As you can tell, this is my first post in a long time. That’s because I’ve been hard at work writing my latest screenplay, LOVE & KRYLON (click the link if you’re a member of The Black List). I was one of the “Selected Ten” involved with the #SixWeekSpec challenge, put on by screenwriter Geoff LaTulippe in association with The Black List. Starting September 1, 2014, I had six weeks to deliver a feature length screenplay (90+ pages) to The Black List to receive four professional reviews.
If you would like to see what I wrote for Geoff, as well as the experience of the other “Selected Ten” writers, go here.
Overall, I thought the process was really fun. Once I get the idea in my head for a story, I can crush out a solid outline in no time. Starting with that outline, I was able to finish the first draft of the screenplay in just over ten days. After that I continued to expand and refine elements of the script until I had to turn it in on October 15, 2014. When it was over and finished, I was really freaked out that I had spent six weeks writing a story that didn’t accomplish anything. My friends already knew my “twist” before reading the script, so there were no fresh perspectives on my story. Of the friends I shared it with, only a handful of them returned with notes (or even really acknowledged they received it in the first place). As excited as I was about this opportunity, it sadly dawned on me that many of my friends just weren’t interested. It was just more reading. The ones that were interested, responded with great notes.
My reviews were overall positive, with my script scoring above the average. The feedback the reviewers provided was incredibly constructive, with the same needs and areas of attention mentioned by all of the reviews. Perhaps surprisingly, this breeds confidence in my storytelling, as many of the changes could easily be worked out in further drafts and as I continue to grow as a screenwriter.
The positives of my script, and the prospects that lie ahead, were extremely flattering. In my one moment of self-promotion, I’m going to give you a few of the best quotes about LOVE & KRYLON.
- “One of the clear strengths in this script is how the writer is able to make one of the billboards in the story a character. This billboard is really what the story tracks from page one to the fade out and it stays with the audience throughout all of the plot and other character developments. The final image with the billboard is full of angst, satisfaction and an overall saddening emotion that encompasses the entire script.”
- “This reads like a festival title; a film that would be made for as cheap as possible, hope to gain some attention and buzz on the festival circuit, and then be picked up by a distributor… By and large, coming-of-age films are low-risk/low-reward endeavors; they tend to have limited success in theaters because of a presumed lack of stakes. That’s not an issue here, so with enough buzz this could find a way to get a limited theatrical release in addition to VOD/streaming.”
So what’s next? I’m going back through LOVE & KRYLON, editing and refining based on the feedback I’d received from The Black List. Once I finish the next draft, I’ll probably quickly send it around and post it back to the Black List to get another review (hopefully an 8) so that I’ll have a SOLID base of views, and reviews, for starting my hustle in 2015.
I’ve also outlined my next project. But I’ll update you on that at a later date.