Whoa. Last night, I passed the 60 page mark. I still have tons to write, and re-write, and re-re-write, and so on, but I’m pretty pumped about it. So pumped, I’m posting this photo, because it’s cute.
I’ve been outlining a screenplay for about six months. Sure, it’s yet another coming-of-age movie about an outcast girl and her BFF, and finding love in high school. But it’s my coming-of-age movie about an outcast girl and her BFF, and finding love in high school, dammit.
It’s very loosely based on me and two of my best friends in high school. Last month, I sat across a table from my dude BFF, and laughed uncomfortably until I could actually say the words: “I’m writing a screenplay about…us.” Then I continued to ask him horrific questions about going to the prom and losing his virginity. Believe me, I want to barf just thinking about it. But it’s my duty as a writer to do these things.
What I think has been most gratifying about the outlining experience has been that my story has evolved to be so much richer than my original concept. The characters are bigger than just Michelle and her girl BFF ogle the varsity soccer team to pass the time, and she wanted to go the prom with her dude BFF. That’s where my concept started, but it’s so much bigger now, thankfully.
But now I’m FINALLY in the writing phase, and I’m obsessed with my screenplay. It’s all I can think about. If I’m not actually paying attention at my 9-5 job, I’m thinking about punching up lines, and figuring out sharper plot points. I practically run home so I can start breaking a new scene before dinner. I lose sleep at night because I keep dreaming about scenes, which causes me to wake up with a million thoughts racing through my mind, until I somehow eventually back asleep…and my husband accidentally smacks me in the face with a pillow.
Writing is not easy. I know this because I write all day at work. But there’s something about this that makes me want to sit in a cave for three days, not eat, not sleep, not even pee, until I finish writing this. But alas, there’s work. There’s dinner. There’s my stupidly human need to urinate. Oh well.
Universal purchased a spec script for Grim Night. The premise, according to THR:
Grim Night’s conceit is that one night every year, strange creatures attack Earth and kill thousands, targeting different place[s] with no one knowing why. The story centers on a family in small town America that gets attacked and has to defend themselves.
The concept itself sounds fairly enticing. But interestingly, the teaser-trailer for the spec also made the rounds:
It had me wondering whether this was a trend in the spec market?
Upon recommendation from a writing colleague, I picked up a book — you know the type. The kind of book that is supposed to help guide you through the trials and tribulations of being a writer. The kind of book that will give you great insights into the world of scribedom, and helps you hope that one day, you too will be a paid laugh-maker, scream-inducer, or tear-jerker.
OK, to many people, being a Production Assistant on a small-scale, pro-bono PSA is really not a big deal. But for me, it was a big freaking deal because it was the first time I got to actually work on a set. I’ve been to tapings and shoots before, but this was the first time I actually got to do stuff like schlep pieces of scenery, or arrange the fruit on a craft services table.
Two weeks ago, I finished an amazing program, the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Professional Program in producing. My 50+ classmates and I were met with a fairly rigorous schedule: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., four nights a week, for 10 weeks. Personally, I didn’t go to film school, unlike quite a few of my classmates. This IS my film school. So I was pretty grateful to learn as much as possible, despite the fact that I was exhausted half the time.
At the end of 10 weeks, my UCLA two-subject notebook is now filled, cover to cover, with notes, lecture quotes, budgets, handouts, lists, diagrams, and reminders. I cannot fully encapsulate the things I learned — – it was a good amount of information — but here are the things that stick out to me, looking back.