Monday, January 6, 2014

Successful screenwriter reveals surprising secret weapon

Guest Post 

Michael Lucker 
(Today's advice comes from writer, director, producer Michael Lucker who served as screenwriter on the animated sequels to MulanLilo & StitchEmperor’s New Groove and 101 Dalmatians and has helped pen more than 20 other feature-length screenplays including  "Vampire In Brooklyn,"  "Home On The Range" and "Spirit," which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002 for best animated feature.   Oh, and did  I mention he once worked as an assistant for Steven Spielberg?  You can sign up for screenwriting classes taught by Lucker at Screenwriter School.)  

 Advice from Screenwriter Michael Lucker 

 How I get in the mood... 

      Not many people know this about me, but I can dust like a sonuvabitch.  Vacuum.  Scrub.  Window clean even.  When there’s writing to be done, there’s really no telling how much house cleaning I can squeeze in.
    I used to say once I had my ducks in a row, I’d write.  Since there is obviously an infinite amount of ducks one can conjure, I went out and bought three just so I’d have a limit.  Those squeaky little yellow toys you play with in the tub.  Then I lined them up on my desk… in a row.  And poof!  No more excuses.  Then I wrote.  And you know what?  That was the easy part.  Sitting in the chair was the hard part.
     Once I got there, the angels and guides descended from the heavens and filled my fingertips with enough quirk and mirth to fill countless pages.  So what’s the lesson?  Stop with the excuses already.  We’re creative for God sakes.  No one is going to be better at coming up with excuses than us.  So throw caution to the wind… and sponges and brushes and rags.  And just write.  You can always dust after.


Michael Lucker is a writer, director and producer with twenty years experience creating film, television, animation and digital media.  He also teaches screenwriting through the Screenwriter School.   He began his career writing and directing TV commercials in college at Boston University.  Later he landed in LA  working in production before taking a job as assistant to Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment on feature films IndianaJones & the Last Crusade, Arachnophobia, Joe Vs. The Volcano, Always, Back To The Future II & III and Jurassic Park.  As a screenwriter, Michael helped pen more than twenty feature screenplays for Paramount, Disney, DreamWorks, Fox, and Universal.  He also served as screenwriter on the animated sequels to MulanLilo & StitchEmperor’s New Groove and 101 Dalmatians.   He consulted on content for Turner Entertainment and worked for several non‐fiction production houses before launching his own production company, Lucky Dog Filmworks, which has served as his home for developing and producing television, commercial and branded content. 

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