Thursday, 27 August 2015

I Write American

Article written by Bulent Ozdemir
(DisclaimerThis article may contain words and phrases that some people may find offensive. Please do not continue if easily offended)

I'm a Cypriot Man who grew up in London, with British values... But I write AMERICAN Scripts.

I don't write Cypriot.
I don't write British.
I write American.

Most of my childhood movies ranged from The Goonies, Back To The Future, Indiana Jones all the way up to Rocky, Pulp Fiction and Se7ven to name but a very, very few. Though I didn't have a clue back then, they've been the predominant backbone of everything I've written and aimed to capture since I left my day job in 2010. Trouble is, when it comes to story and structure, I feel very much at at odds with my homegrown peers who, understandably, embrace storytelling native to this country (UK).

Now how do I say this without sounding like a self indulgent prick...

I believe in a 3 act structure of start, middle and an end with at least two plot points that anchor the story. I enjoy watching/writing films that catch the audience off guard with twists, turns and shock reveals somewhere along it's timeline. The best example I can give is M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense:

That film is the epiphany of "Ho. Lee. Fuck."

However most of the scripts and films I've seen have a linear structure with a series of unfolding events that lead to an anti climatic finale. There is no story arc. Just a straight line that goes from point A to point B under the guise of "Character Driven Piece". That's all very well if you're into that type of story. I'm not. I often find myself thinking: "Is that it? The hamster went missing and now you've found the hamster? And all you had to do was knock on a few doors, shed a few tears and ask if anybody saw it?" I'll be honest, a lot of  times it frustrates the living shit out of me.

The point I'm trying to make is that I find it difficult to find people in my peer group who share the same story and filmmaking ideas as I do. Who "get" the films I aim to make and want to be a part of that journey. Like my cultural status, it feels like I'm caught in limbo land. Ultimately it's about the audience "getting" what I make and from all the positive feedback I receive, they do. But there's only so much an individual can do without like minded support systems. It just feels like I have to go out, in order to come back in. If you catch my drift.

At some point soon I'm gonna have to make another important life decision that will either progress or halt everything I've pushed for and believed in since 2010. It's been a hard and testing journey filled with extreme highs and extreme lows, most of which I've had to deal with on my own. But I've kept on pushing even though every inch of my being has begged me to stop.

I've made the moves, planted the proverbial seeds. Whatever happens next will be in the hands of the Gods.

UPDATE: The Gods have spoken and they've told me to stop moaning like a fucking child, be grateful for where I am and enjoy the fucking moment. And that's what I intend to do.

Also, if you're an Indie Producer/Filmmaker looking for a cool Pulp Fiction inspired crime short, I've written one that might just excite your baby makers. One location. Two main characters. Use the contact form to get in touch.

Read it? Liked it? Leave a comment below!

Until next time, folks.

You might also like:
Write What You See
Screenwriting White Space: What Is It Good For?
What A (Good) Story Means To Me


Bulent Ozdemir Director Filmmaker
Bulent Ozdemir is a self taught Writer, Director and Filmmaker who left his day job as an insurance broker back in 2010 to pursue a career in film.


e: bulentfilms[at]

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