The Bag Means Your Mind

A delightful mix of insightful comments and ignorant assumptions about screenwriting... and such.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


After much consternation and gnashing of teeth, I am finally about to type those immortal words: "FADE IN."* I've been outlining/sketching/doodling for months on my football script, and I'm going to try and fire out a draft as quickly as I can.

With each new script I write, I try something a little different. This time I tried to get the story as concrete as possible before starting. This will, hopefully, facilitate the writing process so that I'm not staring at a blinking cursor wondering if my main character is a super model or a homosexual Samoan. The down side is that you feel unproductive and worthless and not very writer-like for a long, long time. All I have to show for it right now is a bloated Keynote file (that program rocks by the way). That is about to change my excellent friends.

Now the key is to see how long it actually takes me to bang out this draft and finally see for myself just how misplanned and ill-expressed my ideas actually are. Bonus!

*Well, I won't actually type it as it is one of those drop down do-jiggy thingies in Movie Magic that purportedly saves me oodles of time (5 minutes over 30 years).


  • At 10:16 PM, Blogger Systemaddict said…

    Hey mate...

    Interesting, I just went sorta through the same thing. Weeks of outlines and notes...something I don't do.

    Took me 6 weeks to bang out the script...2 weeks behind my goal (though I keep a full time job as well as meh)

    The script I wrote before that- came up with the idea while at work...came home and began...was finished in 8 days. Seems I'm faster just winging it and going with inspiration. That being's a lot easier to provide a producer with your own notes than trying to explain what you were thinking at the time imho.

    PS...haven't been on xlive in a few weeks...but I will add you when I'm on next. nristen is my screen name...cheers

  • At 8:26 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said…

    8 Days. Wow!

    I can't even begin to imagine being able to just have a story flow out as a complete movie in that time span.

    How did you ever get through act II?

  • At 10:37 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said…

    Don't announce it, man, just freakin' write it!

  • At 2:41 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said…

    Actually, I'm putting myself on public notice. The writing has begun.

  • At 3:51 AM, Blogger Systemaddict said…

    Act II was not the issue. The issue was actually making sure act III explained everything and tied everything in Acts I & II...

    When I get an idea i'm high on...I can just soak up the whole world within it. Sometimes it works, sometimes not...

    Anyway, good luck, let us know how it goes.

  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger Brett said…

    I think the key is to make sure you have so much creative pressure backed up that you finally reach the point where you simply cannot do anything else BUT write-- shake the soda can till both ends start to bulge out like some hellish aluminum skinned bratwurst, and then hand it to your little brother.

    "Here ya go."


    Ten and fifteen page sessions at teh keyboard are not a major event once the story is clear in your head and you've got all the connections mapped out. I usually spend a lot longer on a re-write than an initial draft (and I have yet to have anything taken seriously, either, but I'm holding fast to the notion that these two facts are utterly unrelated...).

    Paul Schrader knocked out TAXI DRIVER in something like a long weekend. I once finished the final forty pages of a script in a 30-hour binge where I was in some sort of weird fugue state.

    Don't think -- just write.

    PS-- but seriously-- this is the football script? Dude! I thought that was DONE! ;-)

  • At 2:05 PM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said…

    Yeah, the football script. I've been toiling for a long while now.

    I'm hoping the resulting mess that comes out the other end is more indicative of a 2nd revision than a 1st draft. We'll see.


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