2018 is treating Micheal Pulse well, Id’ say. Some of the award-winning singer-songwriter’s screenplays The White line, The Third Will and ‘The adventures of !Xu and Ndatega’ have been produced, with others set to come to the big screen and TV in the course of the year.
Pulse shares his writing process:
What would you say is your best script to date?
I like to look at my work as kids that have my DNA and with each creation, there is a different mindset, and they all have their own personalities (the work that is). I write an array of content; from TV series’ to kids show and theatre scripts. These are all my best work but at the same time, they all have shortcomings and what if’s attached to them.
What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on ‘The White Line’?
I got to see how, for the first time, the characters that I envisioned in my head have grown through the process. I saw that I needed time with each and every character’s development and that’s what I have done. In a nutshell, I needed patience. This is important as a writer.
Is ‘The White Line’ centred around racism? Did the script come from a personal place?
The film is not centred around racism. I would like this to be known “It’s about love”. Is a story about two people who fall in love under circumstances that challenges their love. The idea is originally from the Director (Desiree Kahikopo) of the Film who wanted to tell a story that was about “Love, Hope and Forgiveness.”
How many times did you rewrite the script of ‘The White Line’?
Too many times. I think I stopped counting at some point, but the trick is that with each rewrite the story has to somehow become stronger or changed entirely. That’s really what makes the writing process exciting.
Can you explain your re-writing process? Do you look forward to this stage of the process?
I dread this part because this is the moment you share what you think is good with people like editors and co-writers. Trust me, as much as you think your writing has covered everything, someone always points out what you left out which really helps the story along. As a writer, it is important to be open to constructive criticism. BE OPEN, receive, look and learn and rewrite again until everyone, including yourself, is happy with the end result.
Growing up, what movies or stories inspired your creative passion?
I am a Geek at heart and fantasy and Sci-Fi movies really what get me inspired. Watching movies like Sinbad, Star Wars, Old Greek god movies. Films with magic and unimaginable beings are my cup of tea.
For an unknown writer, what is the best way to get their screenplay seen?
Network, attend events that you think can make you grow your skills. Take chances and apply to call-outs that are placed newspapers or social media. Always research and lastly, don’t wait for someone to shoot your screenplay, pick up a phone and get creative. You are only as limited as you allow yourself to be.
What experiences from your life influence your characters?
I like to look at life as one of those go-to things for my characters. My family is always the biggest influence in my characters, whether its something as a name or just their personality, I use this and attach it to give my characters a face.
How emotionally involved are you with the characters you create?
Very. Like I said my creation is my kids and everything within them is me.
What is the biggest misconception about being a screenwriter?
That you are only limited to a genre or style and that we are not as important as let’s say the director or the actors. Just because we are in the background does not mean we don’t matter. Without writers, there would be no stories told.
What are you currently reading, if you are?
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee and ‘Roots’ by Alex Haley.