Friday, June 03, 2005

My First Script...

About a year ago, I started playing with the script form. And I wrote two scripts. My first impression was DAMN, this is hella easy! You mean that it only takes about 100 or so pages and I'm done? Compare that with writing my first book, which was a damn 150,000 words. Or my second book, which was 125,000 words. Writing scripts was like a vacation. Or so I thought.

As I said, I wrote two scripts. I'd never picked up a book on screenplays (and that's not a positive thing, but simply a fact), but I got a lot of the elements right. One of the scripts I wrote is more of a sketch, and I'll come back to that one later. But the first script is the one I liked the most, and the one I've concentrated on the most.

For the past six months, I've had an NYU film grad break it down my script, and she showed me how elements in a script worked. My brain is starting to move from prose to more visual. Grasping the showing not tell adage is probably one of the more difficult things for me to get used to. After working with my NYU friend, she encouraged me to show it to others. I had a good story, but it needed more.

After crafting a couple of drafts, I sent it to MK Asante, the first year UCLA film student, and he gave me some of the best notes. And it was a combination of their notes that allows me to do something completely different than when I write fiction or non-fiction. I'm tearing up major parts of the screenplay and refocusing the plot so that it's more clear and narrow. Now to most screenwriters, that may be a regular thing. But for me, it is exceedingly refreshing. Because I'll be damned if I re-write my fiction. lol Either you like it, or you don't. It sells or it doesn't.

One of the problems with my script was that it was still more of a good idea, with a pieced together story, but it didn't come together well in terms of the conflicts within the story, or the motivations of the characters. Honestly, I could have used what I had, and created a mediocre script. But I'm not sacrificing to go to UCLA film school to be mediocre or write bullshit. And so, while making tacos, the changes became exceedingly clear. Now, I'm going to start re-writing.

No comments: