Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stuck in the middle with you...

The rewrites of pages 30-45 went well last night.

I mean, relatively speaking to how poorly it went the night before.

But at page 30 my characters are starting to become more three-dimensional. They sound like actual real-life people talking for themselves, not just uttering dialogue I'm trying to cram through their lips. In fact, they even surprise me with some of their actions and words. That’s a good feeling. And knowing that its there in that section means it can be there in the first 30 pages, or elsewhere. Because all the pages need to have that kind of energy and freshness. But it takes a lot of hard work and time to get it there....

By the way, for those that haven't written a screenpaly before or are slightly confused on the different sections (or beats or sequences or whatever), here's an explanation of what should be happening in pages 30-45. See the first 30 pages propels the protaganist (the main hero) out of a comfort zone and sets him/her on their incredible journey. We have stasis and some intrusion and some big question that gets posed (What do you mean, ghost of my dead father king, you mean Claudius poisoned my father before he married my mother? Oh, villain, damned smiling villain!)

In my movie, my hero takes the job on the childrens theater tour and meets the leading lady. On page 30 is the beginning of Act II. There is a big event, which causes the protag to act and react and start his journey towards…whatever…In this case, its the beginning of his relationship with the leading lady. He's taking steps towards the final outcome. Taking risks he otherwise wouldn't have taken. In my script, he falls off a stage and breaks his arm, causing him to have to let others do stuff for him--this is a big deal for a stage manager who likes to be doing everything himself.

Now sometimes this big event comes earlier or later but usually its around page 30 (or within 30 minutes).

Hey kids! Here's a fun activity! Next time you're at the movies, bring your glow-in-the-dark digital watch. When that first huge event happens, check the time on your watch. What does it say? 27 minutes? 32 minutes. Wow! That's fun!

On another note, after I finish this 21 day experiment, it’s going to be pencils down for me (at least for screenplays). Most of the strike coverage (or lack of) and the misunderstandings about why the WGA is striking is really starting to piss me off.

I’m with my tribe in solidarity. Time to work on my plays instead for awhile till it all gets worked out. Hopefully soon.

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