Souls, Inc.

Apr. 4th, 2011 08:03 pm
maristu: (muse)
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I'm writing a screenplay. Or at least attempting to. So far I have ten pages of actual script, plus a virtual bible of loose information, character studies, snippets of dialogue and random ideas that might or might not fit anywhere in the story. I'm having a blast.

The thing about writing a screenplay is there's a time constraint. You need to have your whole story play out in a specific number of pages (90-120 pages), and so you need to be extra careful about plotting it all out. The other thing about screenplays that make it different than anything else is that it's VISUAL. It's all about show, not tell. Finding interesting and visual ways of showing something is much harder than it seems. Which is why I find the montage at the beginning of Up! and amazing thing. They show Carl and Ellie's entire married life in less than 5 minutes, with no dialogue. Impressive.

And so, after seeing all my fellow graduate candidates struggling with their own scripts, being their readers and giving them notes for the past two years, I decided to try my hand at it. Although I'm officially a documentary filmmaker, I do love fiction stories. And I had a couple of ideas that I'd been playing around with for a while, just working them out in my head. I enrolled in an online course and off we go!

So, as a Screenwriting 101 student whose only experience in screenwriting was a short script back in my first semester of film school (which sucked, btw), what's the story I picked to write? One about souls. Souls that go through multiple lives and go back and forth between Earth and the "Soul World". Not only that, there's two of them, which means I need to write plot and character development for two characters. And interweave them. And try to explain the meaning of the universe while I'm at it (and no, I'm not entirely kidding about that last part).

My screenwriting teacher thinks I'm insane. She says that, even with 15 years of experience in screenwriting, she's not sure she'd take on a project like this.

But I can't help it. This story has been playing around in my head for so long that if I don't write it now, it'll probably just grow more and more and become this huge monster of a thing and swallow me whole.

And so I'm writing it, a page at a time. It'll probably be done in, oh, about 10 years or so... :)

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