The blank page is the writer’s equivalent of echoing footsteps in a giant, empty warehouse. I like that. The cool thing I discovered about screenwriting is I can fill that warehouse with anything. I Am A GOD! Creator of worlds.
Be right back, God has to haul the recycling bin to the curb.
A year ago, I’d never written a script for anything longer than about 12 minutes. And those were industrial films and corporate videos. Most of my really good stuff has been for radio. 60 whole seconds. But then I happened into a client meeting and discovered a topic that I walked out thinking, “this is a movie.” That simple thought changed my focus.
I wrote an outline/treatment of the idea and pitched it to some people. They liked it. Now, you should know that 35,000 people write movie scripts every year. Hollywood makes 250 movies. Sane people don’t like odds like that. However, it’s not because Studios don’t want to make more movies. It’s because 34,500 of those scripts just aren’t very good. The other ones go into the hopper to happen later or get reworked or forgotten or die of old age.
I started trying to learn the craft. Online courses, conferences, symposiums, “script gurus.” I bought scriptwriting software. And then I wrote my script.
It was terrible.
But I sent it to a reasonably priced script reader who patiently explained things like format, exposition, structure and character arcs. But most of all she said I wasn’t that bad and should keep trying. So I rewrote. And rewrote and rewrote. I’m up to about version 15 now.
Then I wrote another script. And another. And another. I just finished script number six. It’s light years better than that first draft.
And I’ve learned I am not God. I’m just the guy who gets to see the movie before anybody else.