I've accumulated a huge backlog of questions in the few weeks I've been doing The Write Stuff. Today, I open up the old mailbag and start dishing out some answers.

Jen asks:

Looking forward to reading the column! Here are a couple of topics about which I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts:

-screenwriting/film school and how useful and necessary it is
-writing for TV versus the big screen, and the pros and cons

To answer your first question, the value of film school sort of depends on the individual. I majored in Film Production and took some screenwriting classes. The screenwriting classes were incredibly useful, and are a great way to find out if writing is something you really want to do and can do well. If I had gotten crappy grades on my scripts, I'd probably be doing something else right now. As for my Film Production major, I haven't used the knowledge I gained there much, but should I ever want to make the leap to directing, you better believe those skills will come in handy. I can tell you that for a screenwriter, a Film Studies major would probably be more useful than Production. Watching the great films and discussing what makes them great is only going to make you a stronger writer. Of course, a Netflix membership is a lot cheaper...

And though I've had some experience in both television and in writing features, I'd direct you to my interview with Adam F. Goldberg. He's had major success in both fields, and gave a wonderful answer to your question.
categories Features, Cinematical