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Tips For Aspiring Stay at Home Screenwriters

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While the current bout of self-isolation has created physical barriers between people, the internet is creating new ways for people from all walks of life to interact and grow together. 

Recently, Jonah Hill demonstrated this fact when he teamed up with Adidas to create a video for the #hometeam movement, which shines a spotlight on creators who are devoting their stay-at-home-all-day time towards new projects. Hill started the video by revealing how he is keeping busy.

"I am spending this time creating... My weapons of choice are very simple: Notecard, pen, cardboard, thoughts. That s it. I am writing movies during this time."

Hill further shared his writing process with his virtual audience, including an intriguing tip for arranging his story plot structure. A typical method he uses is to split his screenplay into three parts, represented by scene descriptions, sorted into notecards on cardboard stands. But one stand is left blank on purpose.

This stand represents Hill's Flavor bin, which is the part of the storyboard which is meant to be a repository for all the crazy ideas he gets while thinking of a story. These ideas may be too wild to be included in the story, or they may add that special something to the narrative that makes it magic. Either way, those ideas stay in the flavor bin while Hill writes out the rest of the story. Then he tries to take ideas from the bin and put them into the story, where they can be most effective.

Clearly, Hill, who is best known for his comedic roles, has also worked long and hard to perfect his writing process. The actor has contributed his writing talents to many of his projects, including Jump Street, Jump Street, Sausage Party and Why Him? 

Recently, Hill also made his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed coming of age comedy-drama Mids, based on a screenplay that he wrote.

Despite getting his start in cult classic comedies like Superbad, where Hill immediately stood out as a comedian to watch out for. Thanks to his impeccable sense of timing, and the ability to keep a straight face in the most ridiculous scenarios, the actor has been slowly and steadily moving towards more dramatic roles, with a measure of success, more comic actors struggle to achieve.

His work on Martin Scorsese's film, Wolf of Wall Street, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for a Best supporting role, signaled that Hill was ready for more dramatic parts. He also reteamed with Superbad co-star Emma Stone for Netflix's psychological dramedy miniseries Maniac, about two strangers who find kinship during a mind-bending pharmaceutical trial.

With the message Hill shared through his #hometeam video, it is clear the actor-turned-filmmaker, is not letting recent events get in the way of his creative process. And that could help inspire his fans to also expand the scope of their home-based activities, beyond alternating between interminable bouts of Netflix and chill sessions, and fretting about the state of the world.