Screenwriting, Filmmaking, Life


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Screenplay Completed!

Suddenly I am wondering what took me so long. Fear is an amazing thing, and it must have been that, methinks, but some wise friends told me to loosen up a bit and get things flowing.

Since moving to the prairies (where it's supposed to be hot and dry - my personal favourite - but is decidedly neither thus far) I seem to have opened up again. The confined idea of living on an island, engaging in public service and behaving properly for the most part with family only in the distance served, as it turns out, to tighten me up beyond belief. There are still parts of my body trying to relax (note to self - book body work), but the finest news ever is that my creativity is sparkling again.

I want to move on with projects, not dust them. I want to paint, cook, refinish furniture, arrange flowers, and generally invent things. And more importantly, I want to share them. So e-mails went off to two producers and my agent today, in the hopes of having someone read the finally finished - one year later - SERIOUS. It's the story of a reporter in a small town who is curious about a number of recent suicides. While he's investigating, his son is being set up as the next victim.

Here is a sample of the open spaces that give one room to create.

I know. It's taken in winter, but you get the idea. There's a LOT of space here!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's a new day...

I can see that you will have no faith left in my resolve, anything I promise and most of what I say, but here I am anyway, carrying on carrying on. It's April 3, and I see that the last time I visited here was November. Pre-Christmas, pre-move, pre-"all is well".

Now I am in the middle of the moving process, just having said my farewells to Victoria, and taking a week to visit my way into my new life in Calgary. My new life, by the way, is the worklife I have been attempting to create for 30 years. It's strange when you suddenly get what you want. You don't even really see it coming, but here it is and it's so good.

I now have writing contracts filling five days per week that I can do from anywhere. I choose to do it from the same city in which my family is currently located. It doesn't matter if they are always there, I will enjoy whatever time there is with them before they decide to move on.

When winter comes, "anywhere" may be somewhere there is palm trees. I do crave palm trees from time to time. I know things change and I enjoy it. I've not chosen a change for a long time, and this one feels so right.

The only thing better will be to make my writing-for-a-living screenwriting. For now, though, as my good friend tells me...enjoy the success (wallow in it, I believe she said) of achieving this long-term goal. And I am. Wow. squirm, stretch, roll, wallow

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Careening Towards the Higher Good, right?

It seems strange to me every time I have fresh resolve, decide on a direction, make a choice, celebrate some small step, that something else happens, comes along or slaps me upside the head to make a change of some sort again.

So, as per my last post(s), I am finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel project-wise and I am feeling good about that. So, suddenly, as though the message travelled at light speed around the Universe, or at least around my immediate circle, everybody wants a piece of me. Someone needs some writing done, someone else just HAS to see me. A friend wants to hit that new movie with me, and movies are good. After all, that’s what I’m writing.

Then I have a sore throat. I need to take it easy. I nap. I want to shop for Christmas gifts. Maybe I should get my picture taken with Santa this year. I want to help my friend-with-the-walker do some shopping. If I shop online, I’ll have less to mail, and mail I must this year as I’m not going to travel for Christmas – just catch a ferry maybe. So this whole holiday business is happening a lot earlier than usual.

But it’ll be okay, ‘cuz I just got this new temporary assignment that only requires a four-day week, right? No sooner do I sit in my new chair than I get a call for an interview. If successful, it will make it a LOT sooner that I move out of Victoria. I’ve not been offered this job yet, but I go directly into a tizzy anyway.

It’s crazy-making, I tell you! Do I do it to myself, or what? I try to remind myself that there is a grand plan that has nothing to do with me, or where I am physically, emotionally, psychically or physically at the moment. It’s all careening forward to create something for the higher good. Yes it is, yes it is! And if you think luck has anything to do with it, please wish me some, wouldya?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Work Goes Well

Just checking in to say that I work on this nearly every day, and the ending is shaping up well and nearly done. Then, I go back to Act 1 to do some layering.

Question for ya. Would you rather know who the "culprit" is about the midpoint and watch them interact from that moment on with their blissfully unaware victims, or would you rather wait 'til the end to find out who dunnit?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's in Print!

When I've been working on something for months by computer only, it's a bit difficult to see the whole picture (pun intended). And, I can read on-screen until the cows come home (I guess that phrase dates me!) without really seeing it.

