greenbottletree











Messy work station, complete with print-out of first 30 pages

I’ve slipped a little!  I had three days where I knew I wouldn’t be able to write so I postponed starting the seven-day re-write.  I’ve now read through the whole thing (not too bad!) and have completed two days of re-write.  I’m not enjoying it that much.  I’m also not cutting or altering it as much as I should be.  But I found free software that does the layout for you – celtex.com – so I’m over the tabs/margins/Word issues.  I’ve printed out the first 30 pages I’ve re-written and they look like a screenplay.
I’m not enjoying it because it’s tedious, I feel like I’m just re-typing it, making a few changes as I go.  I think for me the tweak days will be where I change more.  I think the next five days are going to be a struggle.
I’m not feeling the love so I’m going to drink more tea.

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Unbelievably, I’m over the first hurdle: I’ve written a film, a whole two-hour film!  In seven days.  I feel I should be celebrating but it’s just me, the cat and a mug of tea (which I have yet to make).  I feel a bit like I’ve come out of the wilderness, a bit dazed and confused.
Tomorrow is a day of rest.  Day nine is a full read through on paper.  Day ten is the re-write of pages one to ten.  I have a dilemma though.  I’m away for work in Milan Tuesday and Wednesday.  I’m also still not familiar with my style guide.  I may have to postpone the 21 days.  But then I’ll feel like I’ve failed if on the 21st I haven’t done everything I should have.
Am I getting bogged down in the rules of the 21-Day schedule?  It does say you can extend it if you need to spend a day typing it up or whatever.  It’s 21 days of actual work on the script.  But, but …
Definitely tea time/avoiding dealing with the issues at hand time.
But, woo hoo, I’ve written a bloody film!  Check me out!



Bloody Word.  All was going well on day four, pages 45-60.  As per guidelines, I knew what would be happening on page 60.  And page 75.
Then, as I was writing, page 59 as I recall, poised for page 60’s conflict scene, I thought the font had changed.  So I looked at the font box.  It didn’t say New Courier 12 (the ONLY font and size permitted).  It said Calibri 11.  Gulp.  For some reason, I selected the whole document and changed it all BACK to New Courier 12.  Double gulp.  The text grew.  Bloody Word had only gone and ignored my New Courier 12 command and done the whole chuffing thing in chuffing small Calibri (body) 11.  Disaster.  And what the nuts is the “body” bit all about?  59 pages became 71.
So thanks to bloody Word, I’ve been allowed to waffle off-script for 11 sneaky extra pages.  The page 60 conflict scene is now 11 or 12 pages late and I’m not ready for my page 75 disaster scene which now appears to be looming in four pages.  What a to-do, I tell you!
The cat’s snoring, my hands are tea-stained from a 26-tea-bag-stewing experiment (this one may not end up being documented, it’s not going well!) and the bloody telly doesn’t work, and on top of that I’m four pages off a key point in my film that needs fleshing out in way more than four pages.  I reiterate: bloody Word.



I’ve completed day three.  On schedule.  I am extraordinarily puffed up.  I’ve done 45 pages (45 minutes of film).  All my fears have been realised, namely that I am incompetent when it comes to Word (tabs, margins, etc are all over the show – it’s not pretty!) and that I have no idea how to lay out a screenplay (I was given a “yeah, right” look by someone who’s written four screenplays when I announced I was going to write one in 21 days with no prior knowledge of the format).
I read the first two days’ work last night (as instructed in my 21-day bible).  It seemed quite good, if I may be so bold as to say.  I may have flopped horribly with today’s 15 pages in two and a half hours as I inserted two “comedy” scenes.  I thought they were hysterical, but then again I was there when they happened – whoever says scripts and novels aren’t largely autobiographical lies!
I was a nervous wreck before day one.  I overran by about five minutes.  But it flowed reasonably well.  I was quite excited prior to starting day two’s 20  pages in three hours but felt disappointed at the end as I felt the plot was too slow.  Before starting today, I had the sinking feeling that I’d peaked early and that I wouldn’t be able to fill the film up.  But today was actually my easiest day.  I didn’t even break for tea!
By the end of tomorrow’s two and a half hours, I will be half way through it.  I feel confident that I will finish it but I am overwhelmed by how difficult it is (a) to think about what image can portray a few sentences and then (b) describe that scene without waffle and (c) not get bogged down in format.  I think I thought it would be easier than it is.  That said, I’ve written 45 minutes of a script, woo hoo!  Oh, and (d) how all-consuming this process is and how (e) my recluse tendencies are being realised!



My scriptwriting area!

     It’s 0837 on Monday, 1st November 2010.  I’m going to write this, make a coffee, re-read some of my script notes, panic about my Word settings and the strict formatting of a screenplay then set a timer for two hours.  I will then write the first ten pages (which equates to ten minutes) of Galloping Fish, my screenplay set in Japan and based very loosely on my two and half years living there.
     
     I’m absolutely terrified, believe it or not!  The book poking out from the bottom left corner of my netbook is entitled “How to Write a Movie in 21 Days” by Viki King.  I’ve done all my preparation, and to a degree I feel there’s a story waiting to come out.  But my fear is twofold.  First of all, by starting now, I will have a completed screenplay on 21st November.  That’s all well and good but I have never, ever followed something through with a schedule like that.  And I can’t stand the idea of disappointing myself by not doing it this time.  Oh, and I’ve never written a screenplay before.  Secondly, I find the layout and stage direction extremely confusing and unfamiliar.  Those are my worries before I even dare think about the actual writing of 120 pages … IN SEVEN DAYS!  
     
     The seven days, starting soon, is to write the first draft.  I can’t believe that this time next week will be the eight day, which, according to the book, will be my (well-deserved) day of rest after the seven days of … ugh, I’m feeling even more stressed now!
     
     I think it’s time for coffee …
 
 


et cetera