Julia Roberts needs a map before she’ll be on TV

Julia Roberts is coming straight to your living room courtesy of her first ever regular stint in a TV series, Amazon Prime’s Homecoming.
The series is directed by Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail, and is (believe it or not) her first time ever appearing regularly in a TV series.
Of course, she’s an Oscar-winning actress that has starred in many different films throughout the years, but this is the first time she’s ever really worked in the short television format.
Which is, as you would expect, a completely different animal than film is–you’re dealing with characters that get developed over long periods of time, and many times as an actor you may not know where your character will be from one season to the next.
And though Roberts was excited about the prospect of working in the TV series format, she apparently had some conditions before she would accept her role on the show.
One of them was that she wanted all of the scripts before they started shooting. She said “I can’t read a map just one little section at a time.”
Because traditionally, that’s how television works–you frequently get scripts piecemeal, one episode at a time.
But because Roberts comes from a film background (and because she’s Julia Roberts), she was able to get them to agree to script out the entire season, so she could see the arc of her character and feel more comfortable making the transition to TV.
(on a side note, the show itself looks pretty awesome–check out a trailer for it here ( el2.convertkit-mail2.com/c/lmu5wwgrlnbmhzr3we/48hvh7u628g2z/aHR0cHM6Ly95b3V0dS5iZS85V0pTZHBFLXNKUQ== ).)
Now, what Roberts says about the script being a “map” is right on point.
As an actress, she wants to be able to see how her character gets from Point A to Point B, and all of the steps she needs to take along the way. A good actor can plot these different beats out, just like directions you would follow on a road map.
And the whole map analogy also applies to screenwriting for film–a good plot structure template can act as a sort of road map for telling your story in a way that’s proven to be very effective when it comes to film.
This is where Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet can come in handy.
Snyder wrote one of the best screenwriting books of all time, Save the Cat. In it, he talks a lot about how good screenplays are structured–the hero’s journey, beats, breaking your script into acts, and things like that.
If you’re interested in screenwriting at all, you should definitely read the book. But at the very least, everyone who works in film in any capacity should take a look at Tim Stout’s explanation of Snyder’s Beat Sheet.
He breaks down everything that Blake covers in his Beat Sheet in a way that is simple for even a novice screenwriter to grasp.
And I highly recommend that everyone understand this, because if you’re more informed about the storytelling process, you’ll be able to make better decisions when it comes to how you fit into the film from a production standpoint, whether you’re a PA trying to wrangle up actors, or a director trying to get a point across to an audience.
So take a few minutes to read through Tim Stout’s explanation of Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet here:
timstout.wordpress.com/story-structure/blake-snyders-beat-sheet/ ( el2.convertkit-mail2.com/c/lmu5wwgrlnbmhzr3we/r8u8h9uw5zx52/aHR0cHM6Ly90aW1zdG91dC53b3JkcHJlc3MuY29tL3N0b3J5LXN0cnVjdHVyZS9ibGFrZS1zbnlkZXJzLWJlYXQtc2hlZXQv )
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P.S. Want to be part of a community of filmmakers and actors that are excited to learn more? Join our FREE facebook community at www.facebook.com/groups/GorillaFilmSchool ( el2.convertkit-mail2.com/c/lmu5wwgrlnbmhzr3we/l8feh6u6k7rk4/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZmFjZWJvb2suY29tL2dyb3Vwcy9Hb3JpbGxhRmlsbVNjaG9vbA== ).​
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