My local screenwriting group didn’t really take off, so I’ve let it lapse. Never mind, it was an experiment. They don’t all come off.
My next question is where to focus my energies. I love feature films, and have learned heaps writing my first script. But they take many months, and Hollywood isn’t usually interested in newbies unless they can package their screenplays.
On the other hand, I could start writing for a web series whenever I want to, and produce it with a small group of cast & crew. I could upload it and be online immediately. The size of my audience will tell me if I’m successful or not.
Yet I’m also very drawn to comedy. My short Simpsons Treehouse of Horror script was well received, so I’m tempted to just write one short comedy sketch after another, learning along the way, til I have a small batch of work to share.
As they’d only be a few pages each, I’d be able to write far more than I could by focusing on feature scripts, and learn more quickly as well. And as Tim Ferguson says that good comedy writers are in higher demand, it could be lucrative.
Assuming I can consistently write good comedy, of course!
I’ve recently created a new local group for writers to meet every month. While the focus is to learn by reviewing each other’s work, we’ll also review other screenplays, share resources, and encourage each other on the journey.
I’m really looking forward to the first meeting this Thursday 18th October.
For more information, and/or to join us, please visit the meetup website.
p.s. this group is now defunct: see this more recent post.
I sent Judgement Date off to the Nicholl this year, who graciously thanked me but said I’d not progressed to the quarter finals. It’s a disappointment, but I shouldn’t expect to set the world on fire with my first screenplay.
They said I was in the top 15% of entries, which is a consolation. Unless they say that to everybody who enters. No, they wouldn’t do that … would they?
Oh, well, back to feature film #2 …
Even though writing this screenplay has been a huge wonderful challenge, marketing it is perhaps an even bigger challenge! Hollywood is constantly innundated by screenplays, most of them dreadful, so getting read can be a massive challenge.
I’ve been trying new ideas. e.g. I’ve listed on Inktip, which attracts many prodcos from Hollywood and elsewhere. I’ve also sent it off to a few competitions, such as the Nicholl. I don’t expect to win, but it does get me read by people in the biz. That can only help.
If they like what they read, great! That’s a good start. If, after half a dozen screenplays, nobody likes any of them, maybe I’ll get the message! Til then, I’m giving it my best shot …
The good folks at Three Lines or Less will now send it out to some industry reps. It’s only a small step, but I’m grateful for every little advance that comes.
Now I’ll find out whether anybody in the biz wants to read the screenplay!
It took far longer than I expected, but that’s ok. It’s been a huge learning experience, and I really enjoyed it! The next one will be so much quicker to write.
Now it’s time to market it, a whole new challenge with new skills to learn.
I’m thoroughly looking forward to it!
Recently, I sent a few short scripts off to a contest run by LA production company Palm St Films, who promised to produce the winning script and send it around the festival circuit.
Two of the scripts I’ve already produced myself, but the other two were throwaway tales I’d put together just for fun. It was a nice surprise that one (Dear Departed) was a finalist!
Ok, so it’s not going to get me an agent just yet, but I’m grateful for baby steps, as Bill Murray said repeatedly …
My focus is now on feature length scripts, but I did enjoy my time scribbling those short shorts!
Finally, I’ve got back on track with my script. I’ve got some good feedback about both the screenplay and logline, and am now polishing the description and dialogue. I’m pretty happy with structure, story, etc.
It feels good to be working on it again! With luck, and some hard work, I should be able to get it done in a month or so …
My feature script has been on hold recently, as I’ve had a few small life changes. e.g. driving across Australia to move back to Canberra, moving house after arriving, preparing to move house again, and looking for paid work. Such is life!
On the plus side, I found a local screenwriting group which read my current draft a few weeks ago. They pointed out several issues which need addressing. Oh, well, better them than a reader or someone further up the industry food chain!
So now I’m sitting with their suggestions and deciding which ones to take on board, and which not to. Hmmm … sounds a bit like the notes I’ll get if/when I become a paid screenwriter! It’s always good to get an early taste of how things might be
I’ve just completed the second draft of my feature film script, tentatively titled No Limit California Poker. After further developing a few of the scenes, it’s now up to 122 pages.
This gives me plenty of room when I start trimming and cutting as part of the next pass. As much as I like some of what I’ve written, I’m sure much of it will eventually go …
Here’s the logline:
A death row murderer gets a chance to win his freedom by dinner dating a disgraced Idol host live on her comeback TV show.
I’ve got a huge pile of helpful material on rewriting, so I’m really looking forward to diving in to sculpt the next draft, aided by a very large pair of scissors.