With the writers strike going well into its third month, I wonder what most of you are doing in between the picketing. Might I suggest taking a course at the UCLA EXTENSION WRITER'S PROGRAM. I took the CRAFTING THE COMEDY SCREENPLAY with STEPHEN MAZUR a few years back. He also teaches the 8 SEQUENCE APPROACH. Not only is the class informative, but it is also very fun. Stephen, who is not only smart, but funny, helps every student in the class develop their idea (which you supply) into a great STEP OUTLINE that you get to turn into a hilarious screenplay and awesome spec to shop around when the strike is over. I am going to (finally) start writing the script for the idea i brought to the class. I think that the Winter semester has already begun, but check to see if he is teaching in the spring. It is well worth the time and the money!
Well, as you can see in the color bars to the right, I finished my first draft. Yes, I muscled through the below mentioned FUNK and finally wrote FADE OUT. Although I only had 8 weeks to write it (in my spare time) I wish that I had about 4 more weeks to "sweeten" it before turning it in. I am 30% happy with it. I figure if I gain a small percentage of happiness with each draft (3 drafts that I have to do), I should be about 65% - 70% happy by the time I get to the punch-up phase, when I get to hang out with my funny friends and come up with better jokes and dialogue than the ones I have written now.
I guess I feel pretty proud of the achievement of putting 94 pages of script to paper. And I am also happy to have solved all of the outline issues that I was having. I should feel relieved but I think the terror is just starting. This whole time it's just been me reading it. Now, there are people who are going to read it and give notes and opinions etc. It's not that I don't expect to have notes on a first draft, but as most of you writers know, the script is the like the stripping away of the flesh and the notes sting like salt.
If I really think about it, it's a good thing. It'll be nice to have notes from a new perspective. I am just too close to it now. I am hoping the notes don't really come in for a few weeks. That way I can get the distance I need from the first draft to start the second draft in earnest. Fingers crossed! I'm going to have a drink.