By Lilit Simonyan (2010-11 Sauvé Scholar)

This November, screenwriter Len Blum was the guest of the Sauvé Scholars. The engaging conversation with the famous screenwriter and film producer was a journey throughout his life, revealing interesting details of his personal story.

This was a story of a musician who transformed into a successful screenwriter then turned into a yoga instructor.

Undoubtedly, his father had a critical role in his character building and life choices. “What did you do for the help of humanity today?” Isn’t this a worthwhile question each father should ask his child every evening, like Len’s father did? Childhood memories were shared with the scholars in a story-telling mode, fully catching the attention of the listeners.

Similar to most kids, Len Blum discovered his talents and interests at school. In spite of obvious strength in public speaking and ability to use the power of the humour, he chose a more challenging path, leading him to his passion – the world of music. The rollercoaster of the life took him to new challenges bring a fame to him as a screenwriter. This, however, was not going to be a lifelong profession. There was a surprise waiting for him – his first yoga class. Telling about his decision to explore yoga and later on make a decision to become a yoga instructor, one could see the true passion and fascination Len Blum has towards his new profession.

Discussion on how to be effective in telling one’s story in an engaging mode followed. Len Blum shared his thoughts on using humour and in sequencing a story with a happy start, sad incident and happy end. He views story as a possibility to give a “gift” to the listeners. Thus, one should be selective and strategic in choosing what life episodes and situations to tell to others.

This strategy can also be transferred to the movie scripts Len Blum wrote. It was interesting to listen to his thoughts on the structure of story in the movies and the approach to grasp attention of the readers. He stressed that the creative writing process should never be forced, but provoked instead.

This was indeed one of many remarkable meetings we hosted in our Sauvé house this autumn, giving us an opportunity to meet an amazing person and an achieved professional.