Monday, July 2, 2012
Well, I finally made a decision on my next immediate project. Last week I started writing my book on screenwriting while at the same time, beginning to try to put Ghostkeeper 2 together for a potential November 2012 shoot.
They really don't conflict each other as the book requires writing, of which I am updating my UCLA lectures from several years ago. Ghostkeeper requires a new budget to reflect a digital shoot and I've already got some artwork which I will insert into the proposal I made last year. Mornings are for writing the screenwriter book and afternoons are for Ghostkeeper 2.
So why write a book on how to write a screenplay?
Especially when there's at least 200 books?
I've had the idea for a while, encouraged by former students who kept telling me I should write it, and friends including some writers and directors. Still, there's a lot of books out there.
So what's the difference?
The major reason, and this comes from almost everyone who knows me; I actually have produced movies behind me. Credits. I have writer credits on 18 movies, half of which were my original screenplays and others were rewrites on other writer's movies.
Does those "others" count, you ask?
When it's a "page 1" rewrite it does count. That term means that I literally started revisions on page 1. Some scripts were rewritten so much that little of the original story was left. Rewriting isn't always pleasant, I got rewritten twice on my movies, mostly because of a writer friend of the producer. I also got rewritten often on episodic series but that's normal.
Going back to the "difference", most of the books out there on screenwriting have been written by either people who have never written a screenplay or those who have never sold a screenplay. Then there's a few who have some animation produced and/or 1 or 2 movies.
Does that mean that I'm better?
Of course not. It's just that people with more credits bring more to the table. And ultimately that can offer a bigger picture of the work of the screenwriter, not only in writing the original screenplay, but also dealing with what happens when it goes into production.
I'll also use some of the posts in this blog, actually I am thinking of including a full collection of all 368 blogs I've accumulated in almost 3 years.
My book will have a new angle; I will actually use a real screenplay I'm working on to give examples of writing, as well as using some famous screenplays as well. This might be a first, in that aspiring writers can see exactly how I find, develop and write a screenplay.
The book should take a month or so... as I have the lectures and it's a bit of cut and paste and updating. This, you know is my second book, this time not fictional. A friend suggested I'm doing some re-inventing in that my screenplays seem to be stuck in that "we love it but don't want to make it... yet" stage.
But at least they are considering my 2 screenplays out there, it took 3 years to get Hallmark to make my Town That Christmas Forgot. Actually, they also forgot to pay me! That might make a good blog, as I kept all the emails. I might have posted it 2 years ago though so I'll check. It's a great collection of emails wherein I and my lawyer attempt to get paid for a movie the company already finished shooting!!