Eight ways to co-write a screenplay

You want a writing partner you say?  Well, how are you gonna write together?

In my experience, most people who ask for a writing partner never deliver.  They may have won some obscure contest in the past, and now they think that just because they have a nice idea, the world owes them a screenplay.  Na uh.

But, I hope you’re the exception.  Maybe the problem isn’t that you think the world owes you a screenplay, maybe you just failed to set the ground rules.

I’m not looking for a writing partner right now.  Instead, I’ll look at methods I’ve tried and that others have described.  Yes, I did that a year ago, with three ways to work with a writing partner. But, that was a year ago.

So, what changed?  I’ve got better words to describe the writing methods, and I’ve decided to add my own experience. Continue reading Eight ways to co-write a screenplay

The Sorrows of Deirdre

So, I had a film called “The Sorrows of Deirdre.”  I noticed something interesting.  Depending on who I pitch it to, my pitch changes.

LinkedIn Pitch:

It’s called “The Sorrows of Deirdre” and it’s based on Celtic mythology. Deirdre has been cursed with such beauty, that men’s desires her threatens to divide Ireland. To settle the issue, she’s promised to the King.

But, Deirdre falls in love with Naoise, and flees with him to Scotland. Their adventures with the natives seem almost more dangerous than staying in Ireland. And, as Naoise and his family grow homesick, it seems that one of the king’s servants can persuade him to return.

However, Deirdre’s prophetic dreams tell her than the return means certain death for her love.

Stage32 pitch:

LOGLINE:Some wish for knowledge. Others desire beauty. She was cursed with both.

SYNOPSIS:

Deirdre can dream about the future, but she can’t change it on her own. All men pretend to want to please her, but none listen. So her fate is to witness the destruction of one of the greatest kingdoms in the ancient world.

When Deirdre finds an prophetic amulet, her dreams lead to the handsome Naoise. However, she had been promised to the king from a young age. In order to save Naoise and his family, Deirdre and her new in-laws are forced to flee.

Unfortunately, the locals don’t take to Naoise and his brothers. They battle savage pics, and strange Britons, but most dangerous of all are devious druids who play to their homesickness.

Our own version of Tay

I hate the tech-heavy narcissism of the Internet.

Yes, Shakespeare mentioned the theatre in his plays, but none of his protagonists were full-time stage actors.  Montaigne acknowledged what he was doing, but he didn’t go on  and on about the craft of writing essays.  Did Caxton repeatedly publish books about publishing?  No.  Not even film is this self-reflective of a medium.

In many cases, the medium has become the message, but not in the way that Marshall McLuhan meant. It’s not just that the Internet and social media have influenced the way we talk, they have become almost all that some people talk about.  The medium is narcissistic. Continue reading Our own version of Tay

How to Open a Play

I don’t open films the same way that Shakespeare opened plays.  The first shots in Dara Says contain no words.  It opens with a series of actions, and in the first couple of minutes there are fewer than ten words spoken.

We created a draft of the opening for the crowdfunding campaign.  Here’s the video of the first few minutes from that campaign.

The script for the final film was identical, but we used different music and paced things differently.

I wrote the screenplay thinking that “film is a visual medium”, but a lot of story is told through the dialogue, tones of voice and other sounds.  Film is an audio-visual medium.
Continue reading How to Open a Play