Monday 22 December 2008

I'm absolutely barging this script...

Yes, it continues to go well - in fact, last night I had a midnight sesh that just kept going and going, with me sat there with The Dark Knight soundtrack (among other stuff) feeding into my brain through my head phones - it was one of those cases where you say 'oh I'll just finish this little bit off here, then stop and go back over this whole bit' ... but that doesn't happen.

Instead, you do that part, then find yourself writing a few sentences more so you have a good lead-in for the next section, to allow yourself a smooth re-entry into the script, to pick up where you left off, if you will.

However, this cycle just kept happening. I'd write a bit to set myself up for another writing session, then I'd have to write another bit to link in, then I'd have a great idea and have to write that, then I'd remember about a character, then another character and then another character that needed to be placed in the ensuing chaos, and then I'd have to flick back and forth, and at one point I had to re-write a couple of sentences to allow one character to get to a certain location to allow another sequence I had in mind to play out.

Oh yes, chaos indeed - both in what's being written, but also in how it was being written. I was glued to the keyboard hammering away, completely gripped, with the text on screen flying across the glowing monitor at practically 88mph.

I was planning on tying up the end of Act Two, and lying the foundation for the start of Act Three, but instead I not only finished Act Two, but wrote half of Act Three straight away!

Today I tidied up on scene I left aside from last night (as it was truly getting quite late), and so then I'll head back to page 93 (prior to which I've already been through and refined a few days back), have a little tidy up - I'll no doubt lace in certain characters here and there - the trouble with such an ensemble of protagonists is it's easy to lose track of them, so I sometimes have to fix that on my hook back around to refine what I've just written throughout an act.

So once that refining is done, I'll be back to do the second half of Act Three - or indeed, the eighth of eight segments as per my previously mentioned brainstorm map of the whole script.

How many pages now then? Currently I'm about half way down page 116.

I have written a script this long (indeed longer) before, although that wasn't in Final Draft, and it wasn't in a traditional three act structure (it was almost a sort of catharsis for myself in developing ideas, and debriefing myself from my three years at university) ... so really, this is the longest proper script I've ever written (I mostly do short scripts, but my previous feature lengther was 90 pages), and it's most certainly the most complex script I've ever written.

It's been a battle (in the best sense) to write a script with a broad ensemble of characters, covering an epic story, with a considerable amount of action - as well as ideas, and zombie fan nerd wish-listing - but it's been a great experience to write this.

If I'm lucky enough to get the opportunity to actually develop it further, I'll no doubt seek to add things, change things, manipulate certain ideas and so on further than I currently am - but then again, right now I'm coming from nothing on the page at all to something quite big all written out in first draft form (technically second draft, considering that I go back over what I've written each act, and refine ... fettle, if you will). So aye - if given the opportunity to develop it, then I'd already have a very deep, complex, thought-out structure to complete the 'build' upon, so-to-speak.

What's to be written next after this? Well, I might have mentioned some time ago about a horror script I had in mind - related to an allergic reaction I acquired from dodgy clothing dye - in fact I was initially planning to write that before this feature length zombie epic (which is specifically designed for a big budget - well, relatively speaking - and use of CGI, and sets, and kick ass professional gore, and actors and so on ... essentially "The End" is being written as my own ideal zombie film with no budget in mind - or at least a budget infinitely beyond my current, and near-future abilities).

Anyway, yes, where was I? The horror script - that's what I was on about - yes, I'll be looking to write that, and that will be a fair simpler affair (less characters, less locations, an over-all simpler 'potential production'). In fact, I plan to be quite inspired by the up-coming Mum & Dad, a new British horror flick in the vein of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (it's not even out yet, and the Daily Mail has already had a whinge ... or was it the Daily Express? Anyway...)

Yes, this horror script would be designed for an indie budget, and indeed a British setting.

So with my scripts, I write shorts that I can film, and I write shorts beyond my means when I have something I need to get onto the page. I write really short-shorts for quick ideas, or for sending to certain groups (like the London Film Academy, although they didn't dig the script I sent - no doubt too anti-government for them ... incumbent Labour government anyway).

Then of course, feature scripts - again, beyond my means at the moment, but set up for the future - it's best to have an idea, which is written out fully and stored away, than to have an idea that's still in your head years down the line when you get the opportunity to put it out there - a time when you might (and hopefully should) be busier than you are (or indeed I am) at present.

Although I'm not exactly twiddling my thumbs either, far from it. So indeed - feature scripts in themselves, which I write, come in different genres, on different scales.

For example, there was 'GenPro' (short nickname title for it), which was a comedy of an indie production level. Now there's 'The End', which is a zombie horror of a big budget production level. Then there will be 'Un-named Horror Script', which will be horror again, but of an indie production level, and a different topic entirely.

I've rambled on long enough, tatty-bye-bo (as Adam Buxton might say).

Oh - and Merry Christmas to one and all (or indeed whatever holiday you enjoy at this time of year).

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