We had the amazing opportunity to speak with Namita Kabilas, a Production Manager and Screenwriter, on how she finds inspiration to write and the processes she takes from beginning to end.
Writing a screenplay is a sensible task if you’re interested in acting and want to learn more about characterisation and interpreting scripts, because it’s all about reaching into your imagination and giving words on a page meaning.
Hi Namita, can you tell us a little about what you do?
I am a Video Production Manager by day and feature Screenwriter by night.
As a Production Manager, I produce all kinds of short online videos for businesses, entrepreneurs and personalities. Basically, I help clients get their voices heard through the power of video.
I run an in-house production service. This business all comes from my idea of writing my first romantic comedy script with my reasons to write – getting my voice out there.
So, I thought wouldn’t it be better to help others get their voices out there through my passions of both film and video production, and at the same time still continue my screenwriting. I just love thinking in pictures too.
What type of scripts do you write? Have you ever had any great successes with these?
As a feature scriptwriter, I am specialising in feature writing and I am focusing on a new line of fresh romantic comedies. I have only written one script (the romantic comedy script) yet I am currently campaigning for it to get produced.
I am actually taking a modernised approach to film producing where I attract and bring in my audience FIRST before heading to the executives, unlike what most producers do – which is the other way round.
What inspired you to become a screenwriter?
I always wanted to write for features, so why not!
I had a message that I wanted to project, a purpose to fulfill and so I thought the best way to get my message out there would be to create a script around it.
From there, during my time writing my script, I promoted updates and tips I use to make my writing even better. All of which are loved by other writers, filmmakers and even book authors too!
From this point onward, I am planning a line of projects that I wish to write up. I wanted to create my own twist of films under The Romantic Comedy genre to reveal my character as a Screenwriter.
It is the freedom of MY character and MY voice that truly drives me to write.
Where do you find inspiration to create believable characters and engaging plots?
Such inspiration comes from my values, beliefs, my ideals and my perspectives towards the subject matters of my stories.
A character represents a certain view point of my voice. They form part of my voice, my picture and together the whole message is created to compliment the plot lines of my story.
What is your process of writing a script?
I would first find something to base my script on. I find a REASON and a PURPOSE to write a script. Then I create a message out of that purpose to create a message.
Then, the narrative world and my characters will flow on afterwards. I create the turning points for this story and join them together.
The story will flow by itself once you know the basics of your script!
Are there any great movies or TV shows that you admire their technical structure?
I like the narrative structure of Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris (An amazing film too!). I love the way Woody Allen plays around with structure and distorts the concept of the time-travelling movie and makes the audience anticipate where the movie is taking them.
This movie makes you think a lot about its message and story – which is what good writing does. He also establishes his characters well if you listen to the dialogue in his movies.
I like ANY Woody Allen movie because his writing is so classical, yet subtle and he still uses the rules of adapted screenwriting to his style too.
I additionally love the film Little Miss Sunshine with its mixture of character clashes from each member of the Hoover family. This creates such humour and conflict.
I love the subplots all merging in together to create the turning points for the main story too.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
Simple. I say my reason to write and that keeps me going.
If I am stuck on ideas, I look back at my message, then all I do is examine my characters and my narrative world in order to get out as much story information as possible.
I connect this to my message to see if I can scoop out as much information from them. This can include positioning me in my characters’ shoes or even researching my narrative world.
Therefore, it is all about knowing your characters well and your story values.
If you know your story well, then there will be no such thing as writer’s block. PLUS, I always have my reasons and end results for the script in mind to keep me going too!
On average, how many times do you review a script before it’s finalised?
Many times. I make at least 13 drafts until I call it a wrap.
Why 13? Because I read my script under 13 topics – one review under one topic in mind. I just like being very specific. I say the more reviews you do, the more solid your ideas will be!
I’ve done this for my screenplay and it worked out much easier to do.
We’re always so desperate to know how someone can produce hours of well thought out content from nothing, but it all comes down to believing in your work and being passionate about what you do.
If you don’t use inspiration from your own world, then you’ll have trouble creating characters who are fully rounded.
If you want to write a screenplay, always start with a reason and a purpose and create characters from personal traits of yourself or other people you know. You’ll find that everything after that takes care of itself. Oh, and repeat 13 times!
Follow Namita on social media here:
Linkedin: Namita Kabilas