Hello screenwriting my old friend
Hello screenwriting my old friend I’ve come to talk to you again. The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel reminds me of screenwriting. I almost always work alone when writing a screenplay.
Recently writer’s block has derailed my personal screenwriting train. In the past I’ve read insightful books from working screenwriters and scriptwriting teachers that share a great bit of advice on dealing with writer’s block – keep writing. Force yourself to write every day, even if what you’re writing is crap.
I respect that and think it is great advice for any screenwriter being paid serious money by major studios or an aspiring screenwriter writing a spec script for free. At the end without a finished screenplay it’s damn hard to be able to schedule, budget and produce a movie.
Through living life I’ve also learned like many other people have that not everything works for everybody. The same goes for screenwriting. I don’t know about you, but I have my own comfortable way of working on screenplays. I’ve never been able to write myself out of writer’s block.
The creative process that has let me finish screenplays is a simple routine. I never liked to write in the mornings unless I have been up all night writing. I tried to force myself to get scenes and dialogue down in the mornings on a regular schedule as suggested by a screenwriting book, but it was a waste of time for me.
I sat in front of a blank screen not feeling it letting life tick by hour by hour. When I work on a screenplay I’m the type of writer that has to feel it flow. I’m not gifted as other screenwriters that can will it to happen and force their creative self to write through their block.
When I can’t write I flat out just can’t write no matter if I sit in front of a laptop willing the words to flow. I learned over time to stop resisting who I was as a screenwriter. When I don’t feel the screenwriting mojo I don’t sit in front of my laptop forcing myself to follow a writing schedule or force myself to write “x amount” of hours a day.
As long as you meet your screenplay deadline for production you’re golden. There are times I don’t write anything for a week and other times when I’m in a screenwriting groove I can bang away for 10 hours a day for many days losing track of time. The key to finishing a screenplay is making progress with it.
I realize I’m a spurt screenwriter. I don’t write every single day unless I’m feeling it. I prefer to write fast and furious to get a first draft done without looking back. Screenplays always go through rewrites, so I rarely go back to see what I wrote the night before. I just keep going until the rough first draft is done.
When writer’s block knocks my writing mind on its ass with an overhand right I give it a break to enjoy something else. It could be a walk around the neighborhood, beers with friends or whatever has nothing to do with screenwriting. When I come back to the screenplay I feel like I have fresh eyes and thoughts to move forward with the story.
Sometimes I leave a screenplay untouched for a week if I’m not feeling it. Not every screenwriter is the same. That’s what makes screenwriting personal and exciting. Every screenwriter figures out their own way of getting a movie idea into a shootable script.
There are screenwriters that listen to music, watch TV, drink scotch, talk to themselves reciting dialogue, write during a set block of time or different things when they are working on screenplay. How do you work on your screenplay?
I’ve never felt there is a wrong way to work on a screenplay. There are many different roads to take to get to the end of a screenplay. A friend of mine is writing their first screenplay. They have a full-time day job, wife and young children at home.
They are not being paid to write a screenplay, so they have found their own way to make progress on their script. Instead of taking lunch with coworkers they use that time to work on their script most days. It’s only an hour, but it’s a productive writing hour for them when the office is quiet. When they get home they take an hour or two before going to bed to work on what they wrote at lunch.
The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel connected with me the other day. I’ve had this one movie idea that I’ve never even wrote one piece of dialogue or scene for that I’ve carried in my mind for a year now. The farthest progress on it has been a short handwritten synopsis on notebook paper.
I’ve been working on post-production for Psoro with director Wayne Daniells, stretching a shooting budget with coproducer Tim “Timbo” Beachum on an untitled indie feature filming in West Virginia, pitching “Killing the Azul’s” to film investors and putting together the pieces to shoot another erotic film follow-up to Fantasy Striptease Private Shows.
The name of the game to survive in the indie produced entertainment business is to build a catalog of releases. I’ve been frustrated as hell pitching “Killing the Azul’s” formerly titled “Stash Spot” because film financing has fell through once before. I’m worried it’s going to be an unproduced script that dies.
Writing has always been my passion. I started with short stories as a youngster before screenplays. I was sitting in front of my laptop not feeling a rewrite of a scene I was working on for the West Virginia project. I was forcing it and it wasn’t working at all.
I knew I was thinking too much about how I could trim the West Virginia screenplay to save money to roll into an erotic film we could shoot using some of those in-house film funds. I want to produce both back to back, but we might not have enough cash to do it. This was on my mind as I was rewriting a scene.
Writer’s block had me. I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood to people living life and somebody is playing The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel pretty loud on their upstairs balcony. I know the song from a great scene in “Old School” with Frank the Tank.
When I got home I went on YouTube to listen to it. It got me thinking about the movie idea I had already scribbled in hand a synopsis for. I always feel good when I take a step back from the business part of producing indie cinema and return to purity of just writing.
I ended up writing most of the night working on this untitled screenplay. It felt right and it felt rewarding. I wasn’t writing with a movie budget in mind or anything. I was just writing a screenplay for the love it without any expectations. Do what feels good to you when working on screenplay. This is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing FADE OUT
Categories: Screenwriting Tags: erotic film, film financing, filming in West Virginia, screenplay deadline, screenwriting book, screenwriting my old friend, screenwriting train, scriptwriting teachers, shootable script, spurt screenwriter, stash spot, The Sound of Silence, working screenwriters, Writing a screenplay, writing a spec script for free