Good vs. Bad

First the good. I purchased a new printer so I could finally print my screenplays, and yes it is empowering to hold ones work in their hands. They’re both printed and bound per industry standards, and they look quite official. It’s pretty awesome.

sebastian

Now the bad. Just hours after I started writing/typing my third screenplay “The Rainbow”, I had a little accident. I stabbed myself in the left hand with a knife. Yes it hurt. Yes I’m okay. Thankfully it healed nicely and now 10 days later it’s nothing more than a scar. However, I did lose my grip strength and the ability to type for several days.

sadsebastian

Back to good news. I have an idea for a forth screenplay. I have spent the last several days researching vaudeville, the 1920s, and watching every episode of I Love Lucy, picking up each little tidbit so I can construct an accurate backstory. Yep I intend to tell greatest “how we met” story ever told.

The story of Fred and Ethel Mertz.

fredandethel

I look forward to putting this story together, it should be really fun.

Until next time,

The Texan

P.S. Marvel posted some pictures and videos for their 10th anniversary, and there was a new Infinity War trailer during the Super Bowl. All of which included Bucky. And what can I say…

thetexanapproves

And then they didn’t print…

Just when I thought that things were finally finished breaking, I discovered the other day that our old printer may not have bought the farm, but it’s certainly in escrow.

I’m trying not read too much into it, because this was discovered when I tried to print out my screenplays. I even had a blog post formulated in my head about how empowering it is to physically hold your screenplay in your hands. And then they didn’t print…

bucky

I won’t lie the thought did cross my mind, ya know the “good Lord it’s a sign”, thought. Then rational me chimes in and is like, all it’s a sign of is that you in possession of the first printer ever made and, you should probably get a new one.

So that’s fun. Hooray for printer shopping!

This morning an idea for scene came to mind. A quick flash pretty much right when I woke up. I don’t think it will fit in “The Rainbow”, which is my next project that I plan to start writing here in the next couple of weeks. I have no idea who these people are, what they’re doing, or what brought them to this conversation.

It may not even become a part of anything, but the clarity of the thought warranted writing it down so, I did. Here is a scene from a screenplay I may never write.

*****************************************

JAMES

                                   Would you just shut up and let me kiss you.

EVERLY

                                  What?

He shrugged his shoulders, and smiled while shaking his head.

JAMES

                                 Am I wrong?

She looked at him, then off to the side. She looked back, tears starting to form in her eyes.

JAMES

                              Everly look, I know that this kinda out of

                              right field but I —

She walked up to him, reached up and touched the side of his face with her hand.

EVERLY

                             Shut up.

They smile at each other, and share a kiss that is somewhat awkward at first but becomes more natural. They pull back and touch foreheads.

EVERLY

                           And it’s out of left field weirdo.

JAMES

                          You know how I feel about left field.

*******************************************************

In other news, it’s less than 100 days until Infinity War comes out!! Can. Not. Wait!

infinity war

Until next time,

The Texan

Writing Woes

Writing is difficult because it is never easy to create something from nothing, all while having only one tool at your disposal to do that with; your brain. However, once you finish a screenplay/novel/short story, you have to figure out what is the best way to get your work to the masses.

Which does indeed open up a whole new bucket of madness and frustration.  I am realizing that writing the darn screenplays will be the easiest part of this whole endeavor. Because while writing produces seeds of doubt, preparing a marketing plan opens up way more. Allow me to walk you through some my own thought processes in just the last couple of hours.

The journey began by reading selling strategy advice in The Screenwriters Bible by David Trottier. I will summarize.

Be persistent, but not pushy; be original but familiar. You need an epic hook, sell your story with awesomeness, be exciting, be captivating, showcase your work on a stage made of gold and dreams. Have your ducks (not regular ducks mind you, the best looking ducks you can find) all lined up in the perfect row, follow the rules, do your research, and don’t forget to shoot for total perfection.

Yep, I knew it everyone in Hollywood is Lord Business

***after stewing in self doubt for several minutes***

I’m not a genius okay, I’m just a writer. Your average human writer. Where do they expect to find people who can do all this crap. And speaking of crap, Hollywood, you got some ‘splanin to do.

