Potter College News
Screenwriter William Akers Shares Filmmaking Tips to WKU English Students
- Abbey Gore
- Tuesday, February 14th, 2023
On Monday, February 6, William Akers came to speak to students in Cherry Hall 125 as a part of the Creative Writing Reading Series. Akers spoke not only about screenwriting, but about life after college and the ins and outs of the job field.
Akers is the author of Your Screenplay Sucks! 100 Ways to Make It Great. He has been a professor of filmmaking and screenwriting at Vanderbilt University and helped form Belmont University’s Motion Pictures department which was named a Variety top 30 Film School.
To open the event Akers showed a short scene from the French film “La Femme Nikita” then compared it to the American remake, shot by shot. Akers focused heavily on the importance of camera angles and using them to create the tone of the scene, quoting inspiration from Jack Nicholson to say, “when you’re making movies, everything matters.”
Following the film analysis Akers passed out a handout with short lines of advice for students as they enter the job field. While reviewing the sheet Akers put an emphasis on the importance of keeping in touch with your teachers, citing how he still keeps in touch with some of his old teachers and the ways that he has been able to help his students after they graduate.
Akers then went on to discuss the importance of humility in starting jobs, especially internships.
“If you do the little job really well then maybe they’ll give you a bigger job,” Akers said. “Be humble. Be glad to do any job they give you. Be thrilled to do any job they give you.”
When it came to writing Akers stressed the importance of clarity. He says as writer it is your job to communicate, to write so they don’t misunderstand you.
To close Akers called attention to the benefits of being continually ready and encouraged the audience to work hard every day because there is no test treating every experience as a learning experience because you never know
“They’re going to walk in and say ‘here, deal with it, the test is now.’ And you’ve got to be able to handle it,” Akers said.
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