So, I’m Going To Make A Movie…

One of my resolution solutions at the beginning of last year was to become involved in the art of script writing.

Of course, if you are a Newsletter Love subscriber – and why wouldn’t you be – you already know this.

But anyway…

I figured, heck, I love watching movies and I kind of love to write, and since I’ve already conquered the art of novel and poetry writing and have become wildly successful in these endeavors*, why not try something new.

So, I did.

But before I tried the writing, I did much, much reading about the “how tos” and “whatnots” of how one should go about writing a movie script.

Man**, little did I realize that Hollywood was so anal retentive when it comes to formatting.

Anyway, after surfing the web for some time, I found what has since become my go to resource:
 

 

There are many reference books out there for screenwriting but this one, I’ve found, is very easy to read and navigate through and David Trottier seems to have the Hollywood street cred so it satisfies my present incipient needs.

However, before I committed to his book, I spent a significant chunk of time at his awesome information-and-resource-filled website – you’ll find it easily enough by searching his name.

But more important to the establishment of my script writing foundation than Trottier’s bible has been – what you’ll find most successful writers recommending any newbie writer do, which is reading a ton of what it is you wish to write – reading and reading and reading Hollywood movie scripts.

They’re easy enough to find on the web. I even found a clunky but useful app for Windows. Just think of a movie you love and do a search. Chances are pretty high you’ll find an online copy of its script somewhere.

Hands down and without any doubt in my military mind the best script I read is Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.” Pure genius and light. (Can’t wait to see “The Hateful Eight.”)

Second would probably be Zach Helm’s “Stranger Than Fiction.” Wonderful writing.

Hmm… I just realized that my two favorite scripts both have the word “fiction” in their titles.

Coincidence?

Or prophetic?

Anyway…

I enjoy playing the movies in my mind as I read through the script.

It really is magic how dreams can transform into words and how words can create reality… everything.

Typing that just gave me chills.

Here’s my first formatting tip for you: Notice the space after the ellipse in the sentence that just gave me chills? Yes, that is how Hollywood requires them to be written… one space will follow all ellipses.

You’re welcome…

So I began writing scripts of my own. Short scripts.

It wasn’t easy for me, especially at first. Like I said, the formatting requirements are ridiculous – and I don’t mean that in a good way like the kids are using the word these days.

Apart from the formatting requirements, the toughest adjustment for me was having to write everything – and here comes my second formatting tip – in the present tense.

And then, of course, when, after several months of writing in the present tense, I went back to working on my present novel WIP, I had a helluva time adjusting back to the past tense.

It was almost painful, actually.

Typing that just gave me chills…

But not the good kind like the last kind.

—-

Here’s an oldie but goodie:

The Past, the Present, and the Future all walk into a bar…

It was tense.

—-

Anyway, after a while, I then decided to adapt my short story “Leave” into a short film script.

Long story short (you can bet I’ll be drawing all this script writing stuff out for a long, long period of time here), I have an actor friend who has a director friend out in Hollywood who read the script and has agreed to film it (Name dropping to follow in subsequent posts).

How about that?

Sometimes New Year’s Resolutions do come true…

Well, we hope. We’re right at the beginning of the process so keep your fingers and toes and eyes and nose (nose crossing can be done if you commit yourself to it) crossed for me and the production. We’ll need all the support and hope and prayers we can muster.

We’re planning for a film shoot in March of this year out in Los Angeles; however, there is much that has to be aligned and completed before that can happen.

It mostly has to do with raising money, of course.

But more on all that later.

Much more…

In the interim, I invite you to check out “Leave” the short story that the script is based upon. You can get an e-edition at Amazon and elsewhere. But if you really can’t afford that 99 cents asking price (Amazon won’t allow me to give it away since it’s not enrolled in KDP), email me through my contact page and request a copy and I’ll send you one.

Cool?

Write on…
 

 

*at least I have in my own delusional/narcissistic mind…
**non-gender specific

 
 

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62 Replies to “So, I’m Going To Make A Movie…”

    1. It’s like anything, once you get it down it becomes transparent. I’ll write about this later, and you probably already know, but there are many programs out there that do all the formatting for you. I tried most of them. In the end I just wrote the macros for my own Word document. Simple and sweet. Thank you for the well-wishes, M.R. Greatly appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. My favorite classes in college were screenwriting. I took one on Sitcom TV show writing, and one on short film writing. I adapted Alice Munroe’s short story “Runaway” to script in that one, and in the Sitcom class wrote my own spec script for the show ‘New Girl’. It was a blast. The formatting is a bitch at first, but once you figure it out, it’s not so bad. :) Good luck turning your script into a film!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. You sound like a wealth of information on this. Have you submitted your specs anywhere? As for the formatting, I’m rather anal retentive/OCD myself and kind of get into it. I created my own Word macro template for it so all I have to do is pretty much write and the formatting takes care of itself. Thanks for the well wishes, queenofblank. Greatly appreciated… and needed. :)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Could be considered cheating, but Celtx is a screenwriting software that makes formatting super simple, plus more. It’s kind of like the Scrivener for screenwriting.
        And nah, I never did submit my scripts anywhere. I should have. Never know what could have come out of it. The door is still open though. :)

