That’s almost that

Reaching my goal seems a little closer now

It took me longer than I wanted, but I finally finished the DREAMSHIP rewrite. 116 pages, which isn’t too bad. Now begins the editing phase, primarily of the second half.  I managed to trim about 7 pages for the first half, and hope to cut at least 4-5 this time around.

It bothers me that it won’t be ready for the Nicholl, but I’ve accepted it and moved on.

I’m also exploring the idea of sending it to a couple of professional script analysis firms. One of them might be ScriptQuack, especially since this rewrite was based on their suggestions for the previous draft.  I like the idea of getting some solid feedback, but I don’t know if I have it in me to go through another rewrite.  I like the idea of doing what I can with this and moving on, since LUCY is still waiting.

There’s something that’s been gnawing away at me inside for the past few weeks. I’ve noticed a unique writing style in a lot of recent scripts I’ve read; a lot of it really good.  My writing may not necessarily be as vivid as others, but it gets the point across. I try to use a little flair, but not enough so it distracts you from the story.  I’d rather let the story do its job than wow you with fancy-schmancy writing.

I’m also hoping that once the editing/polishing is done to fine-tune the logline and start sending out query letters. I did this before using a hard copy of the HCD, sending out about 200 email queries. It got the script optioned, which unfortunately didn’t lead to anything.  Maybe I’ll have better luck this time around.


Maybe next year

So close to being done, but just not enough

Based on my recent productivity, or lack thereof, I don’t think the DREAMSHIP rewrite will be ready for the Nicholl deadline.

At first I was pretty disappointed in myself. I’d set a goal, but fell short.

But while it’s taken longer than I wanted, I’d rather take the time to make sure it’s a solid piece of material, and not “good enough for now”.

And it didn’t help that my work schedule the last few weeks has been all over the map, which completely messed up my chance to just take some time to sit down and write. But it’s starting to calm down a bit, so I’ve been able to make a little headway. Latest example – 3 pages yesterday.

Besides, if things work out the way I’d like them to (re: agent, manager), I won’t worry as much about making next year’s deadline.

-In case you missed the most recent edition of The Script Adventurer!, it’ll be on again this Sunday at 7PM PST. I had the pleasure of talking with Danielle Corsetto, creator of the webcomic Girls With Slingshots. I got a very nice email from her afterward saying it was one of the most complimentary interviews she’d ever done, which I guess is saying something.

-Movie of the Moment – I forgot to post this last week, so another twofer.

-MONEYBALL (2011). Loved it. A great look at behind-the-scenes baseball. Especially poignant to me since my daughter loves the A’s. Very worthy of a Best Picture nomination; seemed more like that kind of movie than THE ARTIST or HUGO, which now come across as lighter, fluffier works.

-DRIVE (2011). Loved this too. An extremely quiet movie that simmers with suspense in a lot of scenes. Not as gory as I’d been led to believe, but a lot of make-you-squirm scenes both on- and off-camera. I was surprised Albert Brooks had such a small part, but I agree that by playing completely against type, he was (no pun intended) criminally overlooked for a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

1-2 sentences that say it all

Does your logline get the job done in 12 seconds or less?

“What’s your script about?”

You probably get that a lot. But how do you respond?

The logline to the rescue!

If you’re not familiar with that term, a logline is 1-2 sentences telling what your story’s about.  Sometimes called the ‘TV Guide description,’ it sums up your entire script in one easy description.

“A teenager from 1985 goes back to 1955 and must ensure his parents meet or else he’ll cease to exist.”

“A farmboy must rescue a kidnapped princess to help defeat the evil Galactic Empire.”

“A child psychologist helps a boy deal with his special problem – he sees dead people.”

You’d think putting it together would be easy. But of course it isn’t.

You want to convey what your story’s about, but you don’t want to go into too much detail.  And you don’t want to focus on one particular part of the story. And you don’t want to be too generic (f’r example: “…and learns a lesson about life.”)

This is your one chance to get somebody interested in wanting to read your script, so the logline has to be perfect.

Ashley Scott Meyers wrote a great column about it here.  Definitely worth checking out.  He also links to a just-as-good column by Christopher Lockhart.

A few weeks ago I wrote about TwitPitch from ScriptShadow, where you submitted a logline and the 100 most interesting were selected to submit pages, then scripts.  I wasn’t one of them, which motivated me to go back and rewrite my submission for my own purposes.  I like how it turned out.

There’ve already been some eliminations based on the first 10 pages of the script, which was kind of surprising since some of the loglines seemed to hold so much potential.

I suppose that’s the inevitable follow-up to having a good logline. You better have an even better script to back it up.

Hitting your goal, then going further

Don't stop! Keep going!

When you write, you set goals for yourself. This many pages a day. Whole thing done by the end of the month.  Those self-imposed finish lines can be really effective motivators.

And while it’s great to meet those goals, a little part of you relishes when you do more. “I usually do 3 pages a day, but today I did 5!” It’s a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.

Despite some recent delays, I finally got back to work on my DREAMSHIP rewrite. I was at page 97.  All I wanted out of today was to get to 100.

And I did. It felt great.

I thought I was done for the day, but the opportunity to keep going presented itself in the evening and I jumped at the chance. I got to 101, just as a big action scene is starting.

4 pages. 1 more than my daily objective. I gladly accept that.

Pushing yourself just a little bit more pays off in that not only do you get that much closer to having a finished product, but do it often enough and before you know it, being more productive becomes easier.

Then you push yourself some more.

15 days and dwindling fast

NOT the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

The deadline for the Nicholl Fellowships is coming up fast – May 1st! – and I keep going back and forth as to whether I want to submit DREAMSHIP.

I like how the rewrite’s been coming along and think it’s pretty solid, but I want to be absolutely sure the end result is what I want it to be, which could mean another pass at it once I finish this rewrite/edit.

A tough choice, actually.

I’ll have more time to write between now and then, so I’m hoping to have a better idea of what I’d like to do near the end of the month.  Either way, I’ll end up with a script I like, and that’s the important part.

If you’ve already sent yours in, good for you. If not, are you and your script ready?