Less Is More pre-writing workshops capture the roots of participants’ ideas

– The specialized workshops welcome local talents with projects in the pre-development phase in order to deepen their ideas before they reach the next creation phase

(© Estelle Car/The West Group)

Thanks to less is moreThe experience of (LIM) acquired in its workshops over the last few years and the constant experimentation of The West Group, alongside an open dialogue initiated with cognitive research laboratories, several pre-writing workshops have been created. The initial objective of these specialized workshops is to deepen the understanding of how the brain works in its creation phases and as ideas emerge and take shape, in order to be able to shape and fully develop them afterwards.

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In partnership with national funds, the Pre-Writing Workshops are organized in order to identify and help local talents who are in this creation phase and who have not yet entered development. During each workshop, 12 national and local participants, who can be screenwriters, directors or producers, present their initial ideas, which will be reinforced in order to create solid projects for upcoming feature films, still in the pre-development phase. The workshop is not limited exclusively to the writing process, as it also introduces the budgetary limits which act as a catalyst in the final creative result. The five-day workshop is led by two international script consultants from LIM/Le Groupe Ouest, while a lecture or masterclass is also held during the pre-writing workshop to help further convey the methodology and LIM’s philosophy.

One of the pre-writing workshops, which has been going on for two years, is taking place in Norway; the last one took place in December 2019 in partnership with the Norwegian Film Institute. Regarding the organization of this workshop, NFI representative and responsible for professional training at NFI:LAB Tellefsen Rune said: “At the Norwegian Film Institute, we find it very interesting to be a partner of the Less Is More programme. We have already organized two pre-writing workshops in Oslo, at our premises, bringing together nearly 20 Norwegian filmmakers, all screenwriters and directors, from backgrounds such as feature films, documentaries and drama series. The feedback has been very positive for such an intense week that may not please everyone, but I think we got close to 80% 10 out of 10, and that’s pretty rare.

The workshops were organized by LIM pre-writing consultants and screenwriters Nolwenn Guiziou and Pierre Hodson. Guiziou gave more details about the methodology they followed: “We try to establish a common base of play to create a safe space and environment, and we get to know each other through our imagination. We play, and I think that’s a great way to remember that we’re in the entertainment business, but we’re also here to ask meaningful questions.

Hodgson added, “We have so many ideas, so our real quest is to find the right one for us and what we can do with it. When you’re working on a project and you’re interested in it, you don’t see the wood in the trees, and it’s very difficult to learn to take a step back. When people are discussing what happens in a story, my job is to get the group to step back and imagine what the movie could be.

Finally, some of the participants also shared their experiences, with the writer-director Kaveh Teherani mentioning: “I think this workshop gave me some tools to release my creative energy. I often get stuck thinking about structure and what the story should be but now suddenly I can be a lot more playful with the material and have found some simple techniques I can use to break that down and to move. a new direction with any project. It brings me a lot closer to the character and makes the process more playful. Also, writer Hanna Hvattum offered his perspective, “It’s really rewarding to have LIM project mentors and to see what I am as a filmmaker, and it’s also rewarding to realize that I can be taller than the size I was able to grow up in Norway. It was really amazing!

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