“The Cinematography of Sentences: Using Film to Inspire Fiction” with Matt Weinkam
Friday, Nov. 14, 4:30-5:45pm (Session B8)

Princess Bride Sentence DiagramFilm influences fiction writers whether we want it to or not. Rather than resist this pull, why not put it to use? In this workshop we will look at the way individual shots in a film can be likened to individual sentences in a story or novel. What can writers learn from shot composition and framing? How do the length and movement of shots translate to the length and phrasing of paragraphs? What is the equivalent of an aerial shot in fiction and why might you want to use it? We will watch film clips to use as inspiration to experiment with sentence styles and syntaxes.

Presenter Matt Weinkam offers additional details below:

Who should attend?
Anyone who has seen a movie or written a sentence.

What can attendees expect from your workshop?
We’ll watch film clips and compare individual shots in movies to individual sentences in fiction and use those comparisons to create writing prompts for ourselves.

Name one fun fact or bit of trivia about this session:
There are 8,035 sentences in the novel No Country for Old Men and 1,372 shots in the film adaptation. Which means a picture may be worth a thousand words but a shot only is worth 5.8 sentences.

Quick! Summarize the benefits of this workshop in 10 words or fewer:
Gain new tools for analyzing film and crafting sentences.

Any last words?
Session Preview: Watch this opening shot from Boogie Nights directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and read this opening sentence from The Hundred Brothers by Donald Antrim. How do they introduce the style, mood, and major characters in similar ways? Now experiment with writing your own opening sentence using these examples as inspiration.

wheatpencilnobackThe countdown to Winter Wheat 2014 has officially begun! In these final weeks leading up to the event, we’re giving our presenters some space here on the blog to share additional details about their sessions, so be sure to check back for more previews. (Remember, this year’s Winter Wheat is bigger and better than ever — see this sessions list for proof.) For more information on the conference, which takes place Nov. 13-15 on the campus of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, visit the Winter Wheat site.