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, I pretty much tried all the major software – they all give either a full or cut version of their product for a free trial. WriterDuet is my favorite. But they all try to cram too much stuff into it so my basic Word program suits me fine. Yes, it’s never too late – just take an old fart like me as an example… still tryin’. :)

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Good on you! That’s fantastic! The formatting IS tricky, but hey, it could be worse… Shooting scripts, for ex. Horrid. I used to write screenplays, and I’d even optioned several spec screenplays to a couple of prodcos, but the waiting game, the pitching game, the phone-tag game, the bullshit back-and-forth game between my then manager (note: get an AGENT, not a manager) and various studio execs grew immensely tiresome. By then, the indie scene was growing into something monumental, and the steadily working screenwriters began realizing the value of producing as well. By then, I was deep in my graduate studies and readying myself to embark on another career path, one in which the game was just as nuts (academia is filled to the brim with its own insanity and competitiveness)…but much more viable for me and my lack of patience. I am slowly getting back into the creative writing thing again though, having had a 14 year hiatus, and it’s incredibly difficult. Like you, I’m writing shorts, and over the summer, I have a television drama pilot I’d like to pen (time-wise, it’s ideal). J. Michael Straczynski’s guide has been my go-to for years, but I’ve had to invest in drama pilot guides since the general structure is so confined (60 minutes, after all). Anyway, thanks for sharing your news! I’ll be keeping an eye on your progress. Has the prod. crew tried a Kickstarter? I’ve some friends who’ve pooled money/resources together for their shorts (and one feature) and have used Kickstarter for the excess they needed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. Thanks for the tips. Sounds like I might be pingin’ on you from time to time for some guidance. Will probably go with Indigogo to raise funds vice Kickstarter as Indi allows you to keep the money you raise even if you don’t reach the goal. Thanks again, mjennings, for sharing your valuable insight – keep it comin’ :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Best of luck Kurt! What an exciting time it must be for you. As an aspiring screenwriter myself, I got chills when a few of my friends acted out a scene for my senior year writing presentation. I’ll be crossing my nose for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congrats on writing your first script. It is the hardest one. What you’ll realize after writing scripts 6, 7 and 8 is that (don’t take this personally) that script 1 is total garbage. I found that with my script writing when I look back at where I started. I have written scripts now and they routinely get to the semifinals/finals of national competitions, but my first few would have never sniffed the light of day. If you ever need an extra eye, I would be glad to help, although I typically don’t sugarcoat my thoughts.

    If you are interested in submitting to a competition, I wrote a post about it a little while ago that provides some good info.
    http://tvcomedywriter.com/2015/07/12/writing-competitions-are-they-worth-it/
    Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Too cool, S. Gold. Thanks so much for that fantastic insight and especially for your offer to assist. I try to stay level-headed about it all but I’ll def seek help when things inevitably become less than balanced. :) Thanks again.

      Like

  5. Thanks for reading from my blog. Good luck with your script! I like the writing in Stranger Than Fiction, too. I enjoy the movie, though Will Ferrell is not a favorite of mine to see or hear. But the story is compelling. Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Realizing a dream for the New Year, are ya? How dare you. Best wishes for success, Kurt. I don’t comment often, but you already know you’re a fine writer, and for the broken peanut shell my opinion’s worth, I think you’ll do great.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, Alfred… It’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you so much for your wonderfully inspiring exceedingly-more-than-a-broken-peanut-shell of a comment. Your encouragement and kindness means much to me, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Kurt, this sounds great. I recommend Robert Rodrigues’ book on how to make a movie, too. Likely you’ve read it, but just saying. It’s a great work in and of itself for creative inspiration, particularly with script writing and movie making. Slightly off message for this Post, Kurt, but just to let you know I’ve posted a review on Amazon of Short Verses & Other Curses. They tell me it’ll be up shortly. Please let me know if you want me to post the review anywhere else on the webiverse. And thanks so much for the inscription!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Robyn. I kept waiting for it to pop up… but then I remembered you live across the pond and found it on the UK site. Very humbled by your words, my friend. As for making a movie, I’m just focusing on the writing part right now; though, I did pick up “The Film-Maker’s Handbook” to have as a reference. Maybe when I go out to LA in March for the filming I’ll get more involved with that aspect… regardless, it’s all pretty cool and I’m looking forward to it. Thanks again, Robyn. Truly appreciative of your review.

      Like

      1. Such a pleasure to do, Kurt. I loved the book. I dip into it and read extracts, which I think is a perfect format for people to use. I hope it sells in the gazillions! How cool, going to La-la land. Not as great as a wet January in Blighty but hey, you can’t have everything. Try not to be envious.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on eponym and commented:
    We always like to spread the word about fellow writers crowdfunding campaigns. We’re really impressed with this one. We hope others will check it out and spread the word too.

    Liked by 1 person

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