I believe I mentioned that I had gone into a chat room with my fellow Screenwriting U alumni to ask about structure to find out where I had gone wrong, and the answer was "in the first act".

So, I printed it all out yesterday - ran myself out of ink, but no matter, it's all in print. I began to read. And those first scenes I have not read for a very long time. They're not bad. In fact, I'm quite happy with the front end.

It was so obvious! By page ten I knew exactly what I'd done. And I know I can fix it. I also know I can fix it without changing the rest of the story at all. It's an opportunity to add another layer; to make it better, and I say "Hallelujah" to that!

After such a long, inexplicable sojourn (other than the fear factor, of course), it was right there waiting for me. And now, AND NOW I can see the light at the end of the title. I am writing the final pages, and I know what to do up front, so I can actually see it all coming together in the next couple of weeks. Can I hear an Amen!

This is cause for celebration, people!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Phooey, phooey phear

It's time I confessed. Every time I get close to something good happening, I freak out. It's not really an outward, noticeable kind of freak out. It's the kind I keep to myself, pretty much. I just busy myself with other things. I find other causes, projects, reasons to be elsewhere, doing other things - any other thing. And time slips by, and I worry about time slipping by, but I do nothing to stop the slipping.

One foot in front to the other becomes impossible. And now that I'm officially in my 6th decade, when all this truly started in my first decade, I feel ridiculous. I'm not panicked that I'm out of time. I believe in my heart of hearts that there is enough time, but I know in my case it could better used. Used, not spent. Used to do what I'm here for. Used the way I know I can, and yet...

Five decades of spending time in ways that were so close, but as they say, "no cigar". (Whoever "they" are - right 'T'?) It is time to make like the tortoise, and just keep plugging along. Whether you stay with me or not, I'll be here, plugging along.

Wait. That doesn't really sound joyful enough. And oh, my dear reader(s), there is joy. Such happiness comes from doing it, it makes one wonder why I've put it off! This is me - using time well. Must go write a bit now...tortoise-like... :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Red-faced Return - well, at least a humble one...

I'm learning a lot from my daughter. She started writing her own blog a couple of months ago, and she is going gangbusters with the topic area - a change in her life.

I am impressed with her commitment, both to the change she is making, and her consistent reports of progress online. We talked about it before she did that, and she said how scary it was for her to think about "putting it out there".

I, on the other hand, did not find the creation of this blog scary at all. I even remember thinking that even if I don't "go Hollywood" in terms of employment, I would at least share the steps to my June trip. I thought that the June trip may serve as my "journey to Hollywood" if all else failed.

That would do, I suppose, but it just doesn't feel honest to me. The goal is not to attend a conference in LA, the goal is to have a movie produced by a Hollywood company. I took the course in order to do that - not to "just" attend three days of meetings with producers for the fun of it.

And so, learning more than a little about commitment from my daughter, I'm embarrassed to say that I dropped the ball. You devoted readers may know that at those meetings in June in Hollywood, I actually had one producer ask to see my script.

This may not seem on the surface like such a big deal, but it's everything to a writer. Nothing can happen until someone out there is interested in having a look at what you have written. She related to the story I pitched her on three different levels, and I remember thinking about the stories I'd heard and how important it is to find the right person for the right project - someone who can relate! And there she was (is...hopefully). And I dropped the ball.

You see, I had gone to LA to meet these people without having a completed script - or even a near-completed script. Coached by the best, I understood that all I had to do was say I was completing a re-write, and would get it to her in 4-6 weeks. At first I was determined. Then I ran into problems with it. You see, it's a little shorter than it's supposed to be. Or at least I knew it would be if I finished it, so I struggled with what was missing. I didn't want to add stuff for the heck of it. That's not good storytelling.

I got into online chats with colleagues from Screenwriting U, and determined that I had pretty much managed to end Act 1 on page 10. So now I know that it's the front end that is making it short. Okay.



Months have gone by and I still haven't completed this script - this story, for which I have found the right producer, potentially. The story she asked for in June. Now you see why I'm red-faced.

And I think it's a little to do with a lack of commitment to this blog. I'm not doing anything, so I'll just leave it, and let it remain blank for weeks and months. It also has a lot to do with fear, no doubt, and I'm going to talk about that next time. Here's hoping "next time" is soon. No. Here's committing that "next time" is soon.