I can’t do it. Nope. Can’t handle the pressure. This is madness. What kind of sick person would put themselves through this torture on a daily basis.

**sit and ponder for a moment**

sebastian7

Yep completely craz — Wait! I’ve got it, the perfect logline/hook! **write it down**

Oh and this is a nice thought, maybe could be included in a pitch or query letter! **write it down** And this too! **write, write, write, writey, write, write**

Awe look it the little ducks finding there way to the row. Isn’t just…

wrex

So what kind of person would put themselves through this?

A writer. And that is what I am.

Until next time,

The Texan

 

 

 

 

 

Writer’s Block

writer's block

Well thankfully I don’t have Sophia’s problem but, I do have writer’s block. And yes, it sucks. The search for ideas has been unfruitful for days now. And I don’t even need a big idea just couple of small ones worth like five pages. But my brain is like…

sebastian6

Sorry bro we got nothing.

I had a minor case of writer’s block a couple of weeks ago, but I fixed that by giving my character writer’s block; which gave birth to four page scene. Unfortunately I can’t do that again so….

I’m just doing some reading, a little editing, and attempting to jump start my brain into doing some brainstorming. In the words of Samantha York, “I have ideas…I just haven’t thought of them yet.” **FYI, she is the female lead in my screenplay “Brooklyn”.**

In other news, the Avengers: Infinity War trailer came out today!! And it is so awesome! The movie looks epic and Bucky is in the trailer! Twice!!

thetexanapproves

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to switch over to my screenplay so I can sit in front of my computer like this…

sebastian7

…and try to conjurer up brilliance.

Until next time,

The Texan

 

No

So yesterday I received my first unfavorable response to the statement, “I’m going to write screenplays.”

She simply said, “No.”

bucky

No? What’s that supposed to mean?

No, you shouldn’t do that.

No, you can’t do that.

I wouldn’t touch that career with a ten foot pole so, No, I don’t want to hear why.

She said absolutely nothing else just, no. Then she gathered her kids off the bus, and walked away.

And I was like…

sebastian5.1

Then I said to myself, I’m going to keep writing those screenplays, they’re going to get made into movies, and it’s going to be…

wrex

**photo credit: knowyourmeme.com**

Now if you’ll excuse me, that screenplay ain’t gonna write itself.

Until next time,

The Texan

 

 

77 Pages

So I finished putting “Cambridge” into screenplay format. I got the spacing just right, deleted scenes I didn’t like anymore, added new ones, and made sure it was in the correct font. Then I sat back to marvel at my accomplishment only to notice that it was 77 pages long, which is, you guessed it, too short. At least 15 pages too short to be exact, I might even need 20 more. So I was like..

sebastian2

sebastian2.1

Well I guess that was a decent effort. I suppose I could just work at Target, or something.

No.

I don’t like red.

Or khakis.

But it’s too short. Why is it too short? How can I come up with 20 more pages??

And the confident side of my personality was like..

sebastian2.2

Uh, you’re going to read back through your screenplay, and find places where you can expand, and we’ll get to 95 pages. Boom! Just like that.

Yeah. Yeah! ‘Cause I’m a screenplay writer, not a quitter! I got this.badass

I got this!

Until next time,

The Texan

 

 

 

Advice Hunting

This week I have been working on going over the highlighted sections of screenplay writing books that I read, and also searching the “interwebs” for other sources of sound advice. In Screenplay by Syd Field, he emphasizes knowing the characters, and making sure the lead is active, as in causes things to happen rather than just lets things happen to them. Last night I read an article on a website called http://www.scriptmag.com which had some quality advice of its own for unknown writers; like me:

*comedies should be about 98 pages long….got it

*short narrative, dialogue, and description 4 lines or less….okay

*paint story with words….I have a pallet full of words!

