Sunday, October 11, 2009

Captain Dynamo - The Evolution of a Screenplay

January 2009 - I had an idea. I talked that idea out loud in my car by myself until I got a pretty firm backbone for my Captain Dynamo script. So if you ever see me in my car talking to myself, I'm either explaining a story to myself or pretending to be interviewed by Terry Gross.

February 2009 - May 2009 - I taught an independent study class for about 5 UT students. We all met up at Einstein's Bagels every Monday morning and wrote the first draft of our own feature scripts. I might've been the only one that finished the whole first draft by May, but the other guys got close and worked their little butts off.

May 2009 - I got my first round of notes from about 3-4 trusted friends who don't hesitate to rip my scripts to shreds. You have to be careful who you ask for notes from. It's not helpful to just hear "I love it, it's awesome!". Yeah, that's sweet, but it's not true and it's not helpful.

May 2009 - July 2009 - I pretty much wrote almost every single day non-stop to knock out a few more drafts. Watched lots of movies for inspiration and saw every single family film that came out over the summer.

Late July 2009 - I did a full on read through with a full cast and a good size audience. This allowed me to hear what jokes hit, which ones bombed. It gave me the opinions of kids (my audience) of what they liked, what they were confused by, and what they didn't hesitate to rip apart. God bless the kids, they can be brutally honest.

August 2009 - I hunkered down to do a major rewrite based on the notes.

September 2009 - October 2009 - At the start of my semester teaching at UT, my time ran away from me. So basically it took me a while to do a polish of the script, tightening and tweaking. I've pretty much gotten to a point where I feel confident sending it out.

Mid-October 2009 - I'm locking the script for now. Sending it off to the WGA and Library of Congress to get it registered. I'll probably start sending it out at the end of the month. Or early November.

Don't get me wrong, this script will continue to evolve. You'll get notes from everyone you send it to. And when a company signs on to produce it, you'll get more notes. When an actor signs on, you might get even more notes. Yeah, it never ends. But it's cool. It's a fun process.

I am ready to start a new one!

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