Text: Solveig Hansen, 2018
What happens inside a writer’s mind when the ideas stop flowing?
Adaptation, The Shining, Swimming Pool, Wonder Boys, Barton Fink, Stranger Than Fiction … writer’s block is part of the plot in many movies, and in short films, too. Scouring the Internet, I found three short films that deal with this miserable condition each in its own way: The first one looks inside the head of a writer who struggles to come up with anything worthwhile to write about and keeps experimenting with different characters. In the second film, a writer discusses his writer’s block with a stranger. The third one is about a frustrated scriptwriter (played by Bryan Cranston) who finds himself in the middle of the story he tries to tell.
Writer’s Block (6 min)
By Robby Spark
A writer finds inspiration everywhere, right? That’s what our guy in the film hopes for. From his café table, he sees a car with a “Pirate Pizza” sign on the door and on he goes with a story about two pirates dueling on the beach. Day and night and day and night and… until he hits the Delete button. Then he is inspired by a couple in love a few tables away and starts afresh with two lovers gazing at each other and enjoying a meal underneath the starry sky. Suddenly they are attacked by ninjas. Delete. In the end, all the characters, the dueling pirates, the couple in love, the ninjas plus a dozen others, end up on the same beach and the chaos is complete.
If you’ve ever wondered how it looks like inside the head of a writer who tries to come up with a storyline, this is it.
Writer’s Block (4 min)
By Jeff Easley
“Ever heard of writer’s block?” “What’s that? Some kind of a disease, like constipation?” “More like a curse.” Two strangers talk in an empty park. One is a writer with writer’s block, and the other … well, see for yourself. They are mutually inspired by each other, but in different ways.
Writer’s Block (13 min)
By Brandon Polanco
The boundaries between reality and fiction are wiped out in this short film, perhaps with a slight nod to The Shining. A scriptwriter wrestles with a scene involving a woman in a tight, black dress and begins to fantasize about her. Or does he?
When Hurricane Sandy temporarily halted the shooting of Cold Comes the Night, leading man Bryan Cranston organized a contest and invited the production assistants to send him a script, and if he liked it, he’d star in it. The winner was Brandon Polanco.
25 films about writing