So what’s the big news I was teasing on Twitter the other day? We’re going to write a screenplay! That is correct. Every Thursday over the next three months, I am going to take you through each step of the process, leaving you with a finished screenplay to go out into the world with. How cool is that??
What’s the idea here? A few things. First, to help those still trying to figure out how to write a script. Those of you in the beginning stages confused with all the jargon and the rules, I’m going to take you step by step through the process, making it as painless as possible.
Second, to give those of you with your own writing process a new way to look at things. I’m hoping that a fresh take on the process will allow you to see the craft in a whole new light. Even if you don’t adopt the process I lay out, I’m sure you’ll take a few things with you moving forward.
Third, and most importantly, I want you to have a finished screenplay. Writing is synonomous with procastination and we often find ourselves eight months into a script with no idea where to go next. With me breathing down your neck, you won’t be able to make excuses for not writing anymore. We’re going to have deadlines every week. And I’m going to make sure you meet them so that at the end of three months, you will have a 110 page screenplay.
To make this fun, at the end of the process, we’re going to have a tournament. I’m going to pick the top 40 or so loglines/pitches and stagger a series of Super Amateur Showdowns (10 scripts instead of five). We’ll have a quarter-finals, a semi-finals, and a finals, where you guys will vote the best scripts through.
During that time, you’ll be allowed to use the notes you get from each showdown to improve your script for the next round. This is what Scriptshadow does better than anywhere else – crowd-sourcing feedback. We’re going to take advantage of that to make these scripts the best they can possibly be.
Now I know a lot of you are rushing to meet that May 1st Nicholl Fellowship deadline. So we’re going to wait until that’s over and you’re free of any script commitments.
But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Since we’ll be starting in two weeks, YOU NEED A CONCEPT. The concept is the most important part of the process. If you don’t have a good concept, nothing you write during those three months will matter.
So here’s the deal: start thinking of concepts. Start sharing concepts with your friends. You can share them here in the comments or if you’re a private person, ask people to share privately via e-mail. But I strongly encourage you to get feedback on your concept(s) before committing. If people don’t sound excited about your idea, come up with something else.
In fact, I’m going to allow you each to send me a single e-mail with up to 5 loglines (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will give you a 1-10 rating on each. If your logline doesn’t at least get a 7, go with something else. And because I’m going to get a ton of e-mails, I WILL NOT be able to get into detail about why I gave your logline the rating I did. This is just meant as a way to give you a quick opinion on if your loglines are working.
We’ll get a little more into concept next week, and then the week after, WE BEGIN. So sharpen those pencils cause we’re going to write a F&%$ING SCREENPLAY!