Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Update aka The Long and the Short of It, Part 2

Part One of the update was the short of it so Part Two is indeed the long. In this instalment I was contemplating discussion of my features via interpretative dance but the blog format seems far too restrictive! You'll just have to use your imagination...

ScreenWest knocked back my conspiracy thriller The Pilbara Imperative for a third time. TPI is a story about illegal uranium mining, radical environmental groups, secret deals between big business and the government, the involvement of foreign powers and a secret hidden in the Pilbara that is worth killing for. Think Edge of Darkness meets Syriana with a dash of State of Play thrown in for good measure.

Far from being defeated, I have written a three pager for the director's manager to shop around with a 27 page treatment also available. If there are any nibbles I'll write the next draft of the script which is a reworking of an older idea (In Total Unity) that was set on the docks involving a militant union. I also put a submission in for the Kit Denton Disfellowship but I'm not holding my breath over that.

I reactivated an older script The Tangled Web which has previously been optioned twice and was close to getting somewhere when Sam Worthington was nominally attached way back when (also known as before he did Avatar and became huge). I've given it a new coat of paint and sent it to a couple of producers to see if there's any current interest. This is my internet addiction tale where cyberspace is represented visually as a parallel hyper-reality. No typing away on keyboards for this baby.

The creative team for my supernatural thriller The Red Bride met on Sunday and one of the producers is going to MIFF 37 South Market in Melbourne this week. A new log line and synopsis were requested and duly delivered. We also discussed the direction of the next draft, interestingly by looking at an older version of the story. I've had three sessions with Michael Hauge which have been very useful but now it's time to knuckle down and churn out a new draft. We're real close but the last 5-10% seems to be the hardest.

I recently lamented the amount of time I've been spending writing synopses and treatments and log lines and beat sheets and supporting notes and so on and so forth [insert silent scream here]. Enough with Word documents! Back to the warm embrace of Final Draft I say. You would have even noticed an infiltration of blog posts in pseudo script format like Part One. A tell-tale sign.

Further to that though, I started writing a low budget horror free-form without outlines and beat sheets and the like. Dangerous? Perhaps. But I wrote 16 scripted pages in two days and it felt really comfortable. Want to knock out a draft quickly and see what I have. This is the cut down version (boy, is that an understatement) of a story the local Development Manager at ScreenWest says is a $100-120 million studio film. I'm learning!

Then there's the idea that came out of the last Simon van der Borgh workshop that I need to flesh out. As well as another idea I've been brainstorming with the TPI director - again, low budget, contained, and a thriller.

So there's plenty of ideas buzzing between the ears - now all I have to do is write them down...

What are you working on? How's it going? How much outlining do you undertake before writing the first draft of a script? How do you tackle rewrites?

The prosecution rests :-)

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