Script Frenzy Wrap-Up

April 30, 2008

Script Frenzy 2008 wraps up today. Congrats to all participants. As I expected, I didn’t come close to writing 100 pages, but I did get a good shot in the arm. Which, at least for me, was the point. I got 25 pages written on Dead Guy and Psycho Ex combined, and I was actually doing pretty well early in the month before the day job sucked me back in with evening and weekend OT obligations.

3 pages a day sounds insignificant and trivial, and whenever I actually sat down to do it, I was able to make it happen. But it doesn’t take long for those 3 pages every day (or so) to add up. And precisely because those 3 pages sound so insignificant and trivial, the pressure goes away and you can actually get productive. And creative. And that’s the point. 

Here are the stats as of morning 5/01/08:

Writers: 7,898

Pages: 129,743

Average: 16.43 pages per writer

At least 889 completed screenplays.

Robb: 25 pages. Let’s do this again. Every month.


April 28, 2008

April 28, 2008

Well, how did I get here?

How do I work this?
Where is that large automobile?
This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful wife.

What is that beautiful house?
Where does that highway go to?
Am I right? Am I wrong?
My God… what have I done?

Which Story Should You Write?

April 21, 2008

Back when we were discussing Abbot Management and the various issues related to feedback, a friend emailed me a very simple yet profound question:

How do you know when to listen to feedback and change your story?

This question really gets to the heart of it. Superficially, it is pretty easy to know if you agree with feedback telling you beef up a scene, hit a story point harder, punch up dialog, etc. But what about real, substantial change? What do you do when listening to feedback would fundamentally change the very story you originally set out to tell?

In terms of Abbot’s feedback on Supervillain, one of their readers wanted more comic book superhero action. He said this is what the audience expects and what the genre provides, and despite an action-oriented opening and climax, my script suffers from a lack of it. Superhero action is fun, it’s visual, it’s dramatic and external, and it fills seats and sells popcorn. He’s right. But here’s the thing: it is fundamentally inconsistent with my premise. In my story, the superhero desperately wants comic book action – it would solve all his problems. The superhero tries to get it, he makes pitiful ill-fated attempts to generate it, but there is no superhero comic book action. This is the source of the comedy. That’s my premise. So if you add comic book superhero action to my premise, you get… a different premise.

It would be like adding a time machine and car chases to Aftershocks; these would transform it into Back to the Future. Back to the Future is fun and Back to the Future is great and Back to the Future is better than Aftershocks, no question. But I didn’t want to write Back to the Future. I wanted to write Aftershocks.

So what do you do? I can hear all us artist types laughing, saying it is obvious that this reader Read the rest of this entry »

Page Count = 3

April 3, 2008

Script Frenzy 2008 – I’m in. And I invite all other writers to join in as well. Let’s do this thing. The idea: to write a screenplay (100 pages) in April. Come on, that’s less than 4 pages a day.

I’m kind of tweaking the goal for my purposes – instead of writing a 100-page script, my goal is to write a total of 100 pages combined of Dead Guy and Psycho Ex. If I do that, I will possibly finish both scripts in April (or at least be very, very close). Plus I have a pretty powerful idea for a short story or short script – maybe that will get played with as a little (or even big) experiment.

And I even put my money where my mouth is and got started today – 3 pages of Psycho Ex. First new pages of that script in a long time. It feels good. Hey, 3 or 4 pages a day is all it takes. I’m just going to take it one day at a time.

If I can keep it up all month, I’ll have (rough) first drafts to start rewriting.

And if I can’t, at least I’ll get a little kick in the pants. The Challenge needs all the momentum it can get…

Who’s with me?

Script Frenzy 2008

April 2, 2008

Anybody participating in Script Frenzy 2008? Anybody know anybody participating in it? I’m fantasizing about it. It’s highly unrealistic for me right now… but isn’t that the whole point?

It sure would kick-start The Challenge back into gear, wouldn’t it?