Old Souls: My Other Next Short Film

Yesterday was a “slow” day at work, which meant I had a couple hours of downtime to work on my own things, which is a life dream: someone paying me (though for something else in this case) to do my own creative work.

I was able to make great strides on a new hatchling short film script, an idea I’ve been exploring for only a couple weeks. I outlined it last week, and started banging out the script in earnest yesterday. Thanks, job!

I got home at 7 PM and kept pushing it through. I took a pit stop dinner and brainstorm session with Juliette, and we ended up finding the key to a certain character, which helped me find how to pull off the ending, which is everything when getting a first draft out the door. Never underestimate the power of talking through your screenplay issues with another movie-maker mind! Lucky for me, I married one!

In all I wrote for about six hours yesterday, and ended up with 17 pages. Very good. I haven’t had that much of a writing binge in about eight months, and it felt great.

I tend to edit a lot while I’m writing. Some people believe you should just crap out a first draft, even with story issues, spelling/grammar problems, character choices that don’t make sense, etc., but I can’t stand it. A scene cries out in pain to me on the page until it tells me it’s ready to share with someone else. I try to take care of a lot of those “first draft” issues on my first go ’round, so hopefully my first drafts might feel more like a 3rd or 4th with its level of polish. That’s just how I roll.

So what’s next? Well I try to ask people to read it and let me know their thoughts – not “if it was good” or “if they liked it” but how things hit them, how they felt about characters, and if there was any problems with clarity – did they understand what was going on? Those are the main concerns of early drafts in my opinion.

Then, for this piece anyway, I’ll take that into account, shiny up another draft, and go out to actors with that. In this case, I wrote it with my lead actors in mind, and they are (probably) on board already, so that’s a relief. I hope to get their feedback next, and they can help work with their characters, bring their perspective, and find a voice and access point for themselves.

And then we pick a weekend and go make it! I’ll scramble together production design, props, costumes, and ask my friend Leslie if he wants to shoot it.

The short film is called OLD SOULS, and it’s about a husband and wife who have taken a big risk to ensure they can be together for a long time. It’s a drama, built on a sci-fi concept.

Hopefully it’s something I’ll be talking about for a while this year, and you can follow it here, from prepro to production to editing to the festival games! Between this and LONEY, the first bit of 2013 is looking good! Stay tuned…