Tag Archives: contests

An Idea

Fantasy--Not My Strong Suit

So, I am working on a new screenplay, I just haven’t written anything yet. I mean, I jot down notes just about every day in a Word document, sometimes in a journal, but I haven’t written a line of an actual story. I’m sort of afraid to start. My last screenplay, Rolidet, went nowhere. I got to about page fifty, couldn’t think of a satisfactory second act, and gave up. This was only after I had workshopped it with my writers group and they had read several drafts of the first ten pages. I am going back to my old habit of never talking about anything to do with the screenplay until I have a draft in hand. It’s a superstition, sure, but it works.

Rolidet was a fantasy screenplay, which meant pretty much anything goes in the story: griffins with wigs, talking chimps, magical fruit, but somehow, I couldn’t focus it down to something manageable. I was kind of overwhelmed by the plethora of options and gave up.

For this new screenplay, I have an ending and I even have a beginning. There’s a strong concept and even a protagonist. It’s the middle I’m afraid of—the actual plot that keeps me up at night wondering what to write. I wonder if my high concept is just too high concept. I worry that I’ll let it down somehow, that my story won’t live up to my expectations of the story. I worry that I don’t know what the story’s tone is. I worry that I won’t be able to complete it. I worry that people won’t like it. I worry that I’ll send it out to contests and no one will read it. And this worrying takes up too much of my writing time, which worries me in turn.

I guess I just need to find the motivation to write, to stretch my imagination and hope for the best. I tend to lose interest in stories after a couple of weeks anyway, so if I don’t start writing now, I probably won’t write anything.

So how do you get over the hump of not-writing and begin writing? I need help!

First Contest!

OK, blog-land, some important news. No, I’m not quitting the screenwriting game yet, in fact I just entered my script–code name MFTA–in my first contest. I don’t know if I’ll ever hear from the contest organizers, but it felt good to press submit tonight (of course the entry fee was a bit steep).

The script is not completely finished, but I have been spending September revising it all in anticipation of finally sending it out. In a way, this contest was my incentive. Although I feel with another month or so of work, the script could be even better, I knew that I had to keep this promise to myself for all of the hard work I put into the script. It is not my nature to simply write for writing’s sake. Maybe as a performer, I need to find an audience to share that work.

More posts to come this week–I feel that my schedule has suddenly cleared. Now all I need is to find a way to pay for the entry fee.

Questions for the comments:
1) What other contests should I apply to?

2) Have you submitted your scripts yet, and did you hear back?

3) How did you cope with the waiting process?

Directors Lab at Film Independent

Here’s a cool opportunity for all you directors out there in the LA area. Film Independent is a great organization (I volunteered for their LA film festival last year) and if you are selected for the lab, you will have an opportunity to really develop your work.

If you have a reel, a screenplay, and the funds to pay the fee, why not? Let me know if you do apply. This blog could be your stepping stone!

And when you’re famous, remember our quaint little blog… 🙂

Deadline is October 5.

Directors Lab | Film Independent

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Some More Info from the Site:

“Designed to help directors who are prepping their feature films, the Directors Lab is an intensive eight-week program running in Los Angeles each winter. The primary focus of the Lab is on learning to work with actors and the rehearsal process. Under the guidance of the lab instructor, Directors Lab Fellows select short scenes from their scripts to workshop. Additionally, Fellows go through a mini-production, learning how to break down a script into a shot list, collaborate with cinematographers, and construct a scene in the editing process. Film Independent provides the Lab participants with camera and sound packages to shoot their scenes. All scenes will be shot on digital video and critiqued by the Lab Instructor as well as the other Lab participants.

A secondary goal of the program is to help advance the careers of the Lab Fellows by introducing them to film professionals who can advise them on both the craft and business of directing. Lab Fellows have one-on-one meetings with established directors and other industry professionals who act as advisors on the participant’s projects.”