piece but it's around two hours you know whereas your average eight or ten

episode series is eight or ten hours or a little less than that usually nowadays uh so obviously it's you know it could

be anywhere from you know four to five times longer in terms of how much script

material you need how much story material you need obviously as well and then all of production too

um but movies can be in product can be in development for much longer than TV shows you know and sometimes have much bigger set pieces much bigger builds

spend more time in editing so um they both have their own challenges I would say as as a writer or a showrunner

a TV is a bigger challenge because you're on it for longer it's a longer project you're getting more hours you

know versus a screenwriter who might just do one draft of that script they might be a word they might be a

screenwriter on set which means they would stay for a lot of production and help out and then like so that might be a longer job uh so I you know TV I think

is is probably more work but again I think they're both equally hard and equally difficult

um sorry what was that what was the other part of the question yeah yeah I mean I think you answered like uh but by the

way like connected with TV shows um you you mentioned it's kind of a

little bit more a little bit more work but probably you've noticed this trend

and there the viewers definitely did when there's a lot of very good writing on you know on TV or like streaming

services right there is I don't know like there's Severance there is a succession there is

um midnight mass which is a very unusual kind of TV and you know the list goes on

and on like a bunch of HBO shows and I'm not gonna go into the history of it um

why do you think this happens like don't you feel like a film is a better uh

medium to tell a story or is it like for me it's like a short story and a novel like where maybe it's

like reading like all of our twists where something like a TV show you know what I mean it totally depends on the

story like some stories when you have the idea you know you're like oh this is a feature or you're like I need more

time for this this is a TV series you know it's like some stories are too big to fit into two hours you know like

Severance is a great example I love Severance uh could you do it as a feature film yeah but I think it's a lot

of idea to get out in a future film I think it works better as a TV series I think that's you know so I don't know

what what I think it was Dan Dan I forget his last name who came who was the creator of that show he might have

maybe thought about it early when he had that he's like maybe this is a feature maybe this is a TV show and then as he started to think about it more he's like

no I think this is a TV show I want more hours than that you know like Invincible Invincible you know to adapt the comic

books you know we felt at the time was a was better as a TV series than a feature

film Dark Crystal was both was obviously a feature film and then a TV series uh so it really just depends on the idea

and how you want to tell that idea maybe some ideas you might think oh this is better as a comic book or this is better as a novel or better as a podcast

you know or that's how I want to start it so uh it's more comes into into that

sort of idea like what is what is the idea you have and then what format you

think lets you express that idea in the best possible way uh you know ask for movies recently I

mean like obviously it's been really hard on the movie industry with covid you know a lot of people like I used to see movies all the time and now it's a

you know for two years I didn't see any movies in theaters um and now I'm starting to go back uh

yeah I watch movies on TV obviously but it's you know it's I think it's been hard on movies for a long time uh but I

love movies movies was one of the reasons I got into the business was going to see a movie with such a in a theater with such an experience that I

wanted to be part of that so I'm hoping that you know those recover better and you know more people

will come back to that I don't get some more interesting and cooler different movies yeah I really like this answer where you

said that basically there's a bunch of formats there's like a longer format like a episodic format there's a podcast

and there are video games and there's a lot of other ways that you can tell stories that there's a book also let's

not forget about that um what about animation what kind of format

is that I know that Guillermo del Toro who's currently doing his Pinocchio he's

famous for saying that the I think Academy Awards shouldn't have like the best film and best animation because

animation is film but there is still some kind of uh you know maybe

misconception you you correct me like when we we think about um

animation there's like a certain something what we think about what kind of stories fit this format or is it

Universal and anything goes well so okay I think that's a really good question I think there's there's two answers to

that one answer is what I think it is and I think animation is a format the same way I think of a podcast or a book

or a comic book or anything else I think you should be able to tell any story you want in animation if that's how you want to tell it should you be able to tell

like a really realistic story about detectives in the 1950s through animation sure and obviously we have

indie films like persepolis you know that tell like really serious uh stories

about you know love and loss and are not for kids that are done in animation and

do really really well so to me it's a format it's just like is that the right way to tell your idea you know you could

go for a live-action movie or you could go for an animated movie or an animated TV series or live action TV series or

puppets or like you said a book or a podcast and maybe you're thinking well you know it's it's a story about

you know it's an environmental story about fighting to save you know whales off the coast of California but I would

love to do all these interesting dream sequences and maybe the best way to do that would be through animation even

though it's not for kids like that's a very valid answer to that question and maybe that's the reason you would pick

animation for that uh so to me it's a format but I think in many cases

audiences over here certainly Western audiences still think of it as a genre still think of it as either uh kids

Saturday morning Pixar movies or The Simpsons like Comedy half hours adult half hours and like that's it and then

we and then most people think of like Japanese anime is its own weirdo thing that they don't they're not interested in right that's talk about General

audiences I'm not saying how I feel about it um but I think maybe that's starting to change you know and I hope maybe shows

like invincible and like diabolical have started to help people see it as maybe just more of a format instead of a genre

thank you for this um and I love this example when you said you had a dream sequence you can do kind

of more in animation if you look at these anthologies that uh I think that's

love robots or something on Netflix those are they have very crazy visuals

and incredible stories and those kind of blend together nicely but there is another kind of school of thought on

that and since we work with VFX artists and we work with games

um there is this opinion that maybe too many VFX they kind of ruined film

anyway and when you have more when you when you're more constricted when you

have kind of more guardrails you eventually do some better when you can just go like marble desert right one day

