Monday, July 16, 2012

Smash to Black.

I have now emerged from my writer-cave with 109 pages of a new screenplay.


Last you heard from me, I had just written "Fade In:" on my new sci-fi action script, KILL SCREEN... and this draft was the wildest ride I have ever had on a script.

Now I'm the guy who comes to work prepared. I researched the hell out of this one. Wrote up character bios. Planned out every set piece. Sowed in the seeds of a Theme throughout. Fully outlined this thing top to bottom... maybe I even over-outlined. Exhibit A:

So I sat down, ready to write 3-5 pages a day like I always do... but nothing could have prepared me for this script:

Video games. Alien technology. Death traps. Guns. Robots. Explosions. An A.I. that would make  GLaDOS seem sane. All set to a ticking clock with 5 strangers stuck in an undisclosed location.

So when I sat down to write this one, it was like throwing pages at the ocean:

  • I wrote the first 10 pages, got stuck with nowhere to go, and started over.
  • I rewrote the first 10 pages, much better this time, kept going to page 20, then got stuck at a dead end with no way out, and had to start over.  
  • I rewrote the first 20 pages, way better, clicking along, up to page 30, then got stuck in a black hole of absolutely nowhere to go in the universe, and started over.
This was my process for all 109 pages. My page count rolled back and forth like the tide. It was frustrating, sanity-wracking, and ultimately rewarding. This is the best thing I've written. Hands down.

Perhaps this happened because I outlined too much -- my midpiont became my climax, scenes were cut, character arcs changed -- I restructured the whole script with my fingers on the keyboard.

Perhaps this process happened because I'm learning, growing, able to see the flaws in my work with fresh eyes even while I'm writing, coming up with rewrites as I hit page 10, 20, 30, etc.

Whatever it may be, I'm excited for the future:

I HAVE A JOB! Woohoo! After 13 months of unemployment, I now have a paying job as a Hollywood assistant working for two VPs of one of the biggest companies in Hollywood.

And I'm already writing "Fade In:" on my next script, a spy thriller called: 
Working in Hollywood by day. 
Writing scripts by night. 
The emerging screenwriter's dream.

It's good to be back -- stay tuned!