I have a confession as I continue my adventures in screenwriting. I didn’t enjoy writing short scripts. It took me several years to get that, ohhh now I get it, moment. I didn’t see the point of writing shorts. But then…. something clicked it my mind, and it all made sense.
This is the biggest adventure yet.
Writing Shorts is the Best Way to get Started Screenwriting
That’s the advice you can find anywhere. Every book and blog on screenwriting all say the same thing. Write shorts! And I was reading this thinking, but it’s chore, and why?
So I kept trying, giving up, working on other projects, trying again. Many failed adventures in screenwriting. It sucked.
Writing for a specific budget was hard for me to wrap my mind around. By accident, I kept writing what’s known as kitchen sink scripts. I kept throwing in everything except the kitchen sink. And even then, I think I did throw in a kitchen sink or two.
After having conversations with industry members who are wonderfully patient with my many questions, I started getting a better idea of budget. I don’t mine an exact dollar amount, and I’m not saying low, or micro budget, is the only way to go, because that’s untrue. My goal was to enjoy writing one low-budget short. It’s just something I wanted to learn for myself.
Is that too much to ask? Apparently it was…
The lesson I learned for writing a low-budget script is the same age-old lesson for anything. The KISS rule. I learned the KISS rule a long time ago, but it didn’t occur to me to apply this simple rule in my adventures in screenwriting,
Keep It Simple Stupid.
One location. One or two characters. Limit the amount of interaction between characters. One conflict, max. That’s it. KISS rule achieved.
Next level adventures in screenwriting…
This one baffled me for a while. How can you, legally, write scripts based on known IP? Sure, there’s multi-billion dollar corporations based on making money from known IP. Look at Disney as a good example. But for an unknown, new screenwriter like me? I had nothing.
And then I was kissed again…
I Got This
So after all that research and conversations, everything came together in my head one day.
- Known IP
Public domain poetry!
Way back in University I took an extra course, just for fun, on contemporary poetry. There are thousands of public domain poetry that’s free for anyone to use. Possibly millions if you go back to the ancient world. I got this!
On a side note, that’s when I understood why there are so many versions of Beowulf. Duh.
Adventures in Screenwriting Enjoyment
Now that I’ve finally learned what it’s like to enjoy short screenplays, I’ve been inspired to write my first originally, short, low-budget script, Understatement. It’s just under two pages, I wrote it in a day, there are two characters and, and one small location.
It just goes to show you. Do what you love, but love what you do.
I’ve written and uploaded to my ScriptRevolution page three scripts based on public domain poetry so far. I plan on adding a lot more. There’s so much public domain poetry to chose from, going back to the ancient world.
One of these scripts have been optioned and already filmed. Check out To Lucasta, Going to the Wars based on my script.
Read the script here.
My first original short, Understatement, has also been optioned, and it will be filmed sometime this month.
I’m a happy screenwriter.
Wow, all these adventures in screenwriting are a lot of fun. A complete bore to me before. The tables have turned.
Now for the Halloween Surprise
Taking a break from adventures in screeniting.
As promised, here’s my 2021 Halloween costume.
View Halloween 2019 costume here. 2020 was canceled, for pandemic reasons.
P.S. I don’t actually own a fountain pen, I just liked the photo on Unsplash.