*no “we see”, “we hear”, or “beat”…’kay, but I’ve seen that in screenplays that I’ve read….oh that’s just for “established” writers

*if the scene or piece of dialogue doesn’t move the story forward-get rid of it…right

*get The Screenwriters Bible…oh-kay

*be a secure writer…uh oh, I mean, of course secure writer, I can or might be able to do that….it’s not like I’m an insecure human or anything

*create a script that is fun for you to write, and easy for the reader (aka the “gate keeper”) to read and recommend…..I can do that

I also read an article in which the guy suggested that one should watch their 5 favorite movies while reading through the screenplay. Now this is tricky because finding the final, what the actor had in their hand, draft of a screenplay is quite difficult. It’s either an early draft or some guy/gal who watched the movie a bunch of times and just wrote down the dialogue; not in screenplay format, and not helpful. Plus my 5 favorite movies are…varied, in style, genre, and mood; and they are as follows:

*The Young Victoria

*Captain America: The Winter Solider

*Pride and Prejudice (2005)

*My Fellow Americans

*It Happened One Night (the granddaddy of romantic comedies, winner of 5 academy awards, it is movie perfection)

As my husband said, “Those are…different.” Yeah. Although last night I did watch Leap Year (I know its not awesome, but its not bad either) while reading through a revised draft of the screenplay, which was little different from what appeared on screen, but it did give me an idea of how a scene looks on paper. At this point it helps enormously that I have characters, a story line, and an ending for both “Cambridge” and “Brooklyn”, I just need to put them in the right format. So today I thought I would practice proper screenplay format using one of the scenes from “Cambridge”. Back in May, I think it was, I introduced Mae Forester, history major, from Kansas, and is attending Cambridge University over the summer. She meets Evan O’Brady, English guy, who leads tour groups around Cambridge over the summer. They first meet right after she gets off the bus, this scene is a couple of day later.

***********************************************

EXT. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY-MORNING

Mae going for a jog, she stops to stretch a lot, dancing a little bit to the music that is coming through her head phones. Evan is with his friend Jeff, further up the street.

EVAN
(sees Mae jogging)
Jeff, there she is.

JEFF
There who is?

EVAN
You know the girl from 2 days ago. Remember I told she was dragging her suitcase.

JEFF
That’s “Jayhawks”?

Mae starts running their way, in the zone.

EVAN
Come on mate, she was cute. She was just tir-

Mae runs into him.

MAE
Oh…I’m so sorry.

EVAN
No no really Miss it was my fault.

Jeff rolls his eyes.

MAE
I guess I was in the “zone”. Music helps me when I run because, I don’t really like running. Just trying to get over some jet-lag. (smiles at Evan) I feel like I’ve seen you before… (realizes) You’re the guy…the one who helped me with my suitcase.

EVAN
Yes, yes that was me.

MAE
I’m sorry if I seemed rude or anything. I just don’t travel very well. Those couple days were just a blur.

EVAN
No its okay. You seem to be doing better.

MAE
Getting adjusted. I’m Mae by the way, Mae Forester.

Mae puts out her hand for a handshake.

EVAN
Evan O’Brady.

They share a really long handshake, Jeff’s eyes widen.

JEFF
Um, Evan..

EVAN
Right. So what brings you to Cambridge?

Jeff rolls his eyes again.

MAE
I got accepted into a 3 month program here at the university.

JEFF
That’s nice. Lovely to meet you Mae, but we must be going.

MAE
(looks at watch)
I have to get ready for class. I guess I’ll see y’all around.

EVAN
We’ll be around.

MAE
Bye.

EVAN
Bye.

Evan smiles as he watches Mae jog away, until Jeff comes into his line of vision.

EVAN
What?

JEFF
She just said she’s leaving in 3 months, get that look off your face.

*********************************************************

Okay the margins are trickier than I was expecting, I might need a screenplay formatting program…type thing. But still not too bad for my first time. By the way, today I got to physically do this…

sebastian2

…with my Bachelor of Arts degree, AND they sent me a cool alumni decal to put on my car! I know, awesome!

Until next time,

The Texan

Whoa that post went a little long, please accept this bit of humor as my way of saying…sorry the post was so long.