“I have always considered myself a storyteller more than a writer. Writing is a way for me to get my stories told, and I think it’s one of the most integral parts of filmmaking. It’s where the story begins & where the heart of the story grows.” – Megan St. John
During an interview in 2012, Quentin Tarantino and columnist Charles McGrath sat down for New York Times. Though the discussion focused mostly on Tarantino’s most recent work, Django Unchained, McGrath sought clarification on a rumor that Tarantino’s films read mostly as novels, not as screenplays. In response, Tarantino said this: “…When I write my scripts it’s not really about the movie per se, it is about the page. It’s supposed to be literature…I want it to be that much of a document…I rarely look at the script after that, other than to just go over the dialogue.”
Our EXPOSED crew member of the week, screenwriter Megan St. John, feels very similarly to Tarantino. In fact, for her short film BROILED, St. John took a little a over year to write it, first fleshing it out as a short story. From there, she broke it up into chapters, moved them around, and proceeded writing it into a screenplay.
“BROILED is very much a nonlinear narrative, which I didn’t intend for it to be. After talking it over, it just felt more interesting to have the climax of the film happen first. It added a similar quirk to the story that the characters and town already had”. – Megan St. John
There’s an obvious influence to Megan’s writing style; the dark comedy seen in films by Tarantino & the Cohen Brothers are apparent in BROILED, just by way of its characters & their situations. But the influence of the film doesn’t distract from Megan’s specific voice as a screenwriter, which has been crafted over time, shaped by familiar places and the people Megan actually knows. It’s because of her voice that we can appreciate her short film, and, furthermore, aesthetic as a filmmaker.
“I grew up in Montana in a small town. [When I write], I wonder what kind of weird situations these people could get into…I love that “small town” character – it’s unaffected by any sort of urban culture. And I love writing for that ‘small town culture’; it allows for a small town to be a character in itself & accept the weird situations that happen there.” – Megan St. John
Megan not only wrote BROILED, but she also directed and produced it. But it wasn’t because she was short on crew – it was because she wanted to do her own film justice. She admits that the biggest thing she struggles with as a writer, is getting too attached with her work. For St. John, writing is very visual; she knows what she wants her work to look like. It’s hard to detach from her stories and watch them come to life at the hands of another director because she has a specific vision.
“I think the director often get credited as the creative visionary of the film, but really writing is where that vision starts. It’s the writers who come up with the crux of the story & its characters. That’s why I like to write and direct my own work – I want to see that my vision gets through.” – Megan St. John
And with BROILED, she did. A HUGE thank you to Megan St. John and her team at Third Wheel Entertainment for producing this weeks short film, and showcasing it’s unique characters and world. If you would like to contact Megan and hire her, please click the ABOUT ME button on her picture.
Thank you for watching this week’s Exposing the Crew “EXPOSED” indie project!
(We just want to do our part in supporting the indie community!)
We’ll See You All Next Tuesday,
Samantha George (Producer, JJack Productions)