Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How to be a Screenwriting Master

Actually, I don't know how to do that.

But I do know how to be a student in a master screenwriting class. Sorta. We had our first class on Wednesday, and I think it might have been one of the more terrifying moments of my undergraduate career. I had calmed down from my will-never-have-a-job-and-will-probably-starve rant of earlier, but I was still feeling the expectations. We had to pitch our ideas to B. and the rest of our classmates, and the first person to pitch has been working on her idea since she started filming it as a short this past year (this is the film I'm coproducing, actually). And I get really nervous summarizing my ideas, especially since it's so completely opposite of what I wrote for V. and B. this past year. But I pitched it, and even with its shaky start, B. liked it. Talking it out actually helped me define it a little more, and B. got to go on a few theological soapboxes. A good time was had by all.

We had to write 5 page treatments for today, and that was difficult. I actually don't remember if we had to write treatments for our previous screenplay; I think we just did step outlines. I've never written an action movie treatment. The second act of course got muddled, and so there were paragraphs like "So and so and evil person fight." I just didn't mention the theological discussions at all. It's only supposed to be five pages, right?

But I'm really excited about this Current Draft. I think I'm going to be able to delve into a lot of spiritual issues. I just want to be able to handle them with tact and craft. And though this will be my first action script, it will be my fifth screenplay, and I already have the feeling that it will be my best yet. And this will be the script that I give to David Koepp. : )

And the feedback so far on the second draft of "Collapse" has been pretty good. I'm submitting it to our most prestigious university competition in Febuary, and am hoping to get a third draft done before then. I'm just trying to decide if I want to continue with the changes I made for B. or create a completely different plot line that I might like better personally.

It just dumped snow on us the other day and it's stuck. And its completely beautiful, but it makes me wish I had my 1940s short ready to shoot, because this is exactly the type of weather I imagined for it. But then again, as my friend pointed out to me, no one really wants to shoot outdoors in the middle of the winter in Michigan.

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