We are now a month into my 7 week screenwriting experiment!  Am I going to get the script done? Will the love interest be more than a pretty girl with nice hair?  Will I manage to focus through to completion!?!?  Will it be ready to share with the movie director?
The time is going so quickly and I am feeling the push to get the script finished and over the line!

The stats and the numbers

My target is to write one movie by the 19th of April.  A movie is roughly 90 pages long so for the first time this week I have made it to roughly the right length for the romantic comedy!  YAY.  The progress on creation this week has been far slower as I have been working on re-writing and structuring the script. We are on target for 1 movie!
The superhero movie has flatlined this week because all of my focus and energy has been on finishing the romantic comedy.  I have made huge progress on that including restructuring large parts of the plot!

The restructure

This week I received some amazing feedback from my friends!  Thank you Jane and Jamie, David and Jack!  This has led to a lot of re-writing.  

Jane and Jamie in particular pointing out a fairly large plot point that needed moving, and that has been a mission.  Here is an exact quote from my daily journal about the process as I was working on the changes!

I feel like I am wasting my life and I HATE IT.  I fucking hate being trapped like this.  ARRRRGGGGGGGGGGG

I think in previous years it is at this point I would have given up and gone back to something I know. They say the biggest breakthroughs are after the hardest moments!  At this particular moment when I wrote the above sentence the software I bought to help me write the movie wasn’t working (still doesn’t!), the movie structure that should have been easy (just moving a scene or two around) turned into a week long project and I was totally lost!

What do you do when you reach that point?

Buy stationery, obviously!  Katie very kindly escorted me to Staples late at night to buy Post-it notes, index cards and pens, and then I sat down the very next day and the work started

The very next day I sat down at the usual cafe and wrote everything out on the index cards.  I used those to reorder the movie and then spent the next two days re-writing the movie and inserting a few new scenes.  I made progress.  So much so that I have sent off for professional feedback.  I managed to find a lady online that provides notes (coverage in industry language) on scripts and I have hired her to help by providing professional feedback.  I am still waiting for the full feedback but the initial email had a few good quotes. The quote that gave me the most hope is:

Really great job for a first time screenwriter!

The bit about “first time screen writer” gives me concern but at least I am making progress.  I can’t wait to see her notes this week and get to version 4!  I feel like I am making massive progress!

​This restructure has been a huge project this week but I have come out of it stronger and with renewed energy to make this happen!

Write what you know

It was so much easier to write the romantic comedy as I have experienced nearly all of the situations and made all of the mistakes my character is going to make!  When it comes to crime I need to do far more research and learning!  That is one of the primary reasons I have focused on the romcom this week and made more progress on that!

One of my posts on Facebook this week that amused a lot of you was about writing what you know!  I got to the part of my superhero movie where the bad guy has to commit a crime and I drew a HUGE blank!  What crime?  How does he go about it?  I know nothing about crime!?  

So I posted on Facebook for help with ideas for crimes and 81 of you shared thoughts and ideas for crimes for the bad guy to commit!  I never knew so many of you were criminally minded!  Thank you for sharing your ideas!  It means a lot.

What have I learnt?

This week has been intense but I have made massive progress and learnt a lot of things. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Changing one thing can have far reaching-consequences. I had to make structural changes to the script this week but moving one scene later in the movie led to changing nearly every scene in some way and re-writing all sorts! Not only that but certain plot catalysts had now moved, and I needed to build new ones! One little change can create big impacts. This is both good and bad. For those of you kicking off new projects, make one change this week and it can change the course of things in years to come! For those of you with existing businesses, it is important to think through the ripple effects of making those changes before diving straight in! Be inspired to make changes and then see where the ripples take you
  2. Feedback can be good and bad. I asked for feedback on my ideas this week and some it was incredibly useful and some of it was demotivating and had the opposite to intended impact. Feedback that gave me specifics and things I could actually change really helped. The feedback that was general such as “I don’t like any of them” was less useful and more demotivational. When you open yourself up to feedback you have to accept it all and work to take the pieces that will help you to positively improve. Always keep in mind that if people are gracious enough to give you feedback, they are trying to help you!
  3. Focus and time in the saddle. It is so easy to get distracted by other things. I think this is one of the toughest things for new entrepreneurs and, well, EVERYONE! There is so much going on. There is Facebook, movies to watch, friends to see, and so much more that stops you achieving your goals. Your ability to focus on the one important task is going to directly impact the quality and speed of your success. This is one I am continuing to work on this week!

Other things that have happened

It is amazing how the world works and where it leads.  Amazing!  This week I have had a phone call with a production company that saw our PBS piece and reached out saying “How to start a business with no money” would make a great TV show!  I hung out with amazing people, had an offer to read my script from a working movie director, and ate far too much food!  There is so much magic happening and I really do think it is because I have created space for it to come into my life!

The big plans for this week

What am I committing to do this week?

  1. Get the notes from the pro writer and do the edits.  This could be a big task but it is critical
  2. Send the script out to a few more people when it is in the latest version to get more feedback
  3. Tie down the date for the table read of the movie!  This is so exciting to be able to actual hear the words delivered by real actors!
  4. Create a criminal empire for my other movie.  I want to get down and post it note out how the criminal empire works based on your ideas!  This is going to be a fun thought experiment!

If I can get that lot done I will be super happy!  COME ON!  I want to be able to write to you all by the 19th of April and tell you I have the movie written and I have submitted it!  COME ON.

As always if you want to get involved then please write me a note or leave me a comment below.  If you want to read a draft of the movie let me know, if you want to come to the premiere!?  (It is good to dream!) or if you just want to send me internet abuse for motivation then leave me a comment below or get in touch!

Thanks for reading and sharing this awesome journey with me!

You rock

Alan

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