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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*at least I have in my own delusional/narcissistic mind…