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It’s been a productive week for one of my short movie ideas. P.I. will be my first major short movie and I’m hoping to have the camera’s rolling on principle photography in 2010. Lots to work on in the meantime.
I’m feeling confident that I’ve now got the plot structure exactly as I want it. The whole thing is really starting to come together. I’ve even been working on the teaser log line (see picture above). The next phase will be for me to add more of a back story to the main characters and develop their personalities a little more, and their character arcs!!
It’s a great little story idea and I can’t wait to start on the first draft of the screenplay.
I also wanted to share with you the process that I now put myself through to help get the film ideas from my brain and onto the page. It’s a process with many levels of development, before you get to physically writing the screenplay!
It starts with an idea – usually from an epiphany or one of my many brainstorming sessions. The first thing I will do is take my notebook and jot down the core element of the idea (i.e. dog like aliens hold-up a petrol station, granny wins an Olympic gold medal etc.) I’ll then fill the rest of the page with keywords, phrases, and any other notes that will help with developing the idea.
The next step is for me to jot down important plot notes and scene ideas on small scrap bits of paper, they usually end up blue tacked to the office wall. I’ll keep adding to these notes with important junctions that I feel help develop the story. This goes on until I get to a stage where I’m happy with the overall concept of the film and its direction.
Next, I work on the plot structure. Solid notes on the major events of the story and the relationship between these events and the characters. Once I have a good idea on the plot structure I then work on developing character arcs and personalities. This includes the hero/protagonists journey. Then for me the final phase before attempting the fist draft of the screenplay – the scenes that will make up the screenplay. I’ll make notes on the scenes needed to help move the story forward, these notes will include what the scene will tell the audience, how much of the story to give away in the scene etc.
After all of that (usually a few months) it is then time to start the first draft. Knowing that you have so many notes that will help answer any questions your screenplay may raise.
Well, that’s how I do things and I find having a structured method for developing and writing really does help me concentrate and get the job done!! Before this method I’d often sit staring at a blank computer screen wondering where on Earth to begin – get organised!
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