×

Ventana Sur: Argentine Directors on Benefit of Writers’ Room (EXCLUSIVE)

BUENOS AIRES — Ventana Sur hosted two of the country’s leading screenwriters to relay the benefits of utilizing a writers’ room while conceptualizing fiction projects, delivered to a packed auditorium on Tuesday afternoon as part of the Fiction Factory series held at the UCA Campus in Puerto Madero.

Director Daniel Burman, known for films such as “Lost Embrace” and series “Victoria Small,” for VIS and Mediapro, sat alongside Sebastián Borensztein, director of “Chinese Take-Away,” starring Ricardo Darin. Both used their immense scriptwriting experience to illustrate the concept of writers’ rooms before fielding a battery of questions from an enthusiastic audience.

“There’s been a change, a double change in the habits of consumers. We can choose when we want to watch something. With a click we have it in our hands. This raises the bar when developing new projects and leads to a higher level of professionalism,” Borensztein said.

The two, working on a project together for a well-known platform, went on to discuss the importance of acknowledging different points of view while perfecting a script, noting that large Hollywood productions have been using this practice to their advantage for some time.

Popular on Variety

“The project is very ambitious, and we’ve formed a writers’ room with Sebastian, added other writers. Basically, for me, it’s an extraordinary learning experience. I spent many years making films and being intoxicated with my own, unique, gaze. This exercise reduced it. I arrive early in the morning and, to hear the view of someone else, it’s crap. To hear from another person, with an honest opinion, it’s like a game. It’s not that it’s better or worse. It’s a huge transition,” said Burman.

Borensztein agreed, “Integrating one’s point of view with the view of someone else is a question of ego, freely sharing your opinions comes down to having trust in the team you’ve assembled. We have to be very selective.”

He went on to state, “I think, in this sense, it’s fundamental to form a writing room. This exercise really connects you with the creativity and point of view of others, and the product is better, and that’s what we want.”

While speaking to the difference between a calculated writer’s room and other forms of script revision, Burman noted, “A writers’ room, it’s like a job, it’s a responsibility. To meet at a certain time, at a certain place where you share your point of view with other people. Sure, it’s more comfortable to sit in your slippers with bread and a latte, and work at whatever hour you’d like, but…”

The panel explained the intricacies and balance of using the method.

“The question is, how do we generate an ambiance of discussion? Where your opinion about an idea brings out the truth? There is something to be said for quality and functionality, where everyone wins. It’s not whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea in the end,” said Borensztein.

Burman then discussed the myriad of viewpoints within the writers’ room, integral to the success of a script, “It also permits us to enter a more sane and balanced gender perspective. It’s much more interesting to hear this sort of viewpoint in person during this process; it’s an opportunity to learn, to understand.”

The panel ended succinctly after covering more than enough ground, converting anyone who questioned the practice into a new proponent of the writers’ room, a useful assist to the ever-evolving approach that is script development.

As Burman concluded, “In the writers’ room, you can recreate the story for a mini-audience; this is genius. We are the public; we are the spectator at that moment. To play with different perspectives, points of view that are completely different, genius.”

More Film

  • Feels Good Man

    'Feels Good Man': Film Review

    When is a cartoon frog not just a cartoon frog? When he’s Pepe, the brainchild of artist Matt Furie, who in 2005 created the laid-back anthropomorphic amphibian for a comic about post-collegiate slacker life, only to subsequently watch as the character was adopted as a symbol of white nationalist hate by the alt-right and Donald [...]

  • The Nest

    'The Nest': Film Review

    All work and no play makes Rory O’Hara a dull boy — which is to say, one can scarcely overlook the connections between Sean Durkin’s subtly unsettling second feature, “The Nest,” and Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” even if this is by far the more tedious of the two movies. While the obsessive dad Law plays [...]

  • Tiziana Soudani

    Tiziana Soudani, Prominent Swiss Producer, Dies

    Swiss producer Tiziana Soudani, who through her Amka Films shepherded prizewinning films by prominent directors from nearby Italy, such as Alice Rohrwacher and Silvio Soldini, as well as by emerging talents in Switzerland and Africa, has died after a struggle with brain cancer. She was in her mid 60s, though her exact age was not immediately verifiable. [...]

  • Time's Up U.K. Teams With British

    British Stars Carey Mulligan, Himesh Patel Compile 'Alternative BAFTA' Nominees List

    British stars including Carey Mulligan, Himesh Patel and Gemma Arterton have contributed to an ‘Alternative BAFTAs’ list of nominees that honors talent overlooked by this year’s awards. The campaign is organized by Time’s Up U.K., which is rolling out a social media blitz this week in the lead-up to Sunday’s BAFTA awards honoring the women [...]

  • Rebecca Hall appears in The Night

    'The Night House': Film Review

    A knack for creepy atmospherics and individual scares goes a long way in the horror genre, and it takes “The Night House” pretty far. Though this tale of a new widow’s apparent haunting gets progressively lost in a narrative maze that’s complicated without being particularly rewarding, . Rebecca Hall plays Beth, an upstate New York [...]

  • Herself

    Amazon Studios Buys Phyllida Lloyd's 'Herself' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has nabbed North American rights to Phyllida Lloyd’s “Herself,” an Irish drama about a woman who builds her dream house after escaping an abusive marriage, Variety has learned.  The streaming service is planning a theatrical release for later this year. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where it enjoyed a warm [...]

  • Blast Beat

    'Blast Beat': Film Review

    Back home in Bogota, teen brothers Carly and Mateo — played by siblings (and Disney Channel veterans) Mateo and Moisés Arias — are metal-blasting, skateboard-riding punks, and reluctant partners in crime. Carly, the sensible one, can’t prevent Mateo from dynamiting a dollhouse. But he’ll swoop in, hair flapping like a vampire’s cape, to rescue his [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content