you can go and say okay let's like 200 million or like 400 million and we just

do whatever where you're flying rocket ships or you know that kind of stuff

um from from your point of view as a Storyteller like um having all this

availability of doing you know rendering basically whatever you want on the screen even actors who are long gone

does it help you does it restrict you like what's your take on that

that's a really good and interesting question um I mean on a personal level I do think

like I miss a bit more of the Practical effects and practical shooting that I remember from movies when I was younger

where they would go to Tunisia they would go to the desert they would go places they would go to the Jungle to

shoot scenes and scenes felt a little more real than in cases now where they're using you know CG backdrops or

green screens or you know the Dome kind of setting that they used to not Mandalorian this stuff is all great I

think the Mandalorian looked amazing but I do think sometimes you know movies don't feel as real as they used to

because of that with exceptions of course that said it does kind of open

the door for a lot more creativity you can go and shoot places that you never could before you can fake you know

scenes or creatures or characters that you would have been impossible before um so that opens it up so that's a good

thing but you know like you said create constraints breeds creativity you know

sometimes when you can't do something you figure out what you can do you solve the problem in some other way and sometimes that's a more novel more

interesting way hopefully so I don't know I don't know if there's a real answer to that other than like I I

prefer practical effects in most cases you know but that said I also like movies with crazy like I like Marvel

movies I like movies with crazy cool visual effects I just I just feel like maybe a lot of films nowadays are

feeling less real than they used to and I feel like that pushes the audience away from the picture from the

characters a little bit when you're when you talked a little bit about

kind of going on a set somewhere like you know go into Italy I know that um

this show on Netflix about the chess lady who was playing chess a lot I

Gambit or something quick quick wins game but yeah they did a lot of green screen there they were like they

basically painted the whole the whole thing and from game development there's this example where a French company they

were building a game about American um cool basically there are teenagers and a

funny thing is they built the game and then they decided to hire like a screenwriter from United States who can

help them tell story that is kind of American and so and and then in this

group they had these situations where kind of teenagers you know kiss on the chick when they're just you know when

they're just friends they're not girlfriends and boyfriend an American screener was like okay we wouldn't never do that first of all right that would be

a big thing and then the other funny comment he did he gave was like the The Parking Spot were too tiny they were

like four for European cars yeah I knew that was like one of the

like like you said like when you go somewhere and you see it with your own eyes it's you get a little bit sense of

a place you understand a little bit better that's why you know locations count and still and thin and people um

love doing it but um since we we kind of covered a lot of

ground here like we talked about how you got into industry how films are made currently what about animation a lot of

different formats I have like one last question so if there is someone in our

audience that has a story to tell and he wants to do whatever film TV

animation I don't know um what do you think you should do first like except for moving to Toronto and

Los Angeles what other things are there are possible for him to kind of make

this reality make this a reality so what I think they should do is you know if you have an idea uh that you want to

express that you want to get out there uh I think you should think about what format you want to do it in whether you want to make a short film or a film or a

comic book or a novel or a short story you know or uh you know a picture book

or something like that is sort of think about where that feels like you want to put it and then start reading that for

that that area that that format so if you want to write a novel read novels if you want to write a screenplay read

screenplace if you want to write a comic book read comic books and that'll help teach you that medium and then try it

just start look online for resources there's comic scripts online you can read there's obviously novels there's

lots of info information about how to get started writing a novel you know there's a national there's a what is it Nano Remo which is like National novel

writing month which is a community that helps people get started on their novels uh there's lots of online stuff for for

screenwriting you know again there's lots of scripts online so you can download free software to help you write it uh you can just get started

um and just try and then if you get something together you know you can go out to peers you can go to that

Community get people to try and read it other people who are trying to do the same thing you're doing and get feedback

on and try and make it better uh and then ultimately when you think it's good and you're getting feedback that it's

strong it's good you can try and get it into the hands of people who actually work in that field so whether that's

other producers or screenwriters or whether it's comic book companies or comic book creators or owners you know

like Comic-Con like you can go to a comic convention and meet the Publishers at different comic houses and Pitch them

an idea you can hand over a script in some cases you know you should reach out first to make sure that's okay but you

can do those things so it's it's about practicing and you know the idea and then the other big thing is not to give

up you know like the first 100 things I wrote were garbage and they probably still are uh in lots of cases but uh you

need to you get better at it I think a lot of people expect to be able to walk up and hit a home run on their first try

but you can't do that in baseball so why would you expect to do that in writing you know why would you expect to be able

to like walk onto a professional baseball field and hit a home run like I couldn't do that most people couldn't do

that the people who play baseball would do that because they practice they've been in the game a long time they work at it constantly they get better and

better and better at it that's it's writing is the same way you know like don't expect your first thing to be the

best thing think of it more as something you work at something you improve upon something you get better at

with practice and you know feedback and response and you try again and it might take years uh but it's it's it's a trade

it's a craft you learn it's not something you have or you don't have at least to me

all right thank you so much Simon thank you for your advice I hope it was useful to someone in our audience and uh we'll

leave to the link to the descriptions to your work so people can enjoy it thank you so much great thank you great

talking to you have a great day it was a pleasure see ya bye-bye take care bye thanks for enjoying another episode of

the 80 level Roundtable podcast check out upcoming episodes on the 80 level website at 80. LV join our career

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(Cont.) Becoming a Screenwriter with Simon Racioppa - 80 Level Podcast