I had two goals for this year (2016) – blog and make a film. It seems that wanting to achieve both of these things and work full time this may have been too much. There is just not enough time in the day for everything (I struggle). Yet still I am blogging and I have finally completed my screenplay!
I was juggling ideas around in my head for months before I started writing. I was working on another screenplay I wrote last year but in the end I didn’t feel attached to that script (it had pretty images but no substance). I decided to sit down and start writing something new last month.
I wrote in bursts of 1-2 hours when I had time free between blogging, work and life. Honestly looking back this was not the best writing plan, I wish I had dedicated a whole day just for writing my screenplay. By doing this once a week I would have completed it a lot sooner. Everyone is different but I like to write for a few hours at a time, rather than in small bursts throughout the day.
I have a first draft and I will keep developing the screenplay right up to filming. There are some problems with the characters actions not coming across as well as they could. I plan on actually making this film in August so time is ticking.
I am unsure where I am as a filmmaker right now. I haven’t made a film (that I care about) for years. The last two I made whilst at university where ok but lacked a strong enough hook and quality. I would like to make something strong enough for film festivals, a showcase film.
Also I am suffering from an anxiety centred around filmmaking. I guess I will just have to deal with that, I mean I could spend my saved pennies on therapy or just make a film. I believe my main problem is expecting too much from myself. I spend more time thinking about doing things than actually achieving anything, and then I hate myself for being lazy.
I guess artists deal with the battle of the ego and that of crippling self doubt throughout their career. I am having a self doubt moment right now. I hope that some ego kicks in soon so that I can have the confidence to finish my film. I am planning on spending all of my savings on making this film instead of being careful with my money.
By choosing to make my film I am destroying any financial security I have, I am also putting a set back to online work – by doing this I am pretty much guaranteed to still be working at my full time job next year. Making a film is probably not the sensible thing to do in my life right now. Yet still I am going to make it.
About the Film
My short film is called Retreat
The script is only 4 pages long. I wanted to make a super-short-snappy film as I believe this will be a more focused film and stand a better chance at festivals. A short synopsis –
A young woman escapes into her imagination to avoid the pressures of life
This screenplay has a purpose. I wanted to make this film myself. It needed to be not too expensive. It needed to be good – and I wanted it to be good enough for film festivals. However just completing this film whether good or bad would be a personal victory. It is getting harder to make films – I have too many bills, too much debt and I full time job. It is difficult these days to get anything done, let alone have the time, energy and money to pursue creative projects.
I will be making this film in August. I have a whole month off from work, this will give me the time to make this film, although I will have to be careful with money (I am not getting paid for this month off ) and I will have to do as much prep as I can before August begins.
To make things even more tricky my film is of the surrealist/fantasy genre. This is the genre I want to work within if I am ever to make feature films.
Story Idea Workbook
I wanted to talk more in depth about the script writing process so I have written a workbook on coming up with screenplay ideas. It can be downloaded for free via PDF below. I have written in detail about my script writing process – from original idea, goals, premise, synopsis. With methods that might help you whilst writing your own screenplay.
Download the guide for free below.