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Braham offered to drive the PA home, and at first, the PA declined.
Now compelled to disclose, the PA admitted he was living in a tent community nearby.
As a storyteller, Braham said he dove in, researching the topic of social stigma around homelessness.
Braham felt bound to shed light on the topic, and began the screenplay for the short film Watchtower, which screened at the SLO International Film Festival and was nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards. The film, for which he also directed, produced and starred, follows a military veteran and cosplayer trying to make ends meet by working on Hollywood Boulevard. She lives in a tent community nearby and attempts to normalize the chaos she faces daily.
That’s how Noel often finds inspiration for a story – right in front of him.
Now, Braham is writing his first feature-length film, about a bi-racial baseball phenom struggling with his racial identity, as a political and social divide over a historical statue on his college campus begins to erupt.
Braham's sophomore project, "The Millenial," is a short film series that follows an amateur boxer who reflects on past trials and tribulations before entering his first fight. You can watch the trailer here. Braham is currently campaigning for the Primetime Emmy's in the short format category for Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series and Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series.
Braham didn’t go to film school. He says he learned the craft by “jumping right into it.” He watched a ton of movies, read even more scripts, and eventually learned to trust his instinct.
He offered more screenwriting advice as our one-on-one interview at the SoCreate-sponsored SLO International Film Festival progressed.
On writer’s block? “One of my favorite tricks is … just not to write,” he laughed. “Sometimes I need to step away from it … we get into that phase where the world that we once saw so clearly is now just chaotic.” Braham added that he likes to do something creative, other than writing, like painting or doing something out of character, to find inspiration to write again. “Because that’s when the ‘aha’ moment might come about,” he said.
Braham’s final words of wisdom touched on perseverance despite failure, a necessary trait for screenwriters who ‘make it.’
Braham recently launched the Micheaux Film Festival, which celebrates diverse stories and offers a unique take on the traditional film festival experience. He frequently offers up virtual panels on various filmmaking topics, including how to get your indie film nominated for an Emmy.
Watch the YouTube video below to hear more about Noel Braham’s writing process. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content like this!
“Typically, when I go into my first draft, I like to just get everything out on the page.”
“I don’t actually do outlining on my first draft. I just write everything that I get inspired by, the nuances of what’s taking place with the character, the subtext of the environment, and as I move into the second draft, I then begin to outline from there. I’m plotting out more of my beats and I’m thinking about what’s the best way of telling it, making it entertaining, making it inspiring.
“By the time I’m moving into my third draft, I’m then sending it out to other people to give me feedback. I go to people that I know are going to be brutally honest. There’s nothing more difficult than when you actually show your piece in a packed audience in a theater and you’re just chewing up the writing saying I should have done this, I should have considered this.”
“The final rewrite comes in the post-production process. You have an idea of what you want. And then you go into the process of shooting which kind of changes. And then you go into the process of editing which also changes. And then you finally get into the final product.”