Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Writing On The Screen.

After writing original screenplays, adapting a screenplay feels a lot like plagiarism, so much is already worked out.  I knew my lead characters, understood their motivations and fully anticipated their journey before I even began -  feels a bit like cheating.

I met author, Richard L. Wren at a local cafe and he expressed his desire to see his first published novel, Casey's Slip,  adapted into a feature film.  As soon as I began reading I could see the writing on the screen in my head. The scenes were clear, the characters were well developed and the plot was entertaining.

I began adapting the novel a week before Richard offered me the job, I just knew it was going to work out and decided to get started - no grass growing under my feet.  Today, we are proudly shopping Innocent Devils  based on the novel,  Casey's Slip,  by Richard L Wren.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Write Like the Whole World is Reading!

It's easy to get discouraged, who am I writing for? Who is reading this? Is anybody reading this? Who will want to read this? Perhaps the most discouraging question of all...Who will  PAY MONEY to buy this?

I think the best writers don't care about the financial gains or losses, they write because they know that if they don't, there will be no sleeping at night, and no looking in the mirror come morning.

I have recently had the very lucky privilege of meeting, and talking with a successful novelist, who is writing all he can, publishing novels, developing blogs, all while seeking to bring new beginnings to life after retirement.


Those who can, do, and, yes, lets not forget that the more practice and experience you have, the better you generally get at whatever it is you are doing.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Version 3 (gulp)

Right. So, do you think at some point while writing Citizen Kane, Herman J.Mankiewicz lost site of who's story the film was supposed to be about?  Do you think in one of the reportedly MANY script versions, the story drifted to become about Susan Alexander Kane, bratty and brooding about her lonely life?

I don't think so either.  

Unfortunately, I have this problem within my current screenplay.  My main character, I fear, is upstaged in the second act.  I have just finished the third version, V3 of my script.  Notice, there is no V2.1, I don't believe in version decimals.  If you have to rewrite a scene, then you've got a new version number.  Only small dialog tweaks, and scene descriptions can be umbrella'd under a whole version number, anything more, such as adding a shot of a burning sled and a whisper of "rosebud," is version 4, aka V4, baby.  I panic after V4,  I prefer to have lockdown at V3.  Though, I fear it's going to be the big V4 for me, oh yeah.

I will be handing my script (V3) off this week for a few much solicited opinions. Overall, I like where it is, I just really want my main character to be clear.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The "Committee."

It's funny, when I was working in the story department at a large studio, there were times when I felt like saying, "sorry, no time to discuss this with the committee," thanks Han.  Now, I cling to the comments of my committee.  Working on my own has given me a much bigger appreciation for the committee decision.  Remember, I too am on the committee, so I weigh in pretty good.

As I implement many of the changes that were discussed after my reading, (50% to be exact) I feel rejuvenated as suggestions by the committee inspire new scenes that were not even discussed in the aftermath of the reading.  New life and an additional layer of texture that I just may not have gotten to otherwise.

I will always make time to discuss with the committee.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


No! I have not been paid....

I have...

Pinned story beat cards to board......Check
Reviewed change notes from June's reading....Check
Decisively selected changes to implement from the Reading to my script...Check
Began writing alternate dialog...Check
Reviewed proposed changes with most trusted and experienced confidant...Check

All in all, the changes as they appear on the board now bond the film's main character to the overall "message," of the film, while layering more texture overall.  I could not be more pleased at this point with the notes and inspiration for these changes, which largely rooted from my Reading.

If ever, someone suggests that the Reading portion of the screenwriting process is unnecessary, don't listen to them!  They either have never hosted one, or chose the wrong people to attend.  I'm so grateful to all of those who participated in my Reading, for all that they gave of their time, their minds and themselves.

I will most likely be taking more than a week's time to make these changes, after all I too have a day job, but I will be chiming in here as I progress.

Onward to embrace the change!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hold My Hand!

I don't know why this part of the process is challenging for me to get going on.  I beat out my boards on index cards and now I feel anxious as I lay them all out for myself to see the whole big picture.  It's as though I need someone there to talk to and hold my hand, as I pin each card to the board. It's pretty weird.  I find myself desperate to chat my way through and instead I sit alone, by myself as I pin my sad little cards to the rather large blank board.  I suppose this was a more social process when I was working at a studio and I had fellow story artists, editors and assistants to help pin. As we pin'd we'd  talk about potential gags and dialog changes that the updated cards would bring to the film.

Writing on spec is a lonely business.  Often I embrace the lonesome, but today I loathe it.

Okay, I have now reorganized my office.  Yes, the papasan chair does look much better in the other corner and is clear of my board, now I can pin.

It is so quiet here. I'd like to Netflix a movie in the background, just to fill in the silence and generate the illusion of company.  But, I really should be thinking about the scenes as I pin them...I guess I'll start pinning.

I need more light in here.  I think I have a light in the next room. Yup, got it.

All done - the boards are up, tomorrow I will sort the script notes and replace the current cards with the change notes.


Thank you for being my company, my sounding board, and my weapon against deafening loneliness.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

No Excuses.

No excuses, now, I know.

I have been moving forward and for the most part have hit my own personal deadlines, which I set for myself, but what can I say? Life happens. No excuses, a new date for updated "Beat Boards," has been set.

That's life, right? One may argue that if one did NOT miss a deadline once in a great while, there would be a lot of writing, but not a lot of life.

Just don't miss a deadline that your paying client has set.  That too is just life, right? One may also argue that NOT meeting a deadline would be a lot of life, but not a lot of eating.