The Bag Means Your Mind

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

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Six Month Plan

A year and a half.

That's how long I've been talking about starting a new project.

Ouch.

This delay resulted from a mixture of not feeling like writing, being intimidated by "the next project" and being unable to shape an idea into a loose story. Oh, and good ol' fashioned procrastination.

The other day I sat down and thought about my idea, and I kept thinking until my entire mind was chewing it like cud. At that point I went out for a walk. Twenty minutes into the walk, the tumblers felt into place and suddenly I had the "What if" question I needed to launch my next movie. The original "What if" begot even more "What ifs" and pretty soon the logical nature of story telling within a consistent universe unfurled a loose story. I'm guessing that the story can, will, and should change in the months to come, but at least I have a launching point.

That's where the 6 months come in. Truth be told, I'm happy with Win. As it exists now in my mind's eye, it's the best football movie ever. That's not to say that it is perfect. It's not, but considering that I believe that Remember the Titans is far and away the best football movie out there, the bar is not incredibly high (although I really, really like that one). When I read Win, I can picture the image flickering at 24 frames per second, I can feel the emotion and the action and it all seems right. Now whether or not the movie I have in my head is the one on the page I do not know. What I do know is that it is the best thing I've written. It has been recognized in some form by multiple contests. And it took over a year to write.

Now I need to write a movie that is just as sound (hopefully better in terms of craft), but in a tighter time frame. My goal is to churn out a script in 6 months when starting with a loose idea of the story in my head. 3 months to manufacture a detailed scene-by-scene outline. One month to write a 1st draft. One month to retool the outline, and One month to write a 2nd draft. I think two drafts is enough to produce a full realization of the story. We'll see.

Of course all of this is subject to change and the story takes as long as it needs to be good. At the same time, I think it is important to establish a goal and create deadlines in my mind. If I miss it, I miss it, but I think that establishing one mentally kind of gears the mind to produce something in that amount of time. I liken it (sort of) to filling out a form. There is a line where you write your name. If the line is small, your mind automatically adjusts the "font size" so your name fits in the allotted space. It's kind of amazing how that all happens*. I'm hoping that establishing my intention ahead of time will help me produce something in a reasonable time frame.

So I'm publicly calling myself out. Six months from today I'll have 2 drafts of a new script.


*It doesn't take a lot to amaze me.

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