The Theory of Chaos

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It begins...

An hour ago, I opened up Final Draft, stared at the blank page before me, and wrote the two most daunting words in the screenwriter's trade:


Yesterday I finished the revision on my latest treatment, and while I intended to wait to hear back from my agent about whether or not to proceed, I've been in a mood to put a project in gear and I don't see much possibility of her saying "
No, Nick, don't finally start that commercial script I've been waiting forever for you to write! Please, put it on the back burner again for another moody genre piece!"

If there's plot landmines lurking in the treatment, I'm sure she'll point them out in due time. But you know my goal - at least one new, original screenplay every calendar year. I
fell behind by a month a couple years ago and only made it by my chinny-chin-chin this last year, but otherwise I've been consistent with this since I graduated college. But here it is, mid-April, and I haven't even begun anything new. There's a strange sci-fi epic I started ages ago that I might someday finish - I blasted all the way to page 56 on sheer inspiration and haven't had the first clue about what happens next since then. Still don't.

So other than that - no real candidate to meet this year's deadline. Until now.

For your sake and mine, I'll refer to this new script as
MSK. It's an overtly-commercial idea for another teen comedy, one that will be less satirical and nasty than Queen Lara but still (hopefully) clever and sexy. I came up with the idea a year ago after meeting with this hustler. It's far past the expiration date for me to renew contact with him to have him shop it; and I don't mind that, since his whole plan for my career boiled down to:

Step 1) He sits around waiting for me to write something that's worth lots of money.

Step 2) After my agent sells it, he takes ten percent of that money and tells everyone what a great manager he is.

But since my last screenplay was really about creative satisfaction, not to mention all the time I put into
Century Club, it's about time I served the bottom line. I wouldn't do it if I didn't think the story was going to allow me to have some fun.

MSK is officially underway. I'm now at the bottom of page 4. I'm shooting for a first draft of 105 pages. This treatment is 5,000 words long, by far the most detail I've ever had written down in advance of starting a draft. Hopefully this will make the writing process go more swiftly; I can easily see being done with this thing before June 1st. Having six months free of my deadline to write whatever the hell I want would be pretty sweet.

I think, Jimmy, I'm going to try and keep you abreast of this whole drafting process in more detail than I have in the past. I also considered just pulling the blogging needle from my vein for a month to force myself to work, but that's never panned out any of the times I've tried it. Writing one thing seems to stimulate writing another. So, if all goes according to plan, expect regular updates on where I'm at, and what particular writing problems I'm facing along the way.

If you don't hear me talking much about it, you can assume things aren't going well.


  • In the words of that dude from "The Right Stuff", as he watches Gordo Cooper fly off into to the sky, "Go...."

    By Anonymous Michael A. De Luca, at 9:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home