Week Five: Routines and Routines

Now that I'm only carrying two classes, I've fallen into a bit of comfortable routine. I spend my early morning to early afternoon on campus two days a week and the rest of my time is my own to figure out what the hell I should be doing. I mean, I have an idea, a couple actually, of what it is I should be typing but, for whatever reason, I'm waiting for my instructors to tell me to get going.

Aside from the required reading, McKee's Story and Vogler's The Writer's Journey, I've been reading screenplays. Surprisingly I found The Devil Wears Prada kind of blah in script form but I enjoyed the movie and, of course, The 40-Year-Old Virgin made me laugh out loud in both mediums. For class we had to read The Last Samurai and even though I haven't watched the movie all the way through, I was engrossed in the script as if were a novella. On my own initiative I've tracked down an out-of-print script book of Sliding Doors, written by Peter Howitt, going as far as to buy a used but (hopefully) in good condition copy from a seller in the U.K. So, I think I'm pretty serious about seeing this through even though I have no illusions that something cinematic will be happening to me and my writing career.

For screenwriting class, we have to write the first 35 pages or so of a script, mine will be based on More Than This. The challenge lies in divorcing myself enough from my book so that I can take the bits that will work leave the rest behind. I have an ancient copy of Final Draft, so the formatting is taken care. The rest is just a matter of thinking in terms of a movie and not a novel. Easy! Well, we'll see.

For my development class we have to work on a pitch. This is a little more complicated and then again, not. I write up pitch sheets for all my projects where I include a an overall concept, log line, premise and short synopsis, as well as a working title. Doing this forces me to focus on what the core of the story is about. (I didn't write one for How Can I Tell You and we all know how that worked out or, rather, didn't.) So I have an idea--trust me, I'm full of them--but what I need to do now is enough research so that my treatment (long synopsis) is solid enough to garner me the coveted top pitch spot. The instructor will take said pitch and it's writer to meet a real-live-in-the-flesh studio executive where the pitch will be pitched.

Not so sure what Week Six will bring, we're a couple weeks off schedule in both classes, but I'm going to start writing. I think I'm old enough to get on with it without waiting for someone else to give me the go-ahead.

No comments: