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Jyn Garcia (MA Screenwriting) on writing her Master’s Project

By Elise Czyzowska

03 August 2023

‘Documenting our smiles before going off to write 120 pages of pure insanity’…

This is how Jyn Garcia, an MA Screenwriting student at our London campus, described the feeling of leaving campus to start work on her Master’s Project back at the start of June.

Now, two months later, we spoke to Jyn to see how her script is progressing, the tips and tricks she’d give to aspiring screenwriters, and to find out more about a particularly special project that she wrote during her first MA module, Princess Bread and the Bread Eating Monster.

Having specialised in screenwriting for your BA, what brought you to MA Screenwriting?

I’ve always known that I wanted to further my studies, but the funny thing is, my dad was the one who found MetFilm School. He even emailed before telling me – the Admissions Team got in touch with him, thinking he was the one who wanted to enrol!

I started writing short stories when I was a kid, filling notebook after notebook. I thought I wanted to be a novelist at first – but quickly, I realised that my short attention span would make that difficult. I started writing screenplays instead, and found that they were more interactive, tickling my brain in the right way. So much so that I’m still writing them today!

Do you have any favourite genres or styles?

I love love love animated films – and in a strange contrast, also war films. I really like how both genres can delve into pretty heavy, deep topics.

I remember the first film my parents sat me down to watch, 101 Dalmatians, and then next thing I remember is my dad buying a DVD boxset of films about the Vietnam War. It’s actually really fascinating to me that I’ve subconsciously combined those two things, animation and war films, into one piece for my Master’s Project!

The story that started Jyn’s time on MA Screenwriting…

Can you tell us a little about the idea behind Princess Bread and the Bread Eating Monster?

Princess Bread and the Bread Eating Monster is another student’s Master’s Project – I originally wrote it during my Screenwriting Bootcamp module, and later in the year, it was picked up by a student producer. It’s actually a story inspired by my 14 year old beagle, Connor. He loves bread – he’s even taught himself to open plastic packaging, nothing can stop him.

Connor has been with me since I was 10, and has seen me graduate around four times now. Sadly, he’s been diagnosed with cancer, and since there isn’t any cancer treatment available for dogs in the Philippines, I thought I’d immortalise him through my craft.

Has it been interesting, looking back at a story you began at the start of your degree?

Oh absolutely! The script itself hasn’t changed much, aside from inevitable typographical errors, but interestingly, I then remembered a short story I wrote – years before we got Connor – about a girl playing in her backyard, who sees a ‘tri-coloured monster’ in the bush. She eventually goes to investigate, and it turns out to be a beagle named Connor!

If you look at that story, and my script now, it’s the same story. My life has quite literally come full circle with this piece.

‘Thanks to my family, friends, and my ever-wonderful tutor, Sivan, I think I’ve got the hang of it.’ – Jyn Garcia on her Master’s Project

Focusing on your Master’s Project, how have you found the process?

Oh man, the process of writing my Master’s Project. Phew. My BA focused on writing short-form stories, so it’s been a wild ride trying to rewire and retrain my brain to expand my stories. I’m so used to telling them in less than 15 pages, that 90 pages feels like an absolute challenge. However, thanks to my family, friends, and my ever-wonderful tutor, Sivan, I think I’ve got the hang of it.

Sivan always reminded me to not be afraid of digging deeper. I have the time and the page count to be able to expand on my themes, so why be afraid? I think it was all about changing my mindset and gaining confidence in my ability, really.

As you’re writing, are there any tips or tricks you’ve found particularly helpful?

Well, the biggest thing that’s helped me is a page full of words. A blank page is always scary, and sometimes it scares you so much that you can’t even start writing. So just get your word-vomit into a draft, and work from there. No matter how bad the first draft is (it’s meant to be horrible), it’s not a blank page! That’s a big, big help to your psyche, trust me.

Explore MA Screenwriting in this short video

How do you think your Master’s Project allows you to highlight your unique strengths as a screenwriter?

Personally, I really want to work in the animation industry – and the themes that animated films tackle tend to be really, really deep. We may think they’re for children, but once you analyse them, they cut deep. With that in mind, I landed on a spec script for an animation that’s also a historical war fiction.

I think my script shows that I’ve got guts, and that I’m not afraid to write about the hardcore stuff, but that all the while, I can maintain that cushion of animation. My tutor Sivan always told me that my ideas were unique, so that’s the biggest strength I’ve been playing with – but she’s also been pushing me in my character development, which is quite new for me.

And finally, are there any scripts that you admire, or that you’ve gone back to for inspiration?

In terms of my own work, I really do go back to Princess Bread and the Bread Eating Monster quite a lot, especially the story beats. I also love Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs – I think I’ve tackled the process of writing and actually making films quite similarly to Wes Anderson.

  • Jyn Garcia studies MA Screenwriting at MetFilm School London. This course is also available in Berlin and Leeds.
  • Tomorrow is the priority deadline for our Aspirant Writers Scholarship – offering one space on MA Screenwriting in Leeds this October. Find out more here.