60% – My Students Sweep PCS – Again.
And if it sounds like I’m bragging, maybe I am. Just a little. Because I’m proud of my students. And I’m proud of the positive impact my student’s script are having on the collective competition.
The past two years we’ve seen the quality of storytelling, screenwriting and film making improve at the PCS event. In 2018, half of the winning scripts came from people who have worked directly with me on their stories. Some have worked with me for months, some for a shorter time. But all have received a lot of feedback and guidance from me.
Not all of their stories were perfect, but all had moments of perfection. The beauty has been watching them take their ideas and work those ideas into short films. I’ve been wildly impressed.
This year – 2019 – 6 of the 10 scripts came from my students. The stories are all very different and some are stronger than others, but at the end of the day, PCS scripts are chosen for a variety of reasons that I do not have control over. Just like life!
I can hear an idea and see the potential problems, most of the time. I can see how a story will play out. Where it will experience problems. It’s like the 6th sense of film making – I see stories – and I can offer guidance and advice. I can explain why something will or won’t work and what we need to make it work. I’m not always right- though pretty much I am.
Ultimately, it’s gratifying and fulfilling to watch these young storytellers hone their craft and receive encouragement for it. As storytellers, we never cross a finish line. There is never an ultimate race (like the Pulitzer Prize) that validates our work. Maybe the Oscar’s come close, but even that is only a popularity contest.
As film makers, storytellers, writers… we have the nagging job of recreating ourselves with every story. Of unraveling new problems and putting the puzzle back together in a way that makes our last undertaking look like child’s play.
Someone asked me once why I always have to be reaching for a goal – why can’t I be happy as I am? I pondered the question. But then I realized that I could never be satisfied performing at the status quo. Today is the chance to improve upon